Born in Benoni, South Africa, Charlize Theron began acting in America after a brief career as a model and a failed attempt at becoming a ballet dancer.
Theron moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19. Discovered by her then agent while engaged in a shouting match with a bank teller, Theron received non-speaking roles in direct to video movies such as Children of the Corn III (1995).
Her first speaking role came as a hitwoman in 2 Days in the Valley (1996) and from there she was earning jobs as the main love interest in high profile movies like Mighty Joe Young (1998) and The Cider House Rules (1999) and Legend of Bagger Vance (2000). From 1997 to 2001 she dated Third Eye Blind front man Stephen Jenkins.
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Her last serious relationship was from 2002 to 2010 with Irish actor Stuart Townsend.
Up until 2003 Theron had been getting roles that played upon her looks as a tall slender blonde- AskMen had even named her the most desirable woman in the world- which is why her turn as the serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003) garnered so much attention and acclaim, earning her the academy award for Best Actress. Theron even gained 30 pounds in her successful effort to "ugly up" for the role.
She told CBS News, "I was so concerned early on in the process with the physical aspect of it... I was so concerned about wanting to stay so true to Aileen, every decision that we made, we never forgot Aileen. When I saw it and when I see it today, I'm just really proud of what Toni G, our makeup artist, did."
Now established as a leading lady in Hollywood the serious roles continued to pile up through the 2000's for Theron. Earning acclaim for her performances in HBO's The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) and North Country (2005) Tharlize took a short break from the serious work to star in the cult classic Arrested Development as Rita, the gorgeous British love interest of Jason Bateman's character Michael Bluth who also happened to have the mind of a child.
Theron had so much fun with the character that while promoting Snow White and The Huntsman (2012) she was quoted saying,
"It was one of my favorite experiences I've ever had," and that she would like to appear in the upcoming movie based on the show.
Staying true to her home country, she started the Charlize Theron Afrika Outreach Project (CTAOP) in 2007 to help fight HIV/Aids in Sub-Saharan Afrika. To date the foundation has provided meals for 60,000 students, 30,000 of which have also received health-counseling sessions.
In 2012, in before promoting Snow White and Prometheus (2012) Theron adopted her four-month-old Jackson. The actress now says that she wants to be committed as a full-time mother, telling Vogue UK that she wants their relationship to be similar to her and her mother's.
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