Charlize Theron Biography, Films & Facts
Charlize Theron was born on August 7, 1975 in Benoni, small town near Johannesburg in South Africa. She has Dutch, German and French blood running through her veins. Charlize grew up with her parents as their only child. Unfortunately, she faced family tragedy early on when her mother shot her father in self defense. Her father was an alcoholic and known for domestic violence. Her mother was set free without charges.
At thirteen, Theron was sent to boarding school and began her studies at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg. Although Theron is fluent in English, her first language is Afrikaans. You can actually watch her speak Afrikaans on YouTube and its cute.
At sixteen, Charlize secured a one-year modelling contract and along with her mother moved to Milan, Italy, which was only a way station to the USA where she moved a year later. In New York she was chasing her dream to become a dancer but unfortunately her knees were not ready and gave up on her. Those years were hard for Charlize. At nineteen she went to Los Angeles to try herself out in the film industry.
Her 20’s were, as she said, “everything she wanted them to be”. She had a partner. He was an adventurer and so was she. They would pack backpacks, go to a country for five weeks, climb mountains, stay in people’s homes. They partied. She did it all. She didn’t have a care in the world.
Soon thereafter she got a significant role in The Devils Advocate in 1997 but her first breakthrough was probably considered to be Sweet November, a movie she co-stared in with Keanu Reeves, after which she briefly came to be known as the new “it girl”.
And then came her big moment. Theron starred as the serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster in 2003. Film critic Roger Ebert described her role as “one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema”. This role won her the Academy Award for Best Actress at the 76th Academy Awards in February 2004.
She was named a UN Messenger of Peace in 2008 in an effort to support African youth in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In his citation, Ban Ki-Moon said of Theron that year: “You have consistently dedicated yourself to improving the lives of women and children in South Africa, and to preventing and stopping violence against women and girls”.
Theron has two children, both adopted. She adopted a son in March 2012 and a daughter in July 2015. She lives in Los Angeles, California.