Charlize Theron is a South African film actress with French, Dutch and German ancestry. Her parents were Gerda Maritz and Charles Theron. She was born and lived on a farm in Benoni, near Johannesburg, South Africa until her father was killed by her mother in a drunken brawl in 1991 when Charlize was 15 years old. She apparently was not present at that gruesome event because she had been sent to a boarding school two years earlier. Her mother was later acquitted because of self-defense.
Charlize attended the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg from age 13 until her graduation. Based on her age this school was apparently a specialized high school for artistically inclined students.
When Charlize was 16, and apparently following her high school graduation she won a modeling contract in Salerno, Italy. She moved there accompanied by her mother. She spent one year doing modeling work in Europe, and at age 17 moved to New York City accompanied by her mother. While there she enrolled in the Joffrey School of Ballet. While at ballet school she fell and injured herself to the point where she had to give up on her ballet training.
At age 19 Charlize moved to Los Angeles, California. A year later through some fortunate encounters she was able to qualify for her first non-speaking role in a movie. A year later when she was 21 she was in another movie and had a speaking role.
After several other minor roles in several films, Charlize had her first breakthrough role in 1999 in the movie “The Cider House Rules”. In this film she won the Bambi Award for Female Shooting Star, and was nominated by other organizations for three additional awards.
Charlize’s most successful year in her acting career was in 2003 in the movie “Monster”. She was nominated for Best Actress Award by the Academy and won her first Oscar. She also won 15 additional awards for Best Actress by numerous other organizations including the prestigious Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics Choice organizations. Her performance must have been stunning because for each nomination she won the award.
The following year in 2004 Charlize again was up for awards with her performance in “Life and Death of Peter Sellers”. She received three nominations by the Golden Globes, Primetime Emmy and Screen Actors Guild organizations.
In 2005 Charlize played a role in “North Country”. In this film she received her second Academy Award nomination but did not win. She also received nominations by Critics Choice, Screen Actors Guild and four other organizations.
In the 2008 film “Hancock” Charlize was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actor, but did not win. In the following year the Saturn Award organization nominated her for a Best Supporting Actor Award in the film “The Burning Plain”. This one also she did not win.
In 2011, Charlize won the Palm Spring’s Film Festival Chairman’s Vanguard Award. Golden Globes and Critics Choice nominated her for Best Actor in the film “Young Adult”. Five other organizations also nominated her for Best Actor Awards.
In 2012 Charlize was nominated for two awards in the film “Promotheus”, but did not win. In that same year she also completed the film “Snow White Huntsman”. For it she won the Teen Choice Award and was nominated for an award by four other organizations.
In addition to performing in several films Charlize also produced five films consisting of “The Monster” in 2003, “East of Havana” in 2006, “Sleep Walking” in 2008, “The Burning Plain” in 2008 and “Dark Places” in 2014.
Charlize’s TV roles were “Arrested Development” in 2005, “Robot Chicken” in 2006 and “Top Chef” in 2012.
Charlize’s private life is rather normal for an actor. She is still single but has had several relationships, including one with Craig Bierko from 1997 until 2001 and a longer one, from 2001 until 2010 with Stuart Townsend. She adopted a child as a single mother in 2011. She is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, and is also a member of PETA, the animal safety and protection organization.
Charlize became a United States citizen in May 2007, while retaining her South Africa dual citizenship. She was received by Nelson Mandala when she won her Oscar award by the Academy. Not many South Africans receive academy awards.
Charlize was selected as a Prominent Dutch American because of the close ties the Afrikaans speaking people of South Africa have with their Dutch ancestors, and the similarity of their respective two languages.
*Image: Theron at WonderCon in March 2012
Various web sites including Wikipedia and IMDB
Charlize Theron Biography, PEOPLE Magazine, March 28, 2011
Ms. Congratulates Charlize Theron, Ms. Magazine, Retrieved October 24, 2013
Charlize Adopts Baby Boy, PEOPLE Magazine, March 14, 2012
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