Movie Industry Personality : Charlize Theron

Born in Benoni, in Transvaal Province (Gauteng Province since 1994) of South Africa on August 7, 1975, Charlize Theron is the only child of road constructionists Gerda (née Maritz) and Charles Theron (27 November 1947 – 21 June 1991).  


The second Boer War military leader Danie Theron was her great-grand-uncle.  


Born into an Afrikaner family, with an ancestry which includes Dutch as well as French and German, Theron’s French forebears were early Huguenots in South Africa.


Theron, who sees herself as a dancer, did not actually become an actress immediately, she had won a one-year modelling contract at age 16 at a local competition in Salerno, Italy and moved with her mother to Milan, Italy.


Upon spending a year modelling throughout Europe, she and her mother moved to the United States; residing in New York City and Miami. 


Actualizing her passion for dance she got her training at the Joffrey Ballet School, where she trained as a ballet dancer until a knee injury closed this career path.  


As she recalled, in 2008, Theron went to New York for three days to model, and spending a winter in the State in a friend’s windowless basement apartment. 


Broke and taking class at the Joffrey Ballet, her knees gave out. 


 Recognizing she couldn’t dance anymore, the South African went into a major depression; promoting her mom to come over from South Africa to talk to her; “Either you figure out what to do next or you come home, because you can sulk in South Africa”.


And so, on a one-way ticket her mother bought for her; Theron flew to Los Angeles in 1984; where she intended to work in the film industry.


During her initial months there, she lived in a motel with the $300 budget that her mother had given her; she continued receiving cheques from New York and lived “from paycheck to paycheck”. 


Theron stole bread from a basket in a restaurant to survive. 

Fate came into play one day, when she went to a Hollywood Boulevard bank to cash a few cheques, including one her mother had sent to help with the rent.


Unfortunately, however, the check from her mother was rejected because it was out-of-state and she was not an American citizen.


Her argument and pleas with the bank teller was becoming fruitless until talent agent John Crosby, who was the next customer behind her, cashed it for her and gave her his business card.


Crosby would later introduce Theron to an acting school, from where she played her first non-speaking film role in the horror film Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, in 1995.


Portraying hit woman Helga Svelgen in 2 Days in the Valley (1996), in her first speaking role Theron drew attention due to her beauty and to a scene in which she fought Teri Hatcher’s character despite the film’s mixed reviews that attended the movie release. 


Her role as the leading lady in the Hollywood films The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and The Cider House Rules (1999), brought her international prominence in the 1990s.


Her success as a great actress continued to generate applaud for her as she received critical acclaim for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003), for which she won the Silver Bear and Academy Award for Best Actress; becoming the first South African to win an acting Oscar. 


She received another Academy Award nomination for playing a sexually abused woman seeking justice in the drama North Country (2005).


Theron has starred in several commercially successful action films, including The Italian Job (2003), Hancock (2008), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Prometheus (2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), Atomic Blonde (2017), The Old Guard (2020), F9 (2021) and Fast X (2023). 


She received praise for playing troubled women in Jason Reitman’s comedy-dramas Young Adult (2011) and Tully (2018), and for portraying Megyn Kelly in the biographical drama Bombshell (2019), for which she received her third Academy Award nomination.


Venturing into film production with her company Denver and Delilah Productions; since the early 2000s, Theron has produced numerous films, in many of which she had a starring role, including The Burning Plain (2008), Dark Places (2015), and Long Shot (2019). 


While retaining her South African citizenship, Theron became an American citizen in 2007 and has been honoured with a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Source: Wikipedia 


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