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Charlize Theron is one of the most recognizable faces in the entertainment industry, which means it’s also no surprise that she’s among the highest-paid actresses currently working, too.

Early Life

Charlize was born on August 7th, 1975, in Benoni, South Africa. As a result, she has both US and South African Citizenship. Growing up, she had a difficult childhood. In 1991, her mother shot and killed her father in self-defense, though no charges were filed against her mother.

At the age of 13, she studied at the National School of Arts in Johannesburg and began to realize her creative skills, especially in regard to dancing. She would later train at the Joffrey Ballet School, one of the most acclaimed schools within the performing arts industry. However, her career as a ballet dancer was cut short when she sustained a knee injury.

When she was 15, she moved to Italy after being offered a modeling contract, however, she would later decide to step into the world of acting. Her mother bought her a one-way ticket to LA, and the rest is history!

Acting Career

After moving to LA, Charlize took on a range of different on-screen acting roles. Her performance in The Devil’s Advocate, in which she starred alongside Keanu Reeves, is considered to be her break-out role. Since then, her work has generally received a positive reception from audiences and critics, and she has racked up impressive credits throughout both film and TV.

The 2004 film, Monster, in which Charlize took on the role of serial killer Aileen Wurnos, is perhaps one of her most celebrated roles. For this, she won an Academy Award, a Chicago Film Critics Association Award, and a SAG award, among others.

She has also won awards for her work in Snow White and The Huntsman, Max Max: Fury Road, Young Adult, Bombshell, North Country, and The Cider House Rules, and in 2005, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 


Charlize is also known for her activism and charitable pursuits, and has worked extensively in supporting communities in the fight against HIV/AIDS. She also founded the organization, The Charlize Theron African Outreach Project in 2007. Since its formation, the CTAOP has reached over 3.7 million young people in South Africa.

She was also named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations for her activism, more notably her work to prevent HIV and the elimination of violence against women.

Fun Facts 

  • Charlize’s first language is Afrikaans. She said that she learned English by watching films and TV shows.
  • She met her first talent agent, John Crosby, while she was arguing with a Bank Teller at Hollywood Boulevard. He later encouraged her to sign up for acting classes.
  • Charlize Theron is known for doing many of her own stunts in the movies she stars in, which means it’s no surprise that she has often been injured on set.

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