7 August 1975 |
Benoni, Transvaal Province, South Africa
|Citizenship||South African (1975–present)
|Partner(s)||Stuart Townsend (2001–2010)|
Charlize Theron (General American pronunciation: / /; Afrikaans pronunciation: [ʃɐrˈlis tron]; born 7 August 1975) is a South African and American actress, producer and fashion model. She has starred in several Hollywood films, such as The Devil's Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
Theron received critical acclaim for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003), for which she won the Academy Award, Silver Bear, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress among several other accolades, becoming the first South African to win an Academy Award in a major acting category. She received further Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for her performance in the sexual harassment-themed drama North Country in 2005 and a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance in Jason Reitman's 2011 comedy-drama Young Adult.
Theron became a U.S. citizen in 2007, while retaining her South African citizenship. In the late 2000s, she moved into the field of producing, both in television and film. In 2006, she produced the documentary East of Havana. In 2008, she starred in The Burning Plain and served as an executive producer. In 2014, she produced and starred in Dark Places. In 2012, she played Queen Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman and Meredith Vickers in Prometheus, both of which were box office successes.
Theron was born in Benoni, in the then-Transvaal Province of South Africa, the only child of Gerda Jacoba Aletta (née Maritz) and Charles Jacobus Theron (born 27 November 1947). Second Boer War figure Danie Theron was her great-great-uncle. She is from an Afrikaner family, and ancestry includes French, German, and Dutch persons; her French forebears were early Huguenot settlers in South Africa. "Theron" is an Occitan surname (originally spelled Théron) pronounced in Afrikaans as [tron].
She grew up on her parents' farm in Benoni, near Johannesburg. On 21 June 1991, Theron's father, an alcoholic, physically attacked her mother and threatened both her mother and her while drunk; Theron's mother then shot and killed him. The shooting was legally adjudged to have been self-defence and her mother faced no charges.
Theron attended Putfontein Primary School (Laerskool Putfontein), a period she later characterised as not "fitting in". At 13, 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.
Although seeing herself as a dancer, Theron at 16 won a one-year modeling contract at a local competition in Salerno and with her mother moved to Milan, Italy. After Theron spent a year modeling throughout Europe, she and her mother moved to New York City and Miami, Florida. In New York, she attended the Joffrey Ballet School, where she trained as a ballet dancer until a knee injury closed this career path. As Theron recalled in 2008,
I went to New York for three days to model, and then I spent a winter in New York in a friend's windowless basement apartment. I was broke, I was taking class at the Joffrey Ballet, and my knees gave out. I realized I couldn't dance anymore, and I went into a major depression. My mom came over from South Africa and said, "Either you figure out what to do next or you come home, because you can sulk in South Africa."
At 19, Theron flew to Los Angeles, on a one-way ticket her mother bought her, intending now to work in the film industry. During her early months there, she went to a Hollywood Boulevard bank to cash a check her mother had sent her to help with the rent. When the teller refused to cash it, Theron engaged in a shouting match with him. Upon seeing this, talent agent John Crosby, in line behind her, handed her his business card and subsequently introduced her to casting agents and also an acting school. She later fired him as her manager after he kept sending her scripts for films similar to Showgirls and Species. After several months in the city, she made her film debut with a non-speaking role in the horror film Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995). Her first speaking role was a supporting but significant and attention-garnering part as a hitwoman in 2 Days in the Valley (1996). Larger roles in widely released Hollywood films followed, and her career expanded in the late 1990s with box-office successes like The Devil's Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and The Cider House Rules (1999). She was on the cover of the January 1999 issue of Vanity Fair as the "White Hot Venus". She also appeared on the cover of the May 1999 issue of Playboy magazine. However, the nude photos inside the issue had been taken several years earlier before she became famous and Theron unsuccessfully sued the magazine for publishing the photos without her consent.
Success and hiatus
She starred in four films in 2000: Reindeer Games, The Yards, The Legend of Bagger Vance and Men of Honor, and was briefly considered a new "It girl". Theron has said of this period in her career that, "I kept finding myself in a place where directors would back me but studios didn't. [I began] a love affair with directors, the ones I really, truly admired. I found myself making really bad movies, too. Reindeer Games was not a good movie, but I did it because I loved John Frankenheimer."
After appearing in other films, Theron starred as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003). Film critic Roger Ebert called it "one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema". For her role, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress at the 76th Academy Awards in February 2004, as well as the Screen Actors Guild Award and the Golden Globe Award. She is the first South African to win an Oscar for Best Actress. The Oscar win pushed her to The Hollywood Reporter's 2006 list of highest-paid actresses in Hollywood; earning US$10 million for both her subsequent films, North Country and Aeon Flux, she ranked seventh, behind Halle Berry, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Renée Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. AskMen also named her the number one most desirable woman of 2003.
In 2005, Theron portrayed Rita, Michael Bluth's (Jason Bateman) love interest, on the third season of Fox's critically acclaimed television series Arrested Development. She also received Golden Globe Award and Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her role of Britt Ekland in the 2004 HBO film The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. On 30 September, Theron received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the same year, she starred in the financially unsuccessful science fiction thriller Aeon Flux. She also received the 2005 Spike Video Game Award for Best Performance by a Human Female for her voiceover work in the Aeon Flux video game.
Theron received Best Actress Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for her lead performance in the drama North Country. Ms. magazine also honoured her for this performance with a feature article in its Fall 2005 issue. She was supposed to star in the screen adaption of the short story The Ice at the Bottom of the World by Mark Richard, and it was to be directed by Kimberly Peirce and produced by Theron's company Denver and Delilah Films (named after Theron's two dogs). Theron has owned the rights for many years. She was also supposed to star in a movie adaption of the graphic novel Jinx, but neither project has been produced yet.
In 2008, Theron was named the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year. That year she also starred with Will Smith in the superhero film Hancock, and in late 2008 she was asked to be a UN Messenger of Peace by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
On 4 December 2009, Theron co-presented the draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, accompanied by several other celebrities of South African nationality or ancestry. During rehearsals she drew an Ireland ball instead of France as a joke at the expense of FIFA, referring to Thierry Henry's handball controversy in the play-off match between France and Ireland. The stunt alarmed FIFA enough for it to fear she might do it again in front of a live global audience.
Following a three-year hiatus from the big screen, Theron returned to the spotlight in 2011 with Young Adult. Directed by Jason Reitman, the film earned critical acclaim especially for Theron's performance. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and several other high profile awards. Theron played the Evil Queen Ravenna, Snow White's evil stepmother, in the film Snow White & the Huntsman, which began production in 2011 and was released in 2012.
In 2011, she described her process for becoming the characters in her film:
When I'm figuring out a character, for me it's easy, since once I say yes to something, I become super-obsessed about it – and I have an obsessive nature in general. How I want to play it starts at that moment. It's a very lonely, internal experience. I think about [the character] all the time – I observe things, I see things and file things [in my head], everything geared to what I'm going to do. I'm obsessed with the human condition. You read the script and become obsessed with [a character's] nature, her habits. When the camera rolls, it's time to do my job, to do the honest truth. You can't do that part of the [character-creation] work when you're [in the middle of] making the film. At least I can't.
In 2012, she starred in Ridley Scott's science fiction film Prometheus. On 7 February 2013 it was announced that Theron was cast as Libby Day, the lead character in the film adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel Dark Places. The film is to be directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, and Theron will also have a producer credit.
In 2013, Vulture/NYMag named her the 68th Most Valuable Star in Hollywood saying: "We’re just happy that Theron can stay on the list in a year when she didn’t come out with anything ... any actress who’s got that kind of skill, beauty, and ferocity ought to have a permanent place in Hollywood."
The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) was created in 2007 by Theron, Academy Award winning actor and UN Messenger of Peace, in an effort to support African youth in the fight against HIV/AIDS. CTAOP's mission is to help keep African youth safe from HIV/AIDS. The project is committed to supporting community-engaged organizations that address the key drivers of the disease. Although the geographic scope of CTAOP is Sub-Saharan Africa, the primary concentration has mostly been Charlize's home country of South Africa. CTAOP's approach is based on the belief that community-based organizations on the ground understand the social and structural relationships of their communities better than anyone. By supporting these organizations through grant giving, networking, and spotlighting their work, CTAOP enables communities to mobilize and empower themselves to prevent HIV.
In 2008, Theron was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In his citation, Ban Ki-Moon said of Theron "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." She recorded a public service announcement in 2014 as part of their Stop Rape Now program.
In December 2009, CTAOP and TOMS Shoes partnered to create a limited edition unisex shoe. The shoe was made from vegan materials and inspired by the African baobab tree, the silhouette of which was embroidered on blue and orange canvas. Ten-thousand pairs were given to destitute children, and a portion of the proceeds went to CTAOP.
Theron is involved in women's rights organizations and has marched in pro-choice rallies. Theron also is a supporter of animal rights and active member of PETA. She appeared in a PETA ad for its anti-fur campaign.
Theron is a supporter of same-sex marriage and attended a march and rally to support that in Fresno, California, on 30 May 2009. She has publicly stated that she refuses to get married until same sex marriage is legal in the United States. Theron commented on the subject matter, saying: "I don't want to get married because right now the institution of marriage feels very one-sided, and I want to live in a country where we all have equal rights. I think it would be exactly the same if we were married, but for me to go through that kind of ceremony, because I have so many friends who are gays and lesbians who would so badly want to get married, that I wouldn't be able to sleep with myself." Theron further elaborated on her stance in a June 2011 interview on Piers Morgan Tonight. She stated: "I do have a problem with the fact that our government hasn't stepped up enough to make this federal, to make [gay marriage] legal. I think everybody has that right."
In March 2014, CTAOP was among the charities that benefited from the annual Fame and Philanthropy fundraising event on the night of the 86th Academy Awards. Theron was an honored guest along with Halle Berry and keynote speaker James Cameron.
In 2015, Theron signed an open letter which the ONE Campaign had been collecting signatures for; the letter was addressed to Angela Merkel and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, urging them to focus on women as they serve as the head of the G7 in Germany and the AU in South Africa respectively, which will start to set the priorities in development funding before a main UN summit in September 2015 that will establish new development goals for the generation.
Having signed a deal with John Galliano in 2004, Theron replaced Estonian model Tiiu Kuik as the spokeswoman in the "J'adore" advertisements by Christian Dior. From October 2005 to December 2006, Theron earned US$3 million for the use of her image in a worldwide print media advertising campaign for Raymond Weil watches. In February 2006, she and her loan-out corporation were sued by Weil for breach of contract. The lawsuit was settled on 4 November 2008.
Theron has a son, Jackson, whose adoption was announced in March 2012. She lives in Los Angeles. Theron became a naturalised citizen of the United States in May 2007, while retaining her South African citizenship.
In the mid-1990s, Theron had a two-year relationship with actor Craig Bierko. From 1997 to 2001, she dated Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins. Theron then began a relationship with Irish actor Stuart Townsend, with whom she starred in Trapped (2002) and Head in the Clouds (2004). Theron and Townsend separated in January 2010 after nearly nine years together. In early 2014, she began dating actor Sean Penn, but it was reported that they had split in late June 2015.
While filming Aeon Flux in Berlin, Germany, Theron suffered a herniated disc in her neck, caused by a fall while filming a series of back handsprings. It required her to wear a neck brace for a month. In July 2009, she was diagnosed with a serious stomach virus, thought to be contracted while traveling overseas. While filming The Road, Theron injured her vocal cords during the labour screaming scenes.
|1995||Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest||Young Woman||Uncredited|
|1996||2 Days in the Valley||Helga Svelgen|
|1996||That Thing You Do!||Tina Powers|
|1997||Trial and Error||Billie Tyler|
|1997||Devil's Advocate, TheThe Devil's Advocate||Mary Ann Lomax|
|1998||Mighty Joe Young||Jill Young|
|1999||Astronaut's Wife, TheThe Astronaut's Wife||Jillian Armacost|
|1999||Cider House Rules, TheThe Cider House Rules||Candy Kendall|
|2000||Reindeer Games||Ashley Mercer|
|2000||Yards, TheThe Yards||Erica Stoltz|
|2000||Men of Honor||Gwen Sunday|
|2000||Legend of Bagger Vance, TheThe Legend of Bagger Vance||Adele Invergordon|
|2001||Sweet November||Sara Deever|
|2001||15 Minutes||Rose Heam|
|2001||Curse of the Jade Scorpion, TheThe Curse of the Jade Scorpion||Laura Kensington|
|2002||Waking Up in Reno||Candy Kirkendall|
|2003||Italian Job, TheThe Italian Job||Stella Bridger|
|2004||Life and Death of Peter Sellers, TheThe Life and Death of Peter Sellers||Britt Ekland|
|2004||Head in the Clouds||Gilda Bessé|
|2005||North Country||Josey Aimes|
|2005||Aeon FluxAeon Flux||Aeon Flux||Also in the video game|
|2007||In the Valley of Elah||Det. Emily Sanders|
|2007||Battle in Seattle||Ella|
|2008||Sleepwalking||Joleen Reedy||Also producer|
|2008||Burning Plain, TheThe Burning Plain||Sylvia|
|2009||Road, TheThe Road||Wife|
|2011||Young Adult||Mavis Gary|
|2012||Snow White and the Huntsman||Queen Ravenna|
|2014||A Million Ways to Die in the West||Anna|
|2015||Mad Max: Fury Road||Imperator Furiosa|
|2015||Dark Places||Libby Day|
|2015||The Last Face||Filming|
|2016||Kubo and the Two Strings||Voice|
|2016||The Huntsman||Queen Ravenna||Filming|
|2005||Arrested Development||Rita (Mr.F)||5 episodes|
|2006||Robot Chicken||Daniel's Mom / Mother / Waitress (voices)||Episode: "Book of Corrine"|
|2010||Crossfire||Mysterious and dangerous rescuer||Song by Brandon Flowers|
|2006||East of Havana||Documentary|
|2008||The Burning Plain||Executive, also actress|
|2015||Dark Places||Also actress|
Awards and nominations
- Farber, Tanya. "Charlize defends her 'unique' American accent". IOL News.
I am a South African.
- "Charlize Theron Speaks Afrikaans". YouTube. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1271). 9 August 2013. p. 22.
- Karsten, Chris (2009). Charlize: Life's One Helluva Ride. Human & Rousseau. p. 18.
- Karsten, p. 16
- Karsten, p. 14
- "Charlize Theron Biography". Hello Magazine. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "Benoni, East Rand". www.sa-venues.com. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2004
- "Charlize Theron". BiographyChannel.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Chi, Paul (27 November 2011). "Charlize Theron: I Was Teased By Mean Girls in High School". People. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Charlize Theron". AccessHollywood.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- "Charlize Theron". People. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
- Hirschberg, Lynn (24 February 2008). "Charlize Angel". The New York Times T Magazine. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2008.
- "Charlize Theron at Salerno "I could fall in love with Allen". Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Morrison, Mark (9–11 December 2011). "The Amazing, Low-Key Life of Charlize Theron". USA Weekend. Archived from the original on 20 December 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
- Higgins, Charlotte (24 August 2006). "Play It Tough". The Guardian (UK). Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- Foley, Jack. "In the Valley of Elah: Charlize Theron interview". IndieLondon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- Davidson, Sara (October 2005). "Charlize Theron Interview". Reader's Digest. Archived from the original on 25 March 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- Snyder, Gabriel (June 2008). "Charlize". W. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2008.
- Philippe J. Salazar An African Athens, p. 112, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002 ISBN 978-0-8058-3341-6
- "Charlize Theron to Drew Barrymore: 10 Surprising Playboy Cover Star". ibtimes.com. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "Most Scandalous Photoshoots". 6 September 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Johnathan Van Meter (October 2004). Bronzed bombshell[dead link]. Vogue/Style.com. Accessed 2008-06-24.
- Ebert, Roger (1 January 2004). "Reviews: Monster". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011.
- "Academy Awards Database: Charlize Theron". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
- "Golden Globe Award Database: Charlize Theron". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved 30 January 2008.[dead link]
- "Hollywood honours actress Theron". BBC NEWS. 30 September 2005.
- "Kidman now highest paid actress". msnbc. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- "Charlize Theron". askmen.com. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- "Charlize Theron gets 'Arrested' this season". MSNBC. 30 August 2005. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
- Charlize Theron Emmy Award Winner
- "Spike TV Video Game Awards 2005 Winners Announced". gamezone.com. Retrieved 5 March 2011.[dead link]
- "Video Game Awards 05' Pictures". cbsnews.com. Retrieved 5 March 2011.[dead link]
- "Ms. Congratulates Charlize Theron!". www.msmagazine.com. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Charlize Theron in Ice at the Bottom of the World[dead link]
- Donahue, Ann (April 2006). "The Slate: Who's Doing What—And With Whom". Premiere (Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.): 29.
- Shover, Chelsea L. (24 January 2008). "Hasty Pudding To Honor Walken, Theron". the Harvard Crimson. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Entertainment | Actress to become UN peace envoy". BBC News. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
- O'Brien, Jason (3 December 2009). "Theron has a ball at FIFA's expense". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
- Charlize puts Ireland in the finals[dead link]. 4 December 2009
- "FIFA shock as Charlize Theron picks Ireland as first team in World Cup draw, Hollywood star pulls stunt on World Cup officials in South Africa". Irishcentral.com. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
- Huffington Post – Charlize Theron to play evil queen in Snow White and the huntsman
- Lovece, Frank (30 November 2011). "High School Disunion: Charlize Theron, Diablo Cody & Jason Reitman on 'Young Adult'". Film Journal International. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011.
- Berlin TOLDJA! Charlize Theron Locked For 'Dark Places' - Deadline.com
- "Mad Max to the Rescue... again". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
- McNary, Dave (29 October 2009). "Charlize Theron to star in 'Mad' film". Variety. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "Message from Charlize".
- "Charlize Theron named UN Ambassador of Peace". cbc.ca. 2008-11-15. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Member States Portal - 17 November 2008: Charlize Theron is United Nations Messenger of Peace". un.int. 2008-11-17. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Respers France, Lisa (September 22, 2014). "Emma Watson latest to use star power to help women". cnn.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Charlize Theron Designs Shoes with TOMS for Charity". People. 17 December 2009.
- "Hillary takes on Bush". Sydney Morning Herald. 26 April 2004.
- "Charlize Theron Dogs the Fur Trade". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Retrieved 16 January 2008.
- "Thousands attend Fresno rally supporting gay marriage". latimes.com. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Hall, Katy (17 September 2009). "Charlize Theron: I Won't Get Married Until My Gay Friends Can". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
- "Charlize Theron, Piers Morgan Talk Gay Marriage, Long-Term Relationships". Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Oscars Parties: Governors Ball, Elton John and the Inaugural Fame & Philanthropy Party". Variety. 2 March 2014.
- Tracy McVeigh. "Poverty is sexist: leading women sign up for global equality | Life and style". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-05-08.
- "Dior signs Charlize Theron". CNN. 13 August 2004.
- Charlize Theron's Screen Gems from The Smoking Gun
- "Actress Charlize Theron Sued by Swiss Watchmaker". Associated Press. 6 February 2007.
- "Charlize Theron settles $20M lawsuit brought by Swiss watchmaker". Accesshollywood.com. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
- "Charlize Theron Adopts a Baby Boy". People. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
- Caris Davis (11 December 2011). "Charlize Theron's Home Burglarized". People. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
- Rosen, Judy (12 March 2008). "Charlize Theron: Glad To Be A U.S. Citizen". CBS News. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2008.
- Tourtellotte, Bob (9 February 2008). "Charlize Theron's awakening". The Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 20 December 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
- Rush, George; Molloy, Joanna; Rubin, Lauren (12 March 2002). "Love Stories For Young And Old Alike". Daily News.[dead link]
- "Charlize Theron". yahoo movies. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- "Charlize Theron Biography". People. Archived from the original on 28 March 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Graham, Caroline (31 January 2010). "Charlize Theron 'rings off' after secret split with Stuart Townsend". Daily Mail (UK). Archived from the original on 20 December 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- "Charlize Theron on Sean Penn Romance: 'It’s Nice to Be Not Single'". ABC News. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Theron "ghosts Penn www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25
- Murray, Rebecca. "Charlize Theron Talks About Starring in "Aeon Flux"". About.com. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- "Report: Charlize Theron Hospitalized With Serious Virus". Fox News. 11 July 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
- "Charlize Theron Recovering From 'Unknown' Virus". Digitaljournal.com. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- The Road Region 1 DVD, Special feature: The Making of The Road
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Charlize Theron|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charlize Theron.|
- Official website
- Charlize Theron at the Internet Movie Database
- Charlize Theron at AllMovie
- Charlize Theron at Who's Who Southern Africa
- Charlize Theron at AskMen
- Charlize Theron at Emmys.com