Charlize Theron is an actress, model, activist, and mother. Since her breakout role in the 1997 drama The Devil's Advocate Theron has taken Hollywood by storm. The face of Dior has appeared in a number of notable films, such as The Cider House Rules and The Italian Job. She has also taken on humanitarian work. In 2007 she established the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Program which aims to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.
After a three year acting hiatus, Theron is back in full force. Last year she received critical acclaim for her role in Jason Reitman's Young Adult. Now the actress is set to dominate the summer box office in two high profile films. In Snow White and the Huntsman she stars as the Evil Queen Ravenna. On June 8th she'll star as a tough talking space explorer in Ridley Scott's Alien prequel Prometheus.
With both films poised for box office gold, Theron's life and career is a hot topic in Hollywood. Here are 5 things to known about the actress.
1. Theron grew up on a farm in South Africa in the modest town of Benoni. Her first language is Afrikaans and she became fluent in English after moving to the U.S at age 19.
2. In 1991, when she was 15-years-old, her father was shot to death by her mother, Greta Theron, in an act self-defense. Theron has spoken openly about the tragedy and about her father's struggle with alcohol addiction.
3. Her initial dream was to become a dancer. Theron trained in both Flamenco and Ballet in her hometown and attended the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. She told Inside the Actor's Studio:Ballet was the first thing that centered me as a human being. At the age of 19, Theron suffered a knee injury that put an end to her prospects.
4. Theron won an Oscar for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos. To play the role she gained 30 pounds, wore prosthetic teeth, and shaved off her eyebrows. Film critic Roger Ebert called her work in the film one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema. Wuornos, who killed seven men in the late 80's and early 90s, granted Theron access to letters she wrote during the 12 years she spent on death row. Though Wuornos had yet to be executed when filming began, Theron never met her in person. The Academy took notice of the actress again in 2005 when she received her second Oscar nomination for the drama North Country.
5. In March of 2012 Theron adopted a son named Jackson when he was just nine days old. The actress had been trying to adopt for two years. Though many assumed that the child was born in Africa, he was actually adopted from the U.S. She told Vouge UK:
I've always been very honest in saying I wanted a family, the never-married Young Adult star said. I've always known I wanted a family. I don't think my mom could wait anymore!