Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, a city in the greater Johannesburg-area, South Africa on August 7th, 1975. Her mother, Gerda Theron, is German, while her late father, Charles, was French (she was named after him). When she was 15 her father attacked her mother, and her mother shot him in self-defense. He died, but her mother was not charged in the incident. As a teenager in her native South Africa, she learned English by watching American TV.Charlize began her modeling career in 1991 aged 16 when she won a local modeling contest. She started modeling in Europe and came to New York a year later. She didn't like being a model though, and decided to try her luck with ballet, which had been her biggest passion as a child. Unfortunately, a knee injury prevented her from dancing. Her mother bought her a one-way ticket to Los Angeles in 1994 and Charlize started visiting all of the agents on Hollywood Boulevard but without any luck. She went to the bank to cash a check for $500 she'd got from her mother and became furious when she learned that the bank could not cash her check because it was an out-state check. She made a scene and an agent gave her his card, in exchange that she learn the language, which she did by watching soap operas on TV. Her first role was as a young mother in a park in a B-film in 1995, but it was a non-speaking role with three seconds of screen time. Her next role was as "Helga" in 2 Days in the Valley, which landed her the role of "Tina" in That Thing You Do! Since then, she has starred in movies such as The Devil's Advocate; Mighty Joe Young; The Cider House Rules; The Legend of Bagger Vance; and The Italian Job. An important day in her life was February 29th, 2004 when she was awarded with her first Academy Award for her performance in Monster.
She recently became a mother when she adopted a son, Jackson (b. November 2011).