Name: Charlize Theron
Birth: August 7, 1975
Place of Birth: Benoni, South Africa
Languages: Afrikaans, English, Parts of 26 Others
Awards: Nelson Mandela Honarary Citation
Born August 7, 1975, in Benoni, South Africa, Charlize is a dancer, stunning model, and star actress. Charlize experienced a thoroughly rural upbringing, born and raised on the Benoni farm. Her hard working parents, who owned both a road construction company and a farm, instilled genuine family values in her.
At age 6, young Charlize began studying ballet, a pursuit that would command her attention throughout her adolescent years.
Whenever she was not dancing, she devoted her free time to a consuming passion for American movies. Her early exposure was at a drive-in theater which was a 45-minute drive down the road from the family farm. Charlize was able to convince her parents to purchase a VCR, and her dreams of acting began to emerge. Charlize's particular favorite was Tom Hanks in the romance "Splash", which caused the wide eyed teenager to develop a huge crush on the hunky Hanks.
Charlize's study of ballet landed her at a school for the performing arts in Johannesburg, where she sat in on drama classes. As a result of this casual interface, the stunning teenager stumbled upon a modeling contest, which she entered and won. To her surprise, an Italian fashion scout viewed her at this contest, and offered her a modeling contract in Milan. Charlize was met by only moderate success on the runways of Milan, and was unable to land any serious major modeling contracts.
Charlize grabbed at an opportunity with an American magazine that flew her to New York for a photo shoot. She later told one interviewer, "I went, did their job, and never made it back to the airport. I was just too thrilled to be in New York." On her own in New York at age 18, Charlize found herself continually intimidated by the city's maze of towering skyscrapers, and the inclement winter weather in the Big Apple. Falling back upon her dance training, she found a spot in the Joffrey Ballet, which proved short lived. Her childhood passion was abruptly ended when a career ending knee injury forced her to fall back on modeling.
Charlize's mother, who recalled her passion for cinema, suggested her intrepid daughter go to Southern California. Arriving in Los Angeles, Charlize checked into a low rent motel and spent the next two weeks wandering around town in an attempt to make connections. Charlize's big break came at a bank with the final check from her various employments in New York City. The bank teller refused to cash the check because it was drawn on an out-of-state bank, and Charlize threw an impressive tantrum.
Lucky for her, Hollywood talent manager John Crosby happened to be standing in line behind her. He helpfully explaining that she could cash her out-of-state check at any post office, and then asked if she were, perchance, an actress. Charlize, quite aggravated and somewhat flustered, replied that she fully intended to become one someday. Crosby, who earlier in his career had discovered Rene Russo at a Rolling Stones concert, offered her his card. Charlize, discovering that John Crosby was entirely reputable, got in touch with him, and he agreed to take her on as a client. It would be a sure bet that the uncooperative teller or bank manager would gladly cash Charlize's paychecks today.