Actress and philanthropist Charlize Theron was born on 7 August, 1975 in Benoni, the Transvaal Province of South Africa. Following a traumatic childhood that included her mother shooting her father to death out of self-defense, Theron moved to Milan at 16 to work as a model. After a year of touring through Europe, Charlize moved to New York, where she hoped to start a dancing career. This path, however, became unreachable after she suffered a knee injury. Finally, and rather by accident, Charlize made her film debut in 1995. Very quickly her talents were recognized and she was cast in films such as “The Devil’s Advocate” (1997), “Mighty Joe Young” (1998), and “The Cider House Rules” (1999).
Things took off in 2000 when Theron made as much as 5 films in one year. But the most important film for her in that decade was by far “Monster” (2003), in which she starred as serial killer Aileen Wuornos. This role won her an Academy Award for Best Actress, a Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award, and for a good reason. The film tells the story of Aileen Wuornos, a former prostitute who was executed in Florida for the murder of six men. The humanity portrayed by Theron, and the empathy she evokes for such a threatening real-life character is overwhelming.
Charlize continued to receive critical acclaim in the years to follow. She was nominated for another Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for her role in “North Country” (2005) as Josey Aimes, starred alongside Will Smith in “Hancock” (2008), and was nominated for yet another Golden Globe for her role as Mavis Gary in “Young Adult” (2011). Finally, Theron starred in and one of my (recently added) favorite action films, “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015), as Imperator Furiosa.
Being a successful actress is far from Charlize’s sole ventures. She is also a philanthropist and social activist, involved both directly and indirectly in numerous charity organizations. In 2007 she has created the Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP). The organization helps fight HIV among African youth. Following a grass-roots approach, CTAOP supports community-based organizations in their effort to protect the youth of their communities. Although the heart of the organization is in Theron’s birth place, South Africa, the organization is geographically widespread throughout Sub-Saharan African. Charlize’s humanitarian efforts also include supporting women’s rights and animals’ rights organizations. In 2008 she became a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Although she had several long-term relationships, including one with Sean Penn, Theorn has claimed that she refuses to marry until same-sex marriage will be legalized. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her two adopted children.