Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron, the only child of Gerda Theron (née Maritz) and Charles Theron, was born on August 7, 1975, in Benoni, a city in the greater Johannesburg region of South Africa. Outside of the city, she was reared on a farm. Theron’s great-great-uncle, military figure Danie Theron, was of Afrikaner (Dutch, with some French Huguenot and German) origin.

Theron has performed in both “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker” thanks to her training as a ballet dancer. After realising that she could not make a living as a dancer or actress in South Africa, she moved to Europe and then the United States, where she joined the Joffrey Ballet. She also did some modelling for photographers. Her career as a dancer was cut short, however, when she hurt her knee.

In 1994, Charlize’s mother bought her a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, where she went to unsuccessfully audition for every agency she could find along Hollywood Boulevard. She received a $500 check from her mother, and she went to a bank to cash it. However, the bank refused to honour the check since it was written on an out-of-state bank. She caused a commotion, and an agent handed her his card in return for watching soap operas to pick up American English.

Her first cinematic appearance was a brief cameo in the 1995 low-budget flick Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, in which she did not speak. The part of Tina Powers in That Thing You Do! (1996) came about after her performance as Helga Svelgen in 2 Days in the Valley (1996). The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999), The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000), and The Italian Job (2003) are only a few of the films in which she has featured since then. She took home the Oscar for Best Actress for her work in Monster (2003) on February 29, 2004.

Early life

Photo: Reuters

South African-born actress Charlize Theron (born August 7, 1975, in Benoni, South Africa) is most known for her portrayal of a real-life serial murderer in the 2003 film Monster, for which she won an Academy Award for best Actress.

A farm in Benoni, South Africa, was where Theron spent her childhood. She started attending an arts-focused boarding school when she was 13 in order to further her ballet training. When she was 15 and visiting home, her drunken father assaulted her mother, prompting her to shoot him in self-defence. Theron began her career as a model at age 16 when she relocated to Milan. She moved to New York City two years later and maintained her modelling career while enrolling in classes at the Joffrey Ballet School. However, a knee injury derailed her hopes of a career in dancing, and she instead tried her hand at acting.

When an agency heard Theron make a commotion outside a bank because they wouldn’t cash a check, they quickly swooped in to sign her. After that, she got a few bit parts, including one in 2 Days in the Valley (1996) that garnered positive reviews and led to her first lead role in The Devil’s Advocate (1997). Her acting chops and range were on full display in that picture, which led to several significant appearances, including those in Mighty Joe Young (1998), Celebrity (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999), and The Italian Job (2003). Her award-winning turn as serial murderer Aileen Wuornos in Monster was just another example of her acting prowess. Theron’s dedication to the job, which included gaining nearly 30 pounds (14 kilograms), led to her making history as the first African to win an acting Oscar.

Both “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” and “Head in the Clouds” starred Theron in 2004. In North Country (2005), Theron played a miner who faces sexual harassment and receives a nomination for best actress for her work. She then went on to star in films including the 2007 drama In the Valley of Elah, the 2008 superhero film Hancock, and the 2009 film adaption of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Theron played a purposefully immature lady who goes back to her small town to win back her high school sweetheart in the drama Young Adult (2011). She brought life to the screen as the wicked queen in the Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) adaptations of the gloomy fairy tale. She also played a cold and imposing space mission leader in the 2012 science fiction thriller Prometheus.

Theron’s later roles include a gunslinger who helps Seth MacFarlane’s shepherd in the spoof A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), the intimidating warrior Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), and the detective Libby Day in the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s thriller Dark Places (2015). As a grumpy monkey, Theron lent her voice to the 2016 animated film Kubo and the Two Strings. In 2017, she featured as a British spy in Atomic Blonde and as Mia in The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in the Fast and the Furious franchise. In 2018, Theron starred in the dark comedy Gringo, in which she played a pharmaceutical company executive abducted by members of a drug cartel in Mexico, and the drama Tully, in which she played a stressed-out mother of three to rave reviews.

Long Shot (2019), a romantic comedy in which Theron stars, sees her as a U.S. secretary of state who is considering a bid for president. Bombshell, a docudrama on the sexual harassment crisis that ultimately led to Roger Ailes’ resignation as CEO of Fox News Channel, is another of her 2019 credits. Theron earned her third Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Megyn Kelly in this film. Her subsequent film roles were F9: The Fast Saga (2021), the ninth chapter of the Fast and Furious franchise, and The Old Guard (2020), about a band of immortal mercenaries. The animated comedy The Addams Family (2019) and its sequel (2021) both include her voice as Morticia, the family matriarch.

Personal life

Theron became a US citizen in 2007 while keeping her South African citizenship.

Theron adopted a daughter in March 2012 and another in July 2015. She grew interested in adoption as a youngster after seeing orphanages overflowing with children. Theron announced Jackson, 7, is a transgender female in April 2019. She stated of her children, “They were born who they are and exactly where in the world both of them get to find themselves as they grow up, and who they want to be, is not for me to decide”.

Susan Sarandon and Sigourney Weaver inspire her. She called Tom Hanks a “love affair” and watched several of his films as a child. Because Hollywood celebrities were rarely published in South African periodicals, she did not realise how famous he was until she arrived in the US, which may explain her “down-to-earth” attitude to fame. After shooting That Thing You Do! After finishing, Theron signed Hanks’ screenplay. In 2020, she gave him his Cecil B. DeMille Award, and Hanks said he has admired Theron’s work since he met her.

In 2018, Theron revealed she went to treatment in her thirties for anger and discovered it was related to her dissatisfaction growing up under South Africa’s apartheid, which ended when she was 15.

A longtime supporter of Depeche Mode, Theron presented their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2020.


Theron’s first public relationship was with actor Craig Bierko from 1995 until 1997.

Stephan Jenkins and Theron dated for three years until October 2001. Third Eye Blind’s third album, Out of the Vein, addresses Jenkins’ post-breakup feelings.

Theron met Stuart Townsend on Trapped in 2001 and started dating him. They resided in Ireland and Los Angeles. The pair parted late 2009.

Theron dated Sean Penn in December 2013 and ended in June 2015.


Green eyes and blond hair.

Statuesque, model-like figure

Fun Facts

Charlize Theron has won several awards, including an Oscar, a SAG Award, and a Golden Globe, and she is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world. 

Denver and Delilah Productions is Theron’s firm where she produces movies. She has produced and starred in a number of films, such as The Burning Plain (2008), Dark Places (2015), and Long Shot (2019). 

1. Charlize Spent Her Childhood on a Farm 

Theron was born on August 7, 1975, in Benoni, South Africa, which is close to Johannesburg. She spent her childhood on a farm in Benoni, then part of Transvaal Province (now part of Gauteng Province). She has always been responsible for the care and feeding of animals. 

Charlize Theron is Gerda and Charles Theron’s only child. She comes from a family of Afrikaners and can trace her roots back to the Netherlands, France, and Germany.  

She became a strong supporter of animal rights because of her upbringing on a farm. She even posed for an anti-fur PETA commercial with her dog by her side. 

2. Her mother killed her own father in a self-defense shooting. 

Charlize’s father made drunken threats toward her and her mother when she was 15 years old, on June 21, 1991. An alcoholic, that was him. He had beaten his wife and kid violently and had even shot at them on that fateful day. 

Theron’s mother got a firearm, fired back, killing the man who had attacked her and her son. Her mother was not prosecuted because the shooting was ruled to have been justified self-defense. 

Theron informed her pals that her father died in a vehicle accident after her mother murdered him. She didn’t want anyone to know how difficult things had been at home. Charlize no longer denies this fact, but she also avoids discussing it. 

3. In addition to English, Charlize also speaks Afrikaans. 

Charlie speaks two languages fluently. This actress’s native tongue is Afrikaans, a Dutch-influenced South African dialect she also speaks fluently.  

She claims she picked up the language by watching American soap operas. 

4. She Was Discovered at a Bank 

Photo: Reuters

Theron was attempting to withdraw funds from a South African account at a Los Angeles bank when she was 19 years old. She got into an argument with the bank teller when she was unable to withdraw her funds. 

Because of this commotion, a man called John Crosby had to pay attention to her. He followed closely on her heels like a consumer.  Afterwards, the manager asked Theron if she wanted an agency in Hollywood. Theron’s first acting part was in Children of the Corn III, and she got it thanks to Crosby. 

5. She has two children of her own. 

Charlize has two children who are not her biological offspring but whom she has adopted. She has always been curious about adopting a child. She learned about orphanages and their crowded conditions later in life.  

In March of 2012, she adopted Jackson as her first child. She came out with the news that Jackson, then seven years old, is transgender in 2019. Her second daughter, August, was adopted in July of 2015. 

She insisted that she had no say over her girls’ futures or their identities as they develop because they were born with such characteristics. 

6. She Holds Two Passports 

Charlize’s modelling career began when she was 16 years old and she and her mother relocated from South Africa to Milan, Italy. After that, she and her mom relocated to the United States, settling in New York and Miami. 

A knee injury halted her career as a ballet dancer, which she had been training for at New York’s Joffrey Ballet School. Her mother sent her on a one-way flight to Hollywood with the hope that she would find a job in the film business. 

She made her way into the business world and thrived there. At the age of 32, Charlize obtained her U.S. citizenship in 2007. She still holds her South African passport. 

7. Nelson Mandela threw a party in her honour  

Both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe were bestowed upon her for her portrayal of serial murderer Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 film Monster.  

After her victory, Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, extended an invitation for Theron to visit family and friends. Hugging her and thanking her for bringing attention to their country, he gave her a large party. Charlize’s tears were obviously real. 

 8. Her name is engraved on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

On September 29, 2005, the Hollywood community recognized Charlize with a star at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to the motion film industry. 

9. Charlize Theron Is a UN Peace Messenger

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appointed Theron a Messenger of Peace in 2008. 

He praised Charlize’s unwavering commitment to helping women and children in South Africa. She felt strongly about ending violence against females and working to prevent it. 

10. Among Charlize’s charitable endeavours is an effort to combat HIV/AIDS. 

Actress Charlize Theron established the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) in 2007 to aid young people in Africa who are working to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  

The project’s goal is to strengthen community-based groups working to eliminate the underlying causes of the disease. CTAOP’s reach spans across Sub-Saharan Africa, although the most of its efforts have been focused on Charlize’s native South Africa.

Charlize is interesting in many more unrelated ways. Did you know that she sought help for rage issues in her thirties? When she was 15 years old, apartheid in South Africa was finally overthrown, and she realised the source of her anger.

She had to have her top incisor milk teeth surgically removed since they had rotted due to antibiotic treatment when she was a child.

She shaved her head for her role in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and she gained weight for her role as Aileen Wuornos in “Monster,” released in 2003.

Career pause; fluctuations (2009–2016)

Her 2009 films include the post-apocalyptic movie The Road, in which she appears in flashbacks, and Astro Boy, in which she voices a character. Theron and many other South African celebrities co-presented the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw in Cape Town on December 4, 2009. She drew an Ireland ball instead of France during rehearsals to mock FIFA, referencing Thierry Henry’s handball controversy in the play-off match between France and Ireland. FIFA was worried she would do it again in front of a live global audience.

Theron returned to cinema in 2011 with Young Adult, a black comedy, after two years. The film, directed by Jason Reitman, was lauded for her portrayal of a miserable divorced, alcoholic 37-year-old ghostwriter. Richard Roeper gave the film an A, saying “Charlize Theron delivers one of the most impressive performances of the year”. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and other honours. She was named one of the finest performers by Roger Ebert.

In 2019, Theron discussed her role-playing style. She said creating a character’s physical and emotional identities is “a great tool set that adds on to everything else you were already doing as an actor. It’s a case-by-case thing, but there is, to me, this beautiful thing that happens when you can get both sides: the exterior and interior. It’s a really powerful dynamic”. “I almost treat it like studying. I will find space where I am alone, where I can be focused, where there’s nobody in my house, and I can really just sit down and study and play and look at my face and hear my voice and walk around and be a fucking idiot and my dogs are the only ones who are seeing that” when preparing for a

Theron played the villain in two big-budget films in 2012. She played Snow White’s terrible stepmother, terrible Queen Ravenna, in Snow White and the Huntsman starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, and a crew member with a hidden motive in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle found Snow White and the Huntsman to be “[a] slow, boring film that has no charm and is highlighted only by a handful of special effects and Charlize Theron’s truly evil queen”, while The Hollywood Reporter writer Todd McCarthy, describing her role in Prometheus, asserted: “Theron is in ice goddess mode here, with the emphasis on ice but perfect for the role all the same”. Both films were major box office hits, grossing around US$400 million internationally each.The following year, 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”. On 10 May 2014, Theron hosted Saturday Night Live on NBC. In 2014, Theron took on the role of the wife of an infamous outlaw in the western comedy film A Million Ways to Die in the West, directed by Seth MacFarlane, which was met with mediocre reviews and moderate box office returns.

Theron played the sole survivor of her family’s massacre in Dark Places, directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, in which she had a producer credit and starred as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), opposite Tom Hardy. Mad Max received critical acclaim, with Theron praised for her dominant character. She reprised Queen Ravenna in the 2016 sequel Snow White and the Huntsman: Winter’s War, which was a critical and commercial flop. Theron starred as a West African doctor and activist in the 2016 romantic drama The Last Face with Sean Penn, voiced Kubo and the Two Strings, and produced Brain on Fire. The Time 100 list of the world’s most important individuals included her that year.

Resurgence 2017–present

Theron played a spy on the eve of the Berlin Wall’s fall in 1989 in Atomic Blonde, a David Leitch adaptation of the graphic novel The Coldest City. The Fate of the Furious grossed US$1.2 billion worldwide. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times called Atomic Blonde “a slick vehicle for the magnetic, badass charms of Charlize Theron, who is now officially an A-list action star on the strength of this film and Mad Max: Fury Road”. Theron portrays an overwhelmed mother of three in Jason Reitman’s black comedy Tully (2018). Critics said the film “delves into the modern parenthood experience with an admirably deft blend of humour and raw honesty, brought to life by an outstanding performance by Charlize Theron”. In 2018’s Gringo and A Private War, she played a pharmaceutical company president and produced a biographical war drama.

Jonathan Levine directed and Theron produced the 2019 romantic comedy Long Shot, in which she played a U.S. The Secretary of State reunited with a journalist she babysat. The film premiered at South by Southwest in March 2019 and was released on 3 May 2019 to positive reviews. Theron then co-produced Bombshell as Megyn Kelly. Jay Roach directed the film about former Fox News employees’ sexual harassment allegations against Roger Ailes. The film earned Theron nominations for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Movie Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and BAFTA Award for Best Actress. That year, Forbes named her the ninth highest-paid actress in the world, earning $23 million. In 2020, she produced and appeared with KiKi Layne in The Old Guard, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. The following year, she resumed her role as Cipher in F9, initially slated for release on 22 May 2020, until its postponement to June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon the film’s release in May 2022, it was confirmed that Theron will be portraying the character Clea in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), beginning with her debut in the mid-credits sequence of the superhero picture Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. She portrays Lady Lesso in the fantasy Netflix film The School for Good and Evil (2022). The actress makes an appearance in Season 3 premiere of The Boys as an actress portraying Stormfront.

In 2023, Theron executive produced Last Call: When a Serial Murderer Stalked Queer New York, a documentary series based on a serial murderer praying against homosexual men for HBO.


Photo: Reuters

Theron, a UN Messenger of Peace, founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) in 2007 to help African youth combat HIV/AIDS. The initiative is devoted to assisting community-engaged groups that address the major causes of the illness. Although the geographic reach of CTAOP is Sub-Saharan Africa, the major concentrate has primarily been Charlize’s native nation of South Africa. By November 2017, CTAOP had generated more than $6.3 million to help African groups operating on the ground.

In 2008, Theron was appointed a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In his citation, Ban Ki-Moon remarked 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 taped a public service message in 2014 as part of their Stop Rape Now initiative.

In December 2009, CTAOP and Toms Shoes cooperated to design a limited edition unisex sneaker. The African baobab tree shape was stitched on blue and orange fabric to inspire the vegan shoe. Ten thousand pairs were provided to underprivileged children, and a percentage of the revenues went to CTAOP.

CTAOP and Parfums Christian Dior launched Dior Stands With Women in 2020, including Cara Delevingne, Yalitza Aparicio, Leona Bloom, Paloma Elsesser, and others, to inspire women to be assertive by sharing their journeys, struggles, and successes.

Theron marches at pro-choice rallies and supports women’s rights.

Theron supported same-sex marriage during a march and rally in Fresno, California, on 30 May 2009. She refused to marry until same-sex marriage was legal in the US, saying: “I don’t want to get married because 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 gay and lesbian friends who would. In a June 2011 Piers Morgan Tonight interview, Theron clarified her position. “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 than right”

CTAOP was one of the organisations that benefited from the 86th Academy Awards’ Fame and Philanthropy fundraiser in March 2014. Theron, Halle Berry, and keynote speaker James Cameron were honoured guests.

Theron signed an open letter that One Campaign had been collecting signatures for to Angela Merkel and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in 2015, urging them to focus on women as head of the G7 in Germany and the AU in South Africa, which will set development funding priorities before a September 2015 UN summit that will set new development goals for the generation. In August 2017, she visited South Africa with Trevor Noah and donated to Life Choices. The International AIDS Society’s 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam in 2018 included her AIDS prevention lecture.

Theron has been a UN Messenger of Peace since 2008.

The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS fundraising extravaganza awarded Theron and Sheryl Lee Ralph the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award on June 22, 2022, for their HIV awareness efforts.


Theron succeeded Estonian model Tiiu Kuik as Christian Dior’s J’Adore ambassador after signing with John Galliano in 2004. She appears in a 2018 Dior J’adore ad. Theron won US$3 million for a global Raymond Weil watch print media advertising campaign from October 2005 to December 2006. Weil sued her and her production business for contract violation in February 2006.  The lawsuit was resolved 4 November 2008. Theron joined Brad Pitt, Daniel Wu, and Adam Driver as Breitling Cinema Squad brand ambassadors in 2018.

Health issues

Theron typically jokes about her injuries on non-action film sets, but during Æon Flux filming in Berlin, she sustained a ruptured disc in her neck from a fall during back handsprings. She wore a neck brace for a month. Her thumb ligament tore during The Old Guard when it snagged in another actor’s jacket during a fight scene, requiring three surgeries and six months in a thumb brace. Atomic Blonde was filmed without significant injuries, although she shattered her teeth from jaw clenching and underwent dental surgery to remove them: “I had the removal and I had to put a donor bone in there to heal until I came back, and then I had another surgery to put a metal screw in there.”

She experienced a herniated disk in her lower back while filming Tully and suffered from depression, which she blamed on the processed food she had to eat for her character’s post-natal physique. She was diagnosed with a nasty stomach infection in July 2009, likely caught abroad. During her screaming sequences in The Road, Theron strained her voice chords. When advertising Long Shot, she said she laughed so hard at Borat that her neck was locked for five days. She said that she “ended up in the ER” on “Long Shot” after hitting her head on a seat behind her while putting on knee pads.


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