Charlize Theron, born August 7, 1975, is a South African and American actress and film producer. She’s known for starring in many Hollywood movies, such as The Devil’s Advocate, Mighty Joe Young, The Cider House Rules, Monster, The Italian Job, Hancock, The Road, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Fate of the Furious and Atomic Blonde. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Charlize Theron.
1. Theron received critical acclaim for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, for which she won the Academy Award, Silver Bear, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress, among other accolades, becoming the first South African to win an Academy Award in a major acting category.
2. She received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for her performance in the sexual harassment themed drama North Country, and a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance in Jason Reitman’s movie Young Adult.
3. She was born in Benoni, in the then-Transvaal Province, now Gauteng Province, of South Africa, the only child of Gerda Jacoba Aletta and Charles Jacobus Theron.
4. Second Boer War figure Danie Theron was her great-great-uncle.
5. She is from an Afrikaner family, and her ancestry includes Dutch as well as French and German. Her French forebears were early Huguenot settlers in South Africa.
6. On June 21, 1991, Theron’s father, an alcoholic, threatened both teenaged Charlize and her mother while drunk, physically attacking her mother. Theron’s mother then shot and killed him. The shooting was legally adjudged to have been self-defense, and her mother faced no charges.
7. Theron attended Putfontein Primary School, a period during which she has said she wasn’t fitting in.
8. At 13, Theron was sent to boarding school and began her studies at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg.
9. Although Theron is fluent in English, her first language is Afrikaans.
10. Nude pictures of her taken years earlier appeared in the May 1999 issue of Playboy Magazine.
11. She turned down the female lead in Pearl Harbor to star alongside Keanu reeves in Sweet November.
12. On the show Shootout, it was revealed that her manager discovered her in a Hollywood bank after he witnessed her shouting at a bank teller for refusing to cash her check.
13. After winning her Oscar, she returned to great celebrations in her native South Africa, and she even met former South African President Nelson Mandela. When he praised her for putting their country on the map and gave her a hug, Theron broke into tears.
14. In 2004, she injured her neck while filming Aeon Flux. Fortunately, the injury was not serious enough to put her in the hospital, but it did postpone production for several weeks.
15. As a teenager in her native South Africa, she learned English by watching American television.
16. In 2005, she was the first person to sign on to be a presenter at the 77th Annual Academy Awards.
17. She’s the second actress, after Kim Basinger, to win an Oscar after appearing nude in Playboy Magazine.
18. She’s the second South African born person to win an Academy Award, Ted Moore was the first. Basil Rathbone was the first South African born actor to be nominated, followed by Cecil Kellaway. Theron was the first South African born woman to win an Oscar.
19. She trained as a ballet dancer at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, and performed in both Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Her dancing career ended after a knee injury.
20. One of the first movies she ever went to see at the theater was Splash. She confessed that after watching the movie, she felt jealous of Daryl Hannah and developed a crush on Tom Hanks. She even said to herself that she could have played the role of Madison better than Hannah.
21. She earns $2 million per year endorsing Dior’s “J’Adore” fragrance, as well as $2.5 million per year endorsing Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil.
22. At 16, Theron won a modeling competition to go to Milan, Italy, and work on the catwalks. At 18, she won a scholarship to study ballet at the Joffrey School in New York. She turned to acting only because she injured both knees, killing any hopes of a ballet career.
23. She was considered for the role of Vickie Kittrie in Mercy, which went to Peta Wilson.
24. She is good friends with her North Country co-star, Jeremy Renner.
25. Theron always speaks Afrikaans with her mother, who lives two minutes from her in Los Angeles. They have matching fish tattoos.
26. She suffers from OCD to the extent that, if renting a house or hotel room during a movie shoot, she can’t relax until she has explored every closet, locker and drawer in the premises.
27. Theron is involved in women’s rights organizations, and has marched in pro-choice rallies.
28. She is a supporter of animal rights and appeared in a PETA ad for its anti-fur campaign.
29. She has her own charity called the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, which is committed to reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and sexual violence among African youth.
30. She has two adopted children: a son named Jackson Theron and a daughter named August Theron.