Charlize Theron (born August 7, 1975) is an Academy Award-winning South African actress and former fashion model. At the age of sixteen, Theron traveled to Milan, Italy, on a one-year modeling contract, after winning a local competition. Her contract ended while she was in New York City, and she decided to remain there, attending the Joffrey Ballet School, where she trained as a ballet dancer. A knee injury closed this career path when she was 18.

Unable to dance, she bought a ticket to Los Angeles. After eight months in the city, she was cast in her first film part, a non-speaking role in the direct-to-video film Children of the Corn III. She followed this with larger roles in widely released Hollywood films, and her career skyrocketed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with box office successes like The Devil's Advocate, The Cider House Rules, Mighty Joe Young, and The Italian Job.

After appearing in a few notable films, Theron starred as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster (2003), for which Theron won the Best Actress Oscar at the 76th Academy Awards in February 2004, as well as the SAG Award and the Golden Globe Award. She is the first South African to win an Oscar for Best Actress. After Monster, Theron worked on movies like Astro Boy (2009) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).

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