The Early Years... Charlize Theron was born in South Africa in a small "dorp" named Benoni. She grew up as the only child on her family's farm. Learned the some of her 28 languages from staff on this family farm. Her parents also owned a road construction business at the same time. At the age of 6, Charlize took up ballet and began to think of going professional. She would soon take her dancing ability to higher levels, going professional in the town of Johannesburg. The Teen Years...
At 13, in Johannesburg, her parents enrolled her in a boarding school. At a young age, Charlize lost her Father. This left her mother, Gerda, in charge of the family's road-construction business. At the age of 16 she took an offer to begin modelling in Milan, Italy, offered after winning a local modeling contest. This, however, lasted for only a year when she grew tired of being seen as "somebody beautiful who should not say a word." On the last day of a modelling shoot in Manhattan, New York, she decided she would not return to Italy. (Her U.S. citizenship is still pending). She decided to return to her first love -- ballet. She began dancing with the Joffrey school in New York.
After completing such popular shows as the Nutcracker Suite and Swan Lake, she suffered a knee injury that ended her ballet dancing career at the young age of 18. The Hollywood Years... Without the ability to dance ballet, and nearly broke, Charlize bought a one way ticket to Hollywood at the urging of her mother, Gerda. She arrived in Fairfax, California where she set up shop in the Farmer's Daughter Motel. It was in 1994 that she was "discovered." When an L.A. bank teller refused to cash her out-of-town cheque because she did not have an account at the bank, she threw "a little tantrum." This tantrum was witnessed by a talent manager named John Crosby, who also represents Rene Russo and John Hurt. He called this screaming, arm-waving tantrum-thrower a "vision" and immediately asked her "I don't know what you do, but if you're interested in acting, here's my card." Initially skeptical of the card, she was informed by a friend that John Crosby was legitimate.
Of course, with no money or job, she was definitely interested and set out to shed her South African accent. She began watching hours of television and singing along to American songs on the radio. Soon after, she acquired her first acting job -- 2 Days in the Valley. This was followed by an audition for a new Tom Hanks movie, who raved upon the completion of her audition, "She's got it! That girl is going to be somebody." As her star rose, on December 19th of 1997, Charlize dumped the agent that had brought her there abruptly, something she does not discuss in public.
The Present Time... Charlize is presently dating the lead singer of the band Third Eye Blind, Stephan Jenkins. This comes after a long turn at the single life following a breakup with actor Craig Bierko (The Long Kiss Goodnight). She recently found herself in the centre of a highly publicized controversy surrounding an advertisement she did in her native South Africa. The campaign, an anti-rape series done in an attempt to bring notice to the high incidence of rape in South Africa, was met with complaints after it was felt the ad was "anti-men" in general.
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