Before the days of YouTube and talent competition television shows, talent scouts had a tough job. Talent scouts were responsible for finding diamonds in the rough that simply needed a good polish. One such notable talent scout, John Crosby, discovered one of Hollywood’s most charming leading ladies, while she threw a temper tantrum in a bank. While she waved her arms and screamed at a teller, Crosby believed he saw a “vision”, and handed the young Charlize Theron his business card.
Charlize Theron was born on August 7th 1975 on a small farm outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. Raised on a farm, Theron grew up with a good sense of the outdoors, and a love of adventure that would benefit her later in life. At the age of 6, Theron fell in love with dance, and at 12 left home to attend a private school for the performing arts.
Although Theron exuded confidence as a teen, her home life was not always stable. In 1991, while on break from school, a fight erupted between her alcoholic father, and her mother. In self-defense, her mother shot at her attacking husband, and he was fatally wounded. This life changing incident brought the mother-daughter closer together. Soon after this ordeal, Theron was urged by her mother to enter a modeling contest in Johannesburg. After winning the competition, she quit school and signed to a modeling agency, traveling Europe as a runway and advertising model. The money from modeling financed her with enough money to train at the renowned Joffrey Ballet, until she suffered an injury that ended her career in dance for good.
With a new focus, and unbreakable determination, Theron moved to California in 1994 to pursue acting, and on one faithful day she was handed a business card that would forever change her life. John Crosby helped her shed her South African accent to become more versatile, and landed her an acting job in the 1996 film, 2 Days in the Valley. Theron’s star status was sealed from then on.
Her model appearance, and beauty brought in loads of offers to play the “attractive man-eater”, but she was not interested in being type casted. Since that first role, she starred in many box office hits, such as, The Devil’s Advocate(1997), Mighty Joe Young(1998), The Astronauts Wife(1999), Men of Honor (2000),The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000), Sweet November (2001), The Italian Job(2003) etc.
In 2003, Theron landed another role that would solidify her status as a truly amazing actor. The film Monster is about Aileen Wuornos a serial killer that was executed in the state of Florida in 2002. For the role Theron had to gain 30lbs and literally transformed herself into Wuornos. The well-respected film critic, Roger Ebert, named Monster the best film of 2003, and said that her performance was one of the greatest in the history of cinema.
Since her discovery in a California bank, Theron has won numerous acting awards: Academy Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award, Best Actress in a Drama, and a Sag Award. She is also an activist in support of pro-choice, women’s rights and a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). For this year, Theron has starring roles in two big budget films set to release in June of 2012. In Snow White & the Huntsman, she will be playing the evil Queen Ravenna, and in Prometheus, she will star alongside Michael Fassbender in one of the most highly anticipated films of this year!