Charlize Theron , As legend has it, Charlize Theron was discovered by an agent while fighting with a bank manager on Hollywood Boulevard. Eighteen and starving, Theron purportedly got into the argument after the manager refused to cash her check. The outburst caught the agent's attention, and eight months later Theron got her first acting job. Since then, she has become one of the fastest rising stars in Hollywood, thanks to a combination of talent and the blonde, statuesque good looks so loved by the camera.
Born August 7, 1975, Theron was raised on a farm in Benoni, South Africa. Trained as a ballet dancer, she was sent to Milan at sixteen to become a model following the death of her father. Theron tired of modeling and went back to her first love, dancing, which resulted in a move to New York to dance with the Joffrey Ballet. Unfortunately, her dancing career was halted by a knee injury, which led Theron--at her mother's behest--to travel to Los Angeles to try her luck with acting. After a long, unprofitable struggle, fate smiled upon Theron in the form of the aforementioned bank encounter. Following a bit part in 1994's Children of the Corn III, Theron found recognition with Two Days in the Valley (1996). The film wasn't particularly successful, but it gave Theron both much-needed exposure and critical praise. It also acted as the stepping stone to her first leading role, that of Keanu Reeves' wife in The Devil's Advocate (1997).
The film drew poor reviews, but Theron's performance was widely singled out for praise. Her next project, Trial and Error (1997), surfaced briefly and then disappeared without a trace, but the subsequent Mighty Joe Young (1998) netted Theron more positive notices. Theron's ascent was confirmed with her casting in Woody Allen's 1998 cameo-fest Celebrity. With her performance as a perpetually aroused supermodel, Theron shone in a role seemingly designed to allow her to flaunt the natural attributes, which played a significant role in the success she had so long coveted.