Charlize Theron: 24 Facts

2009-06-05 18:14

South Africa's golden girl Charlize Theron has a new movie currently on circuit called The Burning Plain. In it she plays a damaged woman who is on the run from her painful past, but finds comfort in the arms (and beds) of random men.

Watch the trailer and check out our review.

But onto the star herself, who has carved out an incredible career for herself after leaving the land of her birth for the bright lights of Hollywood. Here are some facts about her you probably didn’t know. Let the countdown begin….

1.    Charlize was named after her late father, Charles.

2.    She won her Academy Award for playing convicted serial killer Aileen Wournos in Monster on 29 February, 2004 – what would have been Wournos' 48th birthday.

3.    Will Smith punched her in the face! While working together on The Legend of Bagger Vance in 2000, Smith got carried away showing off the boxing skills he'd picked up while preparing to play Muhammad Ali, and accidentally connected with her pretty face. Ouch!

4.    Been wondering when she and long-time boyfriend Stuart Townsend are going to tie the knot? Get ready for a long wait – both she and Stuart have expressed that they will only get married when gay marriage has been legalised across the US.

5.    "That was a bad, bad, bad movie. But even though the movie might suck, I got to work with John Frankenheimer." Which of her movies is Charlize referring to? *Read on to find out the answer.*

6.    She really has no problem getting naked for her art. Some of the movies in which she bares her boobs include The Devil's Advocate, Head in the Clouds, Reindeer Games, Monster, and her new movie The Burning Plain.

7.    That flawless American accent she has affected since moving to Hollywood was crafted while watching American TV shows as a youngster in SA.

8.    Aeon Flux, in which Charlize plays a slick assassin, is not one of her most memorable movies. She admitted that she only took the job for the $10 million pay cheque.

9.    She moved to the US in 1991, the same year that she witnessed her father being shot and killed by her mother. Gerda Theron was never charged for the incident, after it was ruled that her husband was in an alcoholic rage and she acted in self-defence.

10.    Charlize became a naturalised US citizen in May 2007.

11.    One of the anti-rape ads she shot in South Africa in 1999 (in which she states the country's appalling rape statistics) was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority after they ruled that it implied all SA men were rapists.

12.    Afrikaans is her mother tongue, and wasn't entirely abandoned after she made her US move. In the movie 15 Minutes, opposite Robert de Niro, she converses in Afrikaans over the phone in a brief scene.

13.    Charlize has compared the ban on same-sex marriage in the US to apartheid in South Africa.

14.    Talk about blonde! She was sued by exclusive watchmaker Raymond Weil, with which she had a $20 million contract to promote their brand, after she appeared on the red carpet and in a print ad sporting a watch by Christian Dior.

15.    She used to date Third Eye Blind lead singer Stephan Jenkins for three years. Whatever happened to him?

16.    That Oscar win for Monster in 2004 was no fluke! Until 2009, Charlize was the only actress this century to be nominated for an Oscar again (for North Country in 2006) after already having won the award. Angelina Jolie became the second with her nomination for Changeling at the 81st Academy Awards.

17.    It's not all been acclaim and shiny golden statuettes for our Charlize. She was nominated for the dreaded Worst Actress Razzie in 2002 for Sweet November.

18.    Her first major movie role was in Two Days in the Valley, in which she gets into an epic underwear catfight with Teri Hatcher. A girl's gotta start somewhere, right?

19.    Like most socially conscious Hollywood heavyweights, Charlize has campaigned for many worthy causes, including PETA and Rape Crisis, and is a UN Messenger of Peace with a focus on ending violence against women and children.

20.    She ventured out of her dramatic comfort zone, playing the child-like Rita in five episodes of the final season of TV series Arrested Development opposite Jason Bateman, with whom she would later co-star in Hancock.

21.    She is the second actress (the first was Kim Basinger) to win an Oscar after appearing naked in Playboy magazine.

22.    She auditioned for the lead in Showgirls, the 1995  movie about the rise and fall of a Las Vegas stripper (the role eventually went to Elizabeth Berkley). After the movie bombed at the box office, Charlize said her failure to land the part was a blessing in disguise.

23.    Charlize received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 2005.

24.    In the early days of her career, Charlize lied about the circumstances of her father's death, and told people that he died in a car accident.

* The movie Charlize spoke out against was Reindeer Games, in which she starred opposite Ben Affleck.


  • Werner Lombard - 2009-06-08 07:46

    Correction on the one movie title: It is the "Legend of Bagger Vance" 2000, directed by Robert Redford (

  • fred bowles - 2009-06-08 11:02

    i loved the movie ITALIAN JOB

  • mack - 2009-06-08 16:04

    and to think she comes from Benoni ! my old hometown ! and what a disfunctional place it is ! WELL DONE CHARLIZE !

  • Gina - 2009-06-08 17:20

    No.9...???? In 2001 was not the year that Charlize's mother shot her father, Charlize was 15 years when this happened. "At the tender age of 15 years, the Monster star witnessed the horrific scene. But 16 years down the lane she still refuses to describe the nights events." The above tqaken off google search. Please correct the article

  • Don - 2009-06-08 20:10

    Have you seen her family tree on

  • Shaheema - 2009-06-09 08:58

    @ Gina. You seem to have read the sentence incorrectly. Charlize's father died in 1991 (not 2001) the year she turned 16.

  • INGRID - 2009-06-09 13:27

    I am so tired of hearing about charlize, can we please hear about something else for a change, something that really matters in our lives, instead of the life of some petty "star" who thinks she ha the right to take up all of our time with what she is and what her problems were, get over it girl, stop playing the poor little south african girl gravy train and gwo up.

  • LESEGO LEDIGA - 2009-06-18 14:55


  • sharon - 2010-02-08 10:54

    I love the movie Italian Job

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