Charlize Theron ( /ʃɑrˈliːs ˈθɛrən/; born 7 August 1975) is a South African actress, film producer and former fashion model.
She rose to fame in the late 1990s following her roles in 2 Days in the Valley, Mighty Joe Young, The Devil's Advocate and The Cider House Rules. She received critical acclaim and an Academy Award for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster, for which she became the first South African to win an Academy Award in a major acting category. She received another Academy Award nomination for her performance in North Country.
Theron was born in Benoni, Gauteng Province, South Africa, the only child of Gerda Jacoba Aletta (née Maritz; born 27 January 1953) and Charles Jacobus Theron (27 November 1947 – 21 June 1991). Her mother is of German descent and her father was of Occitan and Dutch ancestry; Theron is descended from early Huguenot settlers, and Boer War figure Daniel Theron was her great-great uncle. "Theron" is an Occitan surname (originally spelled Théron) pronounced in Afrikaans as "Tronn", although she has said that the way it is pronounced in South Africa is "Thrown". She changed the pronunciation when she moved to the US.