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. She subsequently went on to become one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood, thanks to a fortuitous combination of talent and the blonde, statuesque good looks so fervently adored 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 16 to become a model following the death of her father (which, it was later revealed, occurred after he was shot by Theron's mother, who was defending herself from his drunken abuse). After tiring of modeling, Theron returned to her first love, dancing, which resulted in a move to New York to dance with the Joffrey Ballet. Unfortunately, her 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.