“I can’t think of anything that anyone has ever accomplished without having some sort of self-discipline. Without knowing how to work for it. Without learning how to earn it. I talk to my friends who are writers. I say, “Well, how do you do it?” Most all of them will say, “I sit down. I force myself every day to sit down and write for at least two hours. Whether something comes out of it or doesn’t come out of it, whether I finish my fifty pages or two, I sit down and I do that because I have to make myself do it.” — Cameron Diaz
Known for her easy-going nature and fun-loving style, it’s impossible to say a bad word about Cameron Diaz. She is just too sweet, humble and nice! She is also a super talented actor, famous for her comedy and action roles in films such as There’s Something About Mary and Charlie’s Angels. The now semi-retired star also leads a full life outside of acting, with passions ranging from writing to extreme sports to environmental activism—and a huge love for her friends. Diaz seems to have truly figured it all out. Read on for more fun and funny facts about one of Hollywood’s sweetest celebrities.
43. Beautiful Beginnings
Cameron Diaz was born in San Diego in 1972, and her middle name is Michelle.
42. Lucky Break
Diaz’s big break was in 1994 when she was awarded the role of Tina Carlyle, the jazz singer in the film The Mask. She had no acting experience at the time and once cast, immediately started lessons. She said she was horrified on the set when Jim Carrey took off the mask. “The process of taking it off is terrifying. It’s just like, glue and chunks of sponge would stay on his face…” Diaz recounted the story at age 41 with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. As a prank, Ellen had a man dressed as The Mask sneak up on her, which left Cameron in a fit of giggles.
The film was a huge success (one of the top grossing films of 1994) and Diaz’s career began in earnest.
41. Golden Child
She has received many awards and nominations for work throughout her career, including Golden Globe nominations for Being John Malkovich and Gangs of New York and the New York Film Critics Best Lead Actress Award for There’s Something about Mary.
40. Heavy Hitter
Despite being semi-retired, Diaz is still the 5th highest-grossing actress in Hollywood, after Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana, Cate Blanchett, and Emma Watson.
39. Show Me the Money!
She almost had the role opposite Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire—ultimately, they chose Renee Zellweger.
38. Beauty Blend
She gets her amazing looks and personality from an international ancestry: her mother has English, Scots-Irish, and German roots, while her father is Cuban with Spanish heritage.
37. Famous For
Around Hollywood circles, Diaz is known for being very superstitious and also for being late.
36. Natural Performer
Her performing streak started in high school, where she was a member of the Polyettes, the dance-drill team that performed at sporting events. Later in life, this experience helped her on-set, where she was recognized as a natural athlete who had no problem picking up complex choreography quickly.
35. There’s Something About That Scene
Perhaps the scene Diaz is most famous for is the “hair gel” scene from There’s Something About Mary. Although applauded for always taking on the most extreme and silly comedy bits, Diaz has recently admitted that she had cold feet about the scene on the day of filming. In an interview, Diaz remembers thinking “This could derail my career.” Of course, she did end up doing the scene, and it’s been comedy gold ever since.
34. Nineties Craze
Remember L.A. Gear? Who could forget, really? Probably not Cameron Diaz—she was a model for them in the 1990s, along with Nivea and Coca-Cola.
33. Travels Well
Her modeling career meshed well with her curiosity and eagerness to see the world. After high school, she spent the next five years working as a model and traveling the world. She lived in many places including Paris, Morocco, and Australia, and for much of it was unaccompanied, except for a fellow model of the same age.
32. Past Lives
Her nickname as a child was “skeletor” because she was very skinny.
31. Sisterly Love
Diaz has an older sister named Chimene.
30. Married Life
Despite writing off marriage as a “dying institution,” Diaz married musician Benji Madden in 2015 after a brief engagement of 17 days.
29. There’s Something About Those Lamb Chops
Diaz told Bon Appetit magazine that her husband’s favorite recipe of hers is her lamb chops, which she makes with lemon, garlic, oil, salt and oregano, and then grills to perfection. According to Diaz, “Everything tastes better with a squeeze of lemon.”
Although her choice of partner in Benji Madden came as a surprise to many, those who knew Diaz well in high school wouldn’t be shocked to learn she ended up with a tattooed rocker. When she was young, Diaz loved Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, and Ozzy Osbourne, and dated accordingly.
27. Indie Chick
After her early success in The Mask, Diaz sought more independent film projects, starring in the lesser-known films The Last Supper, Feeling Minnesota, She’s the One and Head Above Water. After her work in independents, she returned to mainstream comedy opposite Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding.
26. Kids’ Choice
For her turn as the voice of Fiona in Shrek: Forever After, Diaz almost won the Kids’ Choice award. She was beat by Eddie Murphy–the voice of the donkey in Shrek.
25. No Social Media Butterfly
Although she has made a career in movies and performing, Diaz prefers to stay off social media. She isn’t interested in sharing every detail of her life and has called social media a “crazy-a** experiment on society.”
24. Plot Confusion
In an interview in 1994, Diaz admitted that she doesn’t always read scripts and sometimes finds it hard to understand the plot of a movie she is shooting, since the scenes are often made out of order.
23. Teen Dreams
At the age of 17, Diaz was fittingly featured on the cover of teen girl magazine Seventeen. At that time, she told the magazine that her “ultimate dream would to be a zoologist” and “maybe go on safari in Africa and study lions.”
22. Fake News
Although it is often reported that she is a germophobe, this is untrue–Diaz says that an early comment about using public bathrooms was blown out of proportion.
21. She Doesn’t Need It All
Despite starring in the movie What to Expect When You Are Expecting, Diaz claims she was never drawn to having children. Diaz does consider herself a protective person and admits it wasn’t an easy decision, but she is open about her choice and a brave role model for other women in her position.
20. Surf Fan
Diaz loves surfing, but in 2003 she broke her nose while surfing on vacation. She has in fact broken her nose a total of four times! Diaz even had to undergo nose surgery to fix a breathing problem resulting from one of the accidents.
19. Blade Runner
Diaz had an earlier broken bone while preparing for her role as Sonya Blade in the 1995 movie version of Mortal Kombat; she broke her wrist. She had to give up the role eventually, but that probably wasn’t too big a loss.
18. Bestselling Author
Diaz is quite a health nut and loves to share her passion. She has authored two published health books, New York Times Bestseller The Body Book: Feed, Move, Understand and Love Your Amazing Body (2013) and The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time (2016).
17. Embracing Aging
Diaz is a promoter of aging naturally, as her books suggest. After trying a small amount of Botox, Diaz did not like the “weird way” it changed her face and decided her natural aging look was much more desirable.
16. Female Inspiration
Diaz is inspired in her effort to age naturally and gracefully by fellow actress Helen Mirren. She has described Mirren as “drop-dead sexy” and a great example of a woman who is “taking care of herself.”
15. Musical Muse
Although she famously doesn’t sing well (see My Best Friend’s Wedding for proof) Diaz has actually inspired lyrics for pop songs. She is mentioned in Robbie Williams’ “I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen” as well as the Brian Wilson song “South America.”
14. Inner Strength
Diaz is dedicated to her practice of Transcendental Meditation, a meditation technique that involves repeating a personal mantra to oneself with eyes closed for 15-20 minutes. Diaz claims the tool allows her to go “to the deepest part” of herself to enable “recharging” and empowerment.
13. Trouble Focusing
Diaz is public about her attention deficit disorder (ADD), which she names as one reason she isn’t interested in taking on a directing or producing role in movies. She is happier to put in her time as an actress and move on to a new project.
12. Designer in Disguise
Despite not being interested in directing or producing a film, Diaz has explored some of the other roles in movie making. During her work on the Charlie’s Angels franchise, Diaz collaborated with costume designer Joseph Aulisi to create many of the amazing costumes worn by the women. This included the outfit she wore during her goofy dance scene to the famous song “Baby Got Back.”
11. Environmental Activist
Diaz is dedicated to environmental activism. She took part in the MTV show Trippin‘, which highlighted endangered natural habitats worldwide and advised how to conserve them. In 2009, she drove around the United States in her hybrid car on a campaign with Marie Claire magazine; during the trip, she asked people where their water came from in order to promote responsible use of natural resources.
10. Feminist Friends
Diaz marched alongside friends Adele and Jennifer Lawrence at the 2018 Anniversary of the Women’s March in LA. Adele posted a picture on Instagram of the three of them holding signs and participating in the march, signing off with “power to the people.”
9. A Good Friend
After shooting Charlie’s Angels together, Drew Barrymore and Diaz became life-long best friends. Diaz was Barrymore’s maid of honor and also the friend Barrymore called when her marriage broke up. Barrymore has said that Diaz is a fiercely loyal friend.
8. Runs in the Family
Diaz’s father, Emilio Diaz, had a small cameo role in her movie There’s Something about Mary as “Jailbird.”
7. In Demand
In 2002, Diaz was one of the first female actors to make a historic $20 million for a film—second only to Julia Roberts. It was for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.
6. Not to Be Messed With: 1999
When traveling through Los Angeles International Airport in 1999, Diaz reported her passport and a large amount of money missing from her luggage. Police luckily caught the security guard (yes, the security guard) who had tried to steal her things.
5. Not to Be Messed With: 2003
In 2003, Diaz was approached by John Rutter, with whom she had done a topless photoshoot and video with when she was 19. The creepy Rutter offered her the chance to buy back the photos, which he was otherwise threatening to publish. Rutter asked for $3.5 million in exchange for keeping the photos private. Diaz wasn’t having it and sued him for attempted blackmail. In 2005, Rutter was sentenced to prison.
4. Not to Be Messed With: 2005
In 2005, Diaz again faced down the media, this time the National Enquirer. The tabloid ran a story suggesting that Diaz, who was dating Justin Timberlake at the time, was having an affair with her producer, Shane Nickerson. Diaz sued the media company and received a retraction and apology.
3. Old Friends
Snoop Dog went to high school with Cameron Diaz, and he remembers her as being pretty cool: “She ran with my homegirls, all my little cheerleading homegirls. She was fly and she was hip.” According to Diaz, Snoop Dog hasn’t changed much since high school, she recalled him as being “very tall and skinny” with “lots of ponytails.” Diaz also admitted that it was more than likely that she purchased weed from the high school Doggie Dog.
2. Famous Beaus
Diaz has dated some big-name celebrities, including Justin Timberlake, Matt Dillon, video producer Carlos De La Torre, Jared Leto and Alex Rodriguez. Not surprisingly, the super-sweet star has remained friends with some of her exes, including Timberlake, with whom she made the film Bad Teacher in 2011. The two have remained on good terms ever since their break up years ago.
1. Sexy and Proud
Diaz is known for being sexy, but she also encourages everyone to embrace their sexual side. She advises against faking anything and says “sexy is being in the moment, whether that means being coy or coming on hard. Faking is always lame.” Diaz is also open about watching porn and says she loves to order adult films when she stays in hotels.