Kick-Butt Facts About Charlize Theron

October 18, 2017 | Miles Brucker

Kick-Butt Facts About Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is a superstar model, dancer, fighter, and actress from South Africa. She has been in several box-office hits, including Monster, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Atomic Blonde. Here are 42 kickass facts about the intimidating beauty.

Charlize Theron Facts

1. In The Beginning

Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, South Africa on August 7th, 1975. Her parents, Charles and Gerda, both owned a road construction company together, and the family lived on a farm. Theron grew up feeding livestock and taking care of animals.

Charlize Theron facts Shutterstock

2. Bilingual

Theron grew up learning Afrikaans, which is a Dutch dialect, before she became fluent in English.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

3. Say Cheese!

When she was a baby, Theron had jaundice, and the doctors put her on antibiotics. Her baby teeth rotted because of the medicine, so she did not have a normal set of teeth until she was 11 years old and her adult teeth grew in.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

4. Wanderlust

When she was a little girl, every time she looked at a world map, Theron saw that South Africa was "at the bottom of the world." It made her feel as though she was missing out on seeing so many great places. From a young age, she knew she wanted to travel.

Charlize Theron factsWikipedia

5. Early Passions

Theron began taking ballet lessons when she was six years old. She quickly grew to love it, and by the time she turned 12, she went to a special boarding school in Johannesburg in order to study dance on a daily basis.

Charlize Theron factsFlickr, Gage Skidmore

6. The Classics

Growing up, the movie stars who influenced Charlize were Marilyn Monroe and Bette Davis.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

7. Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

Despite the happy image of a family running a business and living on a farm, Theron’s father Charles was an alcoholic. He was a very abusive person who made the lives of Gerda and Charlize very difficult.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

8. A Partner, Not A Wife

During an interview, Theron said that she is interested in being in a long-term relationship, but she does not think that actually getting married is important for her.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

9. Making Bank

In 2017, Theron was the seventh-highest paid actress in the world; she made $14 million that year alone. Theron typically makes $10 million or more for each movie she stars in.

Charlize Theron factsShutterstock

10. Project Runway

When she turned 16, Theron won a modeling contest, which gave her the chance to fly to Italy and enter another competition. She started working in New York City as a fashion model until she turned 18.

Charlize Theron factsFlickr, Mariya Butd

11. Letting a Dream Die

At 18 years old,  Theron decided she was going to go after her lifelong dream of being a ballerina, and she started studying dance at the Joffrey Ballet School. However, she injured her knee so badly that she was not able to go pro.

Charlize Theron facts Wikimedia Commons

12. All of the Lights

Once Charlize knew that she could no longer be a dancer, she flew to Los Angeles to try her luck as an actress. However, her South African accent was a problem, and she wasn’t good at hiding it during auditions. She started practicing her American accent to land jobs.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

13. More Than a Pretty Face

Charlize didn’t particularly enjoy modeling, and she never tried to use her good looks to get an advantage. In fact, she hated being judged for her body. She knew she had a great figure, but she would purposely show up to her first acting auditions wearing baggy t-shirts and jeans, hoping that her acting skill would speak for itself. As she began getting more and more acting jobs, she began to embrace and love her body.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

14. Getting Discovered

When Theron was 19, she was at a bank in Los Angeles, trying to get money out of a South African account. She was having trouble accessing her money, so she got into an argument with the bank teller. This caused a scene and forced a man named John Crosby to notice her. He was a manager, and approached Theron after to ask if she needed an agent. Meeting Crosby helped Theron get her first role in Children of the Corn III.

Charlize Theron factsChildren of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995), Force Majeure Productions

15. Come What May

Theron almost got the part of Satine in Moulin Rogue, but it went, famously, to Nicole Kidman instead.

Charlize Theron factsMoulin Rouge! (2001), 20th Century Fox

16. Black Widow

Theron was in several starring roles in movies for a few years, but the film that really made her internationally famous was 2003's Monster, where she played the part of a serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She won an Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe for her performance.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

17. A Huge Honor

After she won the Oscar, Theron was invited back home to South Africa by Nelson Mandela. He threw her a huge party, gave her a hug, and thanked her for bringing attention to their country. She started crying.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

18. Transformation

Theron was so devoted to the part of Aileen Wuornos that she gained over 30 pounds in order to look more like her. The producers of the movie got access to letters and diaries written by Wuornos, which Theron also studied in order to better understand her character.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

19. Profits

The prop gun that Charlize Theron used in the movie Monster was sold at a pawn shop for $4,500.

Charlize Theron facts Monster (2003), Media 8 Entertainment

20. Getting it Right

When Monster came out in theaters, Theron heard that Wuornos hated the adaptation of her life story. This upset Theron so much that she called Wuornos up in jail to make sure she was okay. It meant everything to Theron to be sure that she portrayed someone’s life story accurately.

Charlize Theron facts Monster (2003), Media 8 Entertainment

21. Ouch

In 2005, Theron starred in the action movie Aeon Flux, which required a lot of stunts. She injured her neck while on set, and the filming had to be postponed for several weeks while she healed.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

22. Making the World a Better Place

Theron does a lot of charity work, including promoting The Global Fund, which helps fight AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. In 2008, she was awarded the title of “Messenger of Peace” by the United Nations.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

23. Committed

Theron was in a long-term relationship with an actor Stuart Townsend. They were together for almost 10 years before they broke up.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

24. New Love

After breaking up with Townsend, Theron started dating Sean Penn. They were together for about 2 years before parting ways.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

25. Motherly Instinct

Theron decided to adopt two children; Jackson and August. She adopted her son while she was still with Sean Penn, and she adopted her daughter soon after they broke up. She is quoted saying, “You know, I don't think any mother aims to be a single mom. I didn't wish for that, but it happened.”

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

26. Perfectionist

Theron admits to having OCD. She says that if things are not neat and tidy, she begins to uncontrollably clean.

Charlize Theron factsWikipedia

27. You’re Getting Sleepy...

Theron used to smoke, but she went under hypnosis to quit, and it worked.

Charlize Theron facts Wikimedia Commons

28. Pearly Whites

As if she didn’t have enough issues with her teeth as a kid, Theron cracked two teeth while filming Atomic Blonde.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

29. All That Glitters

In 2005, Theron received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and her name is now immortalized in stone.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

30. Hello, Gorgeous

In magazines around the world, Theron has been voted "Sexiest Woman Alive," "Most Desirable," and the list goes on. Even Victoria's Secret put her on the "What is Sexy" list as "Sexiest Actress" in 2012.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

31. Centerfold

Theron has posed naked for both the cover of Playboy Magazine and a few additional pictures inside.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

32. Yas, Queen!

One of Theron’s more interesting accolades was the Harvard University Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Award. The award is given by the Harvard Theater Department to a man or woman who is considered to have given a significant contribution to the world of entertainment. Students and faculty dressed in drag and paraded her around the campus as if she were royalty. During her acceptance speech, Theron mentioned that she is a high school dropout, and she never expected to have any kind of link to Harvard in her lifetime.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

33. Sweet

She is the model and face of "J’Adore Dior" perfume, which earns her $2 million per year.

Charlize Theron factsWikimedia Commons

34. Vroom

Theron owns a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and she has said that she enjoys putting on a pair of jeans and “acting like a guy” when she goes riding.

Mistaken Identity FactsPicryl

35. Story is Everything

Theron is quoted as saying that she isn’t necessarily against what she calls "glamour roles," where the film is looking for a beautiful woman, but she always goes for a really great story over something that is meant to make her look pretty.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

36. Frozen

When Theron starred in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, it was the first (and so far, only) time she participated in a movie sequel.

Charlize Theron factsThe Huntsman: Winter

37. All Around the World

During The Huntsman: Winter’s War, all four of the lead actors were from 4 different continents: Theron is from Africa, Chris Hemsworth is from Australia, Emily Blunt is from Europe, and Jessica Chastain is from North America.

Charlize Theron factsThe Huntsman: Winter

38. Friends, Not Food

Growing up on a farm, Theron grew up with animals. She advocates for animal rights, and even posed for a PETA campaign. The ad was anti-fur, and she poses next to her dog.

Charlize Theron factsGetty Images

39. Action-Packed

Theron loves watching the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). She was introduced to it by a friend, and she found herself getting “obsessed.” She said that she woke up the next morning having lost her voice, because she was screaming so much during the fight the night before.

UFC 209: Tybura v HenriqueGetty Images

40. One Tough Cookie

Theron did almost all of her own stunts in Atomic Blonde. She trained with eight different personal trainers in order to prepare. She also decided to hang around with Keanu Reeves, because he was training for John Wick: Chapter 2, and she wanted to see if there were any pointers she could learn from him.

Charlize Theron factsAtomic Blonde (2017), 87Eleven

41. Survivor

One day when Charlize was 15 years old, her father started violently attacking her and her mother, Gerda. Gerda, who felt Charles was going to kill them both, shot and killed Charles in self defense in front of Charlize.

Charlize Theron In Hometown With her MotherGetty Images

42. White Lies

After her mother killed her father, Theron told her friends that her dad died in a car accident. She didn’t want people to know how truly bad her family situation had been.

Charlize Theron factsShutterstock

Sources:  1234567891011

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.