She was born in Benoni on 7 August 1975. She left South Africa for Italy at age 16 after winning a one-year modelling contract in a competition. Her contract ended in New York city and she's remained in the US ever since. She originally studied ballet, but a knee injury ended dreams of a dance career. Charlize headed for Hollywood and hasn't looked back since being discovered by her manager in an LA bank, yelling at a bank teller for refusing to cash a check.
"I'm 50-50 on glamour stuff," Charlize says. "I'd rather put on a pair of jeans and get on my Harley and act like a guy." So long as she leaves off her shirt, we're just fine with that!