She hit the spotlight in The Devil's Advocate, and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as a disturbed murderer in the 2003 film, Monster.
She won a modeling contract when she was 16, and studied at the Joffrey Ballet School until she suffered a knee injury.
She starred in Snow White and the Huntsman and Prometheus, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the 2011 film, Young Adult.
Her mother shot and killed Charlize's alcoholic, abusive father when he attacked both of them. She adopted a son named Jackson in March 2012.
She starred in Monster with Christina Ricci.