Charlize Theron Biography

Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, in the then Transvaal Province of South Africa, the only child of Gerda Jacoba Aletta (née Maritz; born 27 January 1953) and Charles Jacobus Theron (27 November 1947 – 21 June 1991). Her mother is of German descent and her father was of Occitan and Dutch ancestry; Theron is descended from early Huguenot settlers, and Boer War figure Daniel Theron was her great-great uncle. "Theron" is an Occitan surname (originally spelled Théron) pronounced in Afrikaans as "Tronn", although she has said that the way it is pronounced in South Africa is "Thrown". She changed the pronunciation when she moved to the U.S.

Although fluent in English, her first language is Afrikaans. She grew up on her parents' farm in Benoni, near Johannesburg. Her father died on 21 June 1991, after he was shot by Theron's mother. Theron's father, who suffered from alcoholism, physically attacked her mother and threatened both women while drunk. The shooting was legally adjudged to have been self-defence and her mother faced no charges.