In 2005, Theron starred in two wildly different movies. The earnest drama "North Country" is based on the first successful sexual harassment case in U.S. history, brought by miner Josie Aimes in 1984. She also plays the title role in "Aeon Flux," a murky sci-fi action thriller set 400 years in the future.
More from CBSNews.com on Charlize Theron and on the Oscars ...
Movie fans online regret that Theron narrowly missed a nomination for a Razzie award for her "Flux" fantasy. It would have been the first time that an actress was considered for both the Oscar and the anti-Oscar in the same year.
Born Aug. 7, 1975, in South Africa, Theron was a ballet dancer and appeared with New York's Joffrey Ballet before a knee injury ended her dance career.
She headed for Los Angeles and an acting career, making her mark playing Aileen Wuornos in "Monster," the dark true story of a prostitute who became a serial killer.
In 2006, Theron is expected to appear with Mark Wahlberg in "The Brazilian Job," a sequel to their 2003 crime caper, "The Italian Job."