Actress Charlize Theron has lived so much life in her 38 years, it’s hard to know where to start! So we’ll just start from her beginnings in Africa. Yes, Africa. Who knew?!

Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, South Africa and grew up on her parents’ farm near Johannesburg. She witnessed domestic abuse of her mother at the hands of her father, who suffered from alcoholism. When Charlize was a teen, her mother shot and killed her father. Her mother faced no charges as it was legally determined that she shot in self-defense.

Like many teens, Charlize bounced back after this horrible ordeal. She loved dancing, but her path began in modeling. At 16, she won a one-year modeling contract at a local competition. Her and her mother packed up and moved to Milan, Italy, as any model would. After her contract ended, Theron and her mother ventured to the United States, where she lived in New York and Miami. While in New York, Theron trained as a ballet dancer at the Joffrey Ballet School, but her dreams of becoming a dancer ended abruptly after she suffered a knee injury.

Determined to make it in Hollywood, Theron flew to Los Angeles on a one-way ticket from her mother. This is where her story gets very interesting! Soon after arriving, she got into a shouting match with a teller at a bank. She was spotted by a talent agent, who was behind her in line, and eventually introduced her to casting agents and acting school. The rest is history.

Single and living fabulous, Theron has thrived in America. She received many accolades for her memorable portrayal of a serial killer in the movie “Monster”. In 2007, she decided to become a U.S. citizen, making her a true African-American! And five years later, Theron decided to start her family on her terms and adopted a son.

But one of the most intriguing things about the actress is her reason behind not tying the knot. Theron, a supporter of same-sex marriage, made the following proclamation:

“I don’t want to get married because right now the institution of marriage feels very one-sided, and I want to live in a country where we all have equal rights…I think it would be exactly the same if we were married, but for me to go through that kind of ceremony, because I have so many friends who are gays and lesbians who would so badly want to get married, that I wouldn’t be able to sleep with myself.”

Hats off to Charlize Theron, Single and living fabulous!