This captivating former model has carved out an impressive career by playing some not-so-pretty characters. After capturing attention as a sexy hit woman in her 1996 film debut, 2 Days in the Valley, Theron took on a succession of less flashy parts, including an uptight girlfriend in That Thing You Do and a naive Southern wife in The Devil's Advocate. In the late '90s and early 2000s, Theron appeared in a plethora of high-minded (if not always successful) Hollywood films (The Cider House Rules, The Legend of Bagger Vance, 15 Minutes), but it was her turn as a lesbian prostitute/serial killer in the 2003 indie hit Monster that established her as a great actress. Virtually unrecognizable under many pounds of extra weight and makeup, Theron took home a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her transformative performance. She continued her deglamorized cinema streak as a sexually harassed miner in North Country, which earned her Golden Globe and Oscar nods in 2006. Off-screen, Theron is devoted to a number of charitable causes, including the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), which she founded to help create safer and healthier lives for impoverished children in South Africa.