Natalie Portman made her film debut in 1994’s The Professional
. As the only friend of a hit man, the 13-year-old earned rave reviews and quickly landed additional big-screen parts. Yet fame didn’t go to her head and she continued to live at home in Long Island, even while appearing on Broadway. Everything could have changed for Portman when she signed on as the heroine of the long-anticipated Star Wars
prequels. But while the blockbuster movies turned her into an international superstar, Portman eschewed the usual pitfalls of young stardom and used her downtime to attend Harvard University. In 2004, a pair of winning performances reminded audiences that the brunette beauty could indeed act: Garden State
director/writer/star Zach Braff handpicked her as his loopy love interest, and she netted an Oscar nod and a Golden Globe award as a savvy stripper in Closer
. Never willing to be typecast, Portman proved she was not afraid to take risks when she shaved her head on-screen in the 2006 allegorical thriller V for Vendetta
. In 2008, she made her directorial debut with the short film Eve
, which premiered at the 65th Venice Film Festival. Although she is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s biggest names, she enjoys a low-profile private life (her reported relationships with Lukas Haas and Gael Garcia Bernal played out away from the tabloids). A vegetarian since childhood, Portman is a staunch advocate for environmental preservation and animal rights.Natalie Portman Fast Facts:
- Grandparents were Holocaust survivors.
- Was discovered at the age of 11 by a Revlon scout while she was eating in a New York pizza parlor.
- Portman is actually her grandmother's maiden name.
- Became close friends with Britney Spears when they appeared in the off-Broadway musical Ruthless in the early '90s.
- Turned down the controversial title role in Adrian Lyne's 1997 remake of Lolita.
- Made her Broadway debut in a 1997 revival of The Diary of Anne Frank as the titular character.
- Traveled the globe as FINCA International's Ambassador of Hope to promote aiding female-owned businesses in impoverished nations.
- Launched a line of vegan footwear in 2008.
- Met with The Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin to fill him in on life at Harvard while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg attended school there.
- Natalie Portman Relationships:
- Shelley Hershlag - Mother
- Devendra Banhart - Ex-significant Other
- Benjamin Millepied - Husband
- Aleph - Son
- Avner Hershlag - Father
- Natalie Portman Awards:
- 2004 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Nominee
- 2010 BAFTA Awards: Best Leading Actress - Winner
- 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
- 2011 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama - Winner
- 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role - Winner
- 2010 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Winner
- 2005 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Winner
- 2000 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Nominee
- 2004 BAFTA Awards: Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Nominee
- Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (BS in Psychology, 2003)