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Few models-turned-actresses are worth their weight in gold... and not simply because you wouldn't receive that much gold in the first place. They may be pretty to look at, but oftentimes they don't hold a candle to a professional actress.
Cameron Diaz is a rare exception, transcending her conventional good looks to star in movies that span the spectrum of genres. Goofy comedies, hard dramas, animated fairy tales and the bizarre arthouse fare -- there are few projects Diaz can't pull off.
Her latest is the raunchy comedy "Bad Teacher," which once again shows off the actress' innate talents for making us laugh. In honor of her diverse career, here are nine moments that continue to stand out.
9. 'The Mask' (1994)
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Diaz was only 21 when she nabbed the role of Tina in the "The Mask" -- easily one of Jim Carrey's most manic performances to date (he was playing a live-action cartoon, to be fair).
So how does a newbie actress stand out against a man who can stretch, bend and twirl any which way at the speed of light? Simple: Let him take her for the ride. Or in the case of this one scene, the dance.
8. 'Knight and Day' (2010)
Black out once, shame on you. Black out twice, shame on the spy who continually knocks you out because he thinks you'll be safer that way.
In "Knight and Day," Diaz's June wakes up from her drugged-out state for a third time to find herself bikini-clad on a tropical beach. This would be great...if it didn't involve hiding out from assailants while running around with manic agent Tom Cruise. Easy to see why the fists start flying.
7. 'The Sweetest Thing' (2002)
Diaz teamed up with two other funny ladies, Christina Applegate and Selma Blair, for the raunchy, often fantastical, rom-com "The Sweetest Thing" and there are moments in the movie that would make even Judd Apatow go wide-eyed. In one sequence, Diaz, Applegate and Blair take the "When Harry Met Sally" diner scene to a new level, with a song-and-dance number inspired by their fake reactions during sex. Weird, shocking and hilarious.
6. 'Being John Malkovich' (1999)
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Cameron Diaz in "Being John Malkovich" may be the most un-Cameron Diaz she'll ever be: frizzy hair, frumpy clothing and a demeanor to boot. By de-glamorizing herself, Diaz makes her first transformation into the actor John Malkovich one to remember. Stepping through a small doorway in a half-sized office, Diaz's character Lotte inhabits the thespian's body, allowing her to live out transgender dreams.
The scene is one of Diaz's best, because you completely forget that you're watching Cameron Diaz.
5. 'Bad Teacher' (2011)
You know what they say: If you've got it, flaunt it -- and that's exactly what Diaz does in "Bad Teacher."
Maybe the scene doesn't take the finest acting skills, but if you want to prove you're the hottest teacher in the world, then scrubbing down cars in a bathing suit doesn't hurt. Needless to say, she proves it. Big time.
4. 'My Best Friend's Wedding' (1997)
Feeling sympathetic for a gorgeous blonde who's desperately in love with the man of her dreams may not sound easy, but when Julia Roberts spends most of a movie backstabbing said blonde in order to steal her husband, it's perfectly reasonable.
Cameron Diaz projects all our agitation towards America's sweetheart when she lashes out at Roberts' character in "My Best Friend's Wedding." Fulfilling, until Diaz decides to be the better woman and hug it out. Until next time, Julia Roberts...
3. 'Charlie's Angels' (2000)
Natalie's one dream is to show off her moves on "Soul Train," the classic R&B dance show. When she finally gets the chance, she gives it all she's got. All she's got, unfortunately, is the corniest dance of all time.
In-between the action scenes of McG's fem-powered blockbuster, Diaz's tall, blonde Angel gets down with her bad self. The scene helps make sense of why she would fall for Luke Wilson. They're both awkward as hell.
2. 'Shrek' (2001)
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Diaz gets the animated treatment courtesy of "Shrek" -- but Fiona isn't your run-of-the-mill cartoon princess. She frolics around the forest singing to birds, but one cacophonous, off-key note blows her avian friend into a cloud of feathers.
Fitting that Fiona is a twisted version of a fairy tale damsel, while her live-action counterpart defies stereotype time and time again.
1. 'There's Something About Mary' (1998)
Proof that Diaz is bolder than 99 percent of the actresses working today, her infamous scene from "There's Something About Mary" is one that will stand out in movie history as one of the sickest, funniest things ever committed to film. She doesn't even have to do too much -- after grabbing some... residual... off of Ben Stiller's ear and swiping back her hair, Diaz simply dives into conversation. She doesn't know the awful truth. We do. It's glorious.