Before Charlize Theron graced magazine covers and served as a UN Messenger of Peace, this peerless beauty made her film acting debut in "Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest." Although her only line of dialogue was "Ahhhhh!!!" she totally rocked it and was soon given the chance to utter consonants as well.
Charlize had come to New York City from her hometown of Benoni, South Africa, to study dance. But after a knee injury ended that dream, she moved on Los Angeles to study acting. Theron was quickly "discovered" by a talent scout standing behind her in line as she cursed out an unhelpful bank teller. After her less than memorable 10 seconds of screen time in "Children of the Corn III," Charlize scored the far juicier role of a steamy vamp in the "Pulp Fiction" wannabe flop "2 Days in the Valley," where her glamorous looks and Emma Frost fashion homages proved a welcome distraction from the movie's dialogue and plot.
And her old-school Hollywood beauty made her a perfect casting choice for Disney's 1998 remake of "Mighty Joe Young." While her looks were hard to ignore, she also demonstrated more than capable acting chops as the tortured wife of a satanically seduced Keanu Reeves in "The Devil's Advocate" and as the tortured wife of a maniacally possessed Johnny Depp in "The Astronaut's Wife." But, ironically, it was when she uglied herself up that she got the most attention (and became the first South African to win an Oscar) as real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 film "Monster."
Theron's currently one of Hollywood's biggest celebrities and is set to star as an author of teen literature suffering from arrested development in "Young Adult" (Dec. 9). But she'll always be a child of the corn to us.