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January 25, 2007

Natalie Portman, 3

Natalie Portman was born on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel. The daughter of an infertility specialist and an artist, Natalie (who uses her grandmother's maiden name in order to protect her privacy) left Israel at the age of 3 and relocated with her family to Maryland, Connecticut, and finally to Long Island, New York, where her parents still reside.

Discovered by a modeling scout at a New York pizza parlor at the age of 11, Natalie was not motivated by modeling and wanted to find a more fulfilling job. Although she had no initial desire to become an actress, Natalie developed an interest in performing after attending the Stagedoor Manor Performing Camp for three summers.

Her first acting experiences came from her summers at Stagedoor Manor, where she was cast in theater performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cabaret, Anne of Green Gables (in the title role), and Tapestry.

Natalie Portman's film career started with her role in the 1994 film, The Professional (a.k.a. Leon), as a hit-man's protege. The following year, she appeared in the crime-drama Heat, alongside heavy hitters Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and was noticed in the 1996 film, Beautiful Girls, stealing the screen from another beautiful actress, Uma Thurman.

Her role in Beautiful Girls garnered rave reviews for Natalie, and that same year she could be seen in the Woody Allen star-studded musical, Everyone Says I Love You, as well as Mars Attacks!

After having turned down roles in movies like Lolita (due to her feeling that young actors should not be exposed to sex at such a young age) and the role of Juliet in William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (because of the age difference between Portman and Leonardo DiCaprio), Natalie refused the supporting role in The Horse Whisperer, opting instead to star as Anne Frank in the Broadway production of The Diary of Anne Frank. She was nominated for a Tony award for her performance.

But the role that turned Natalie Portman into more than a Broadway/film actress is that of Queen Padme Amidala, in the first Star Wars prequel. Her three-film contract, which started with 1999's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, has transformed her into a historic film character. Ironically, Natalie had never even seen the original three Star Wars movies before being cast by George Lucas.

Natalie's graduation from Syosset High School took place the same summer that the much-hyped prequel was released.

After her role in Phantom Menace, Natalie co-starred with Susan Sarandon in Anywhere But Here (1999), and starred in the lead role alongside Ashley Judd in the film adaptation of Where the Heart Is (2000).

Her next projects were Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002), Cold Mountain (2003), Garden State (2004), and True (2004). In 2004, she wowed audiences in Closer, co-starring Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. She took home a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress (in Closer) and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category for this role.

Trilingual (Natalie speaks Hebrew, English and Japanese) and having aspirations of becoming a doctor, Natalie Portman studied psychology at Harvard University as well as at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem while filming Free Zone (2005). She also appeared as Senator Amidala/Padme Naberrie-Skywalker in the third installment of the Star Wars prequel series, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.

Her 2006 credits included V for Vendetta and Paris, je t'aime.

2007 was a busy year for Natalie Portman. The beautiful actress was named InStyle magazine's Best Dressed for 2007. She also ranked No. 22 in AskMen's Top 99 Most Desirable Women for 2007.

Natalie starred in several blockbusters in '07 including Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, My Blueberry Nights, The Darjeeling Limited, and Hotel Chevalier.

Natalie Portman's 2008 projects include The Other Boleyn Girl. She also ranked No. 15 on's annual Top 99 women of 2008. With so many blockbusters under her belt, not to mention her stunning presence, why wouldn't she have made our list of leading ladies to look out for in '08?


For years, we felt that Natalie Portman's innocence and age were obstacles that she had to overcome before becoming a full-blown sex symbol. However, now that she's well into her 20s and has shown her seriously sexy side as a stripper in Closer, we can say that Natalie is definitely one hot woman. With an incredible sense of style, she carries herself with confidence and ease, and has men turning their heads everywhere. She ranked No. 22 on AskMen's Top 99 Most Desirable Women for 2007 and No. 9 the year before in 2006.


Natalie Portman is a heavyweight in the making (for all those asleep at the wheel, we're not talking about boxing here); a future Julia Roberts with the potential of becoming a perennial Meryl Streep-like yearly Oscar contender. And she has so many admirers, we might as well rename a state after her.

From her first performances in Beautiful Girls and The Professional, anyone who saw her knew she had a spark, but equally shocking was her unusual beauty. Even at 14 (her age when she appeared in Beautiful Girls), it was obvious that she'd grow into a woman that would make many a man's heart throb, which she definitely accomplished as stripper Alice in 2004's Closer.

Birth name: Natalie Hershlag (Hebrew: נטלי הרשלג)
Born: June 9, 1981
Origin: Jerusalem, Israel
Occupation: Actress
Years active: 1994–present

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman


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