Natalie Portman - Biography

Natalie Portman was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel, to a Jewish family. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born artist (from Cincinnati, Ohio), who also acts as Natalie's agent. She left Israel for Washington, D.C., when she was still very young. After a few more moves, her family finally settled in New York, where she still lives to this day. She graduated with honors, and her academic achievements allowed her to attend Harvard University. She was discovered by an agent in a pizza parlor at the age of 11. She was pushed towards a career in modeling but she decided that she would rather pursue a career in acting. She was featured in many live performances, but she made her powerful film debut in the movie Léon (1994) (aka "Léon"). Following this role Natalie won roles in such films as Heat (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996), and Mars Attacks! (1996).

It was not until 1999 that Natalie received worldwide fame as Queen Amidala in the highly anticipated US$431 million-grossing prequel Star Wars: Épisode I - La menace fantôme (1999). She then she starred in two critically acclaimed comedy dramas, Ma mère, moi et ma mère (1999) and Où le coeur nous mène (2000), followed by Closer: entre adultes consentants (2004), for which she received an Oscar nomination. She reprised her role as Padme Amidala in the last two episodes of the Star Wars prequel trilogy: Star Wars: Épisode II - L'attaque des clones (2002) and Star Wars: Épisode III - La revanche des Sith (2005). She received an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Black Swan (2010).
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