Natalie Portman (Natalie Hershlag) was born in Jerusalem, Israel on June 9, 1981. Her father, Avner Hershlag, is an Israeli doctor. Her mother, Shelley Stevens, is an American homemaker who now works as her agent. Portman’s paternal ancestors were Jews who moved to Israel from Poland and Romania and her maternal ancestors were Jewish immigrants from Austria and Russia. Her Romanian-born great-grandmother was a spy for the British during World War II, and her paternal grandfather’s parents died in Auschwitz.
Natalie started her career as an actress in 13 yeas old age. Her first role was in the 1994 French action film “Léon” (also known as The Professional in the USA prokat). In the 1990s, Portman had a few major roles in films such as “Beautiful Girls” and “Anywhere but Here”. In 1999, while she was working on the “Star Wars” film, Portman enrolled at Harvard University to study psychology . She successfully completed her bachelor’s degree in 2003.
In 2001, Portman alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Philip Seymour Hoffman opened in New York City’s Public Theater production of famous Russian writer Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull”. In 2005, Natalie Portman has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for the drama “Closer”.
In 2006, for her starring role in “V for Vendetta” Natalie Portman shaved her head and learned to speak with an English accent. Portman won a Constellation Award for Best Female Performance, and a Saturn Award for Best Actress for the role in this film.
Also in 2006, Natalie Portman played leading role in the historical dramas “Goya’s Ghosts”. And, in 2008, she played leading role in the “The Other Boleyn Girl”.
In May 2008, Natalie Portman served as the youngest member of the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival jury. She opened the 65th Venice International Film Festival’s shorts competition in 2008 .