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Actress Natalie Portman won the 2010 Academy Award for her role as a dancer in Black Swan.
Natalie Portman - Full Biography (45:12)
With a psychology degree from Harvard and an Academy Award for Black Swan, Natalie Portman has proven she's just as talented and intelligent as she is captivatingly gorgeous.
A short biography of Natalie Portman who made her screen debut in "The Professional" and became a household name when she starred as Queen Amidala in the "Star Wars" prequels. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in "Black Swan."
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Born in Jerusalem on June 9, 1981, Natalie (Hershlag) Portman grew up on Long Island and began modeling at age 11. Her acclaimed movie debut was in The Professional (1994), and she was cast as Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequels. While continuing her career,
Portman earned a degree in psychology from Harvard. Portman won the 2010 Best Actress Oscar for playing a troubled dancer in Black Swan. In August 2012, she married dancer Benjamin Millepied, with whom she has a 14-month-old son, Aleph.
Natalie Portman was born on June 9, 1981 in Jerusalem, Israel. While she was a toddler, Portman's parents immigrated to the United States. Initially they resided in Washington D.C., and finally settled in Long Island, New York, where Natalie attended Syosset High School.
While at a local pizza parlor, Portman was discovered by a representative of Revlon cosmetics, who encouraged the 11-year-old to pursue a modeling career. However, Portman found modeling mundane, and decided to direct her efforts toward acting. Shortly after, she began working with the Usdan Theatre Arts Camp, where she appeared in a number of local productions.
Portman made her film debut in Luc Besson's memorable 1994 feature, The Professional. The demanding role, which featured her as hitman's apprentice, caught the attention of critics and audiences. The following year, she sustained her popularity with a brief but captivating performance as Al Pacino's troubled daughter in Heat (1995).
In her next projects, Portman held her own alongside Hollywood's A-list actors and directors. Ted Demme's heartwarming film Beautiful Girls (1996) featured her in a pivotal role as a coming-of-age pre-teen. She was noted for her charming performance, opposite an impressive cast, including Matt Dillon, Timothy Hutton, Uma Thurman, and Lauren Holly. Later that year, she took on lighter parts in Woody Allen's musical Everyone Says I Love You, with Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts; and in Tim Burton's sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks!, with Jack Nicholson and Glenn Close.
After turning down the controversial role of Lolita, Portman took a brief sabbatical from the big screen. In 1997, she spent a year on Broadway in the title role of The Diary of Anne Frank. The play was a critical success, and Portman was credited with delivering a fresh interpretation of Frank's character.
She returned to film in 1999, gaining international recognition with the release of George Lucas' eagerly anticipated prequel Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace. Later that same year, she was cast opposite Susan Sarandon in the film version of Mona Simpson's novel Anwhere But Here. 2000's Where the Heart Is featured Portman in a more mature role, in which her character ages five years during the course of the film.
In spite of her burgeoning film career, Portman remained adamant about her education, graduating with honors from Harvard University in June 2003.
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