Natalie Portman biography
Born in Israel in 1981, actress Natalie Portman grew up on Long Island, New York, and began modeling at age 11. Her film 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. She then won the 2010 Best Actress Oscar for her role as a troubled dancer in Black Swan. In 2012, she married dancer Benjamin Millepied. The couple has a 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.
Portman has also completed production on the second and third films in the Star Wars series, reprising her role as Queen Amidala. In 2004 Portman starred in 2004's Garden State. In 2005, she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Closer co-starring Clive Owens, Julia Roberts and Jude Law.
Portman won critical praise for her role in 2006's V for Vendetta. In 2008 she starred in historical drama The Other Boleyn Girl alongside Scarlett Johansson.
Portman's next big role came in 2010, when she starred in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. Portman reportedly lost 20 pounds and went through rigorous dance training for the film, which was a critical success.
Portman started dating ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied in 2009, after meeting on the set of Black Swan. In 2010 the couple announced their engagement, and in June 2011 Portman gave birth to her first child, Aleph Portman-Millepied. Portman and Millepied wed in August 2012. According to People magazine, the wedding was attended by several celebrities, including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Macaulay Culkin.