Who Is Cameron Diaz?

Cameron Diaz began modeling at age 16 and worked in ad campaigns for Calvin Klein and Coca-Cola. Her first film role was in The Mask with Jim Carrey and she's starred in a wide array of projects since then, including the existential black comedy Being John Malkovich and the Martin Scorsese period drama Gangs of New York. Diaz also provides the voice of Princess Fiona in the Shrek films, with other humor-laden outings including Charlie's Angels, The Sweetest Thing, The Other Woman and Annie.

Early Life

'Cameron Michelle Diaz was born on August 30, 1972, in San Diego, California. The daughter of Emilio Diaz, a second-generation Cuban American oil company foreman, and his wife Billie, who is of Native American, Italian and German descent, Diaz began modeling when she was 16 years old. Her successful modeling career took her to Japan, Australia, Morocco and Paris, among other locales, and landed her in such magazines as Mademoiselle and Seventeen as well as advertising campaigns for companies like Calvin Klein, Coca-Cola and Levi's.

Early Movies

'The Mask'

In 1994, Diaz won her first film role in the blockbuster action-comedy The Mask, starring rubber-faced comic Carrey. With no previous acting experience, she had originally auditioned for a supporting character in the film. Twelve callbacks later, however, she was hired to play torch-singing mob moll Tina Carlyle, the female lead. After the success of The Mask, Diaz was touted as the next big thing in Hollywood and wooed by a number of prominent filmmakers to appear in their projects.

'The Last Supper,' 'Feeling Minnesota,' 'She's the One,' 'Head Above Water,' 'My Best Friend's Wedding'

While training to star in the live-action movie version of the popular martial-arts video game Mortal Kombat, Diaz sustained a wrist injury, which caused her to back out of the film. Instead, she made a string of smaller, independent films, including The Last Supper (1995); Feeling Minnesota (1996), costarring Keanu Reeves, She's the One (1996), co-starring Ed Burns and Jennifer Aniston, and Head Above Water (1996), costarring Harvey Keitel. She made a successful return to mainstream movies in 1997, winning raves for her portrayal of a sweet bride-to-be opposite Julia Roberts in the playful comedy hit My Best Friend's Wedding.

'A Life Less Ordinary,' 'There's Something About Mary'

After starring opposite Ewan McGregor in the uneven romantic comedy A Life Less Ordinary (1997), Diaz made the leap to A-list Hollywood stardom with her savvy comic turn in the unapologetically crude surprise summer blockbuster There's Something About Mary, costarring Ben Stiller and Matt Dillon and written and directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly.

'Being John Malkovich,' 'Any Given Sunday'

In 1999, audiences saw two very different sides of Diaz. First, she camouflaged her blond beauty to play a dowdy pet-shop worker and puppeteer's wife in the much talked-about existential comedy Being John Malkovich, directed by Spike Jonze and costarring John Cusack, Catherine Keener and Malkovich. Later that year, she turned in a brazen performance as the glamorous, hard-nosed new owner of a professional football team in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, co-starring Al Pacino and Dennis Quaid.

Big Screen Star: 'Shrek' 'Charlie's Angels'

Despite her undeniable box office appeal, Diaz continued to appear in relatively low-budget independent film — including the black comedy Very Bad Things (1998), Malkovich, and the ensemble film Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (2000), which aired on Showtime cable television in 2001 and co-starred Glenn Close, Holly Hunter and Calista Flockhart — as well as more mainstream projects. In the fall of 2000, she starred alongside Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as one of the three female detectives at the heart of the hit big-screen remake of Aaron Spelling's campy 1970s television show, Charlie's Angels.

In early 2001, Diaz appeared as a free-spirited older sister in The Invisible Circus. She also provided the voice for the spirited Princess Fiona in that summer's animated hit Shrek, also featuring the voices of Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy. The trio revived their roles for three sequels over the next decade.

That same year she starred in Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky, co-starring Tom Cruise. Then in 2002, she was featured in the romantic comedy The Sweetest Thing as well as Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York, co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The following year she joined Liu and Barrymore for the sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. And in 2005, she starred in the film In Her Shoes with Toni Colette, with the story based on the 2002 Jennifer Wiener novel of the same name.

After rom-com The Holiday (2006) and the raunchy What Happens in Vegas (2008), Diaz showed her more serious side in the 2009 family drama My Sister's Keeper. She played a mother of three who finds herself at odds with her youngest child Anna (Abigail Breslin) over her middle child's medical needs. The film is based on the best-selling novel by Jodi Picoult.

Additional Films: 'Bad Teacher,' 'Annie'

Diaz next two film projects were action oriented — the comedic Knight and Day (2010), again co-starring Tom Cruise, and the comic book adaptation The Green Hornet (2011), in which she plays the resourceful secretary of the masked hero (Seth Rogen). More comedies followed, with Diaz having the lead role in 2011's Bad Teacher and being featured as part of the cast of 2012's What To Expect When You're Expecting and Gambit.

Diaz returned to serious fare in the foreboding drama/thriller The Counselor, directed by Ridley Scott, before heading back to humor in 2014: She co-starred in the box office hit The Other Woman as well as Sex Tape, with the latter co-starring Jason Segel. The holiday season saw the actress starring as Ms. Hannigan in a remake of the musical Annie, with Quvenzhané Wallis in the lead role.

Personal Life

In addition to her work onscreen, Diaz is often in the news for her personal life. Diaz' five-year relationship with video producer Carlos de La Torre ended in 1995. She dated her There's Something About Mary costar Matt Dillon from 1996 to 1998, and Diaz later became involved with actor Jared Leto in 1999. The couple broke up in 2003, and she started dating singer Justin Timberlake. Diaz and Timberlake dated for several years before calling it quits in 2007. She has also been linked to Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

Diaz began dating Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden in May 2014 and was engaged to the rocker that December. In a whirlwind move, the pair tied the knot on January 5, 2015, at Diaz' Beverly Hills home. Barrymore and Nicole Richie were two of her bridesmaids, along with her sister Chimene Cain and assistant Jesse Lutz. The pair welcomed daughter, Raddix, in 2019.


  • Birth Year: 1972
  • Birth date: August 30, 1972
  • Birth State: California
  • Birth City: San Diego
  • Birth Country: United States
  • Gender: Female
  • Best Known For: Cameron Diaz is an actress known for her comedic roles and girl-next-door charisma. She has starred in an array of films like 'There's Something About Mary' and 'Charlie's Angels.'
  • Industries
    • Film
  • Astrological Sign: Virgo

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  • Article Title: Cameron Diaz Biography
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • Url: https://www.biography.com/actors/cameron-diaz
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: June 30, 2020
  • Original Published Date: April 2, 2014