Custom Search

Natalie Portman Biography

Pretty, petite and doe-eyed, the Jerusalem-born daughter of a fertility doctor and an artist is now studying psychology at prestigious Harvard University in Boston (she turned down a place at Yale) – and it doesn't seem to have damaged her career in the least. Born on June 9, 1981, Natalie has long been on the serious side, deciding to become a vegetarian at the ripe old age of eight, taking time to learn three additional languages (French, Hebrew and Japanese) and making her Broadway debut while earning near-perfect marks as a full-time high school student.

Portman moved to New York when she was three. Raised on Long Island, she was discovered by a modeling agent who signed her on the spot. Her modeling stint led to an audition for Luc Besson's Leon. Due to her age (she was 12 when the film was cast), Portman was initially turned down for the lead role of Mathilda, a girl who asks a hit man (Jean Reno) to train her as an assassin to avenge her brother's death and falls in love with him in the process. However, she ultimately won the part and her 1994 film debut earned a number of positive notices. Portman then took on the role of Al Pacino's step-daughter in another demanding film, Michael Mann's Heat (1995). She followed this up with lighter fare as Jack Nicholson's daughter in Mars Attacks! (1996). Going on the same year to make Woody Allen's musical comedy Everyone Says I Love You, and continued to ride high with the success of her third film of 1996, Beautiful Girls. Portman took on another title role with her 1997 Broadway debut in The Diary of Anne Frank. She stayed with the show until May 1998, during which time she received positive notices for her performance. After lending her voice to The Prince of Egypt (1998), Portman took on her most talked-about role to date, that of Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace (1999).

Natalie has also gone her own route in her film career – in fact, one can learn almost as much about her from the films she has turned down as from the ones she's accepted. She passed on Baz Luhrmann's Romeo And Juliet because, at 15, she wasn't comfortable with the on-screen love affair with 22-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio. She also rejected two other sexy film offers: the steamy teen seductress in Lolita and Christina Ricci's sexually-charged part in The Ice Storm because it was "too dark". Though she's found a level of success which many aspiring actresses can only dream of, it's clear Natalie won't settle for just being a beautiful Hollywood starlet.


Bollywood Hollywood Actress © 2008.