A Harvard-degree holder, Natalie Portman is an intelligent actress. Born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel, she is the only child of a doctor father and an artist mother, who also acts as her agent. Is a smart straight-A student, she was born diligent and does concern about getting a good education. "I loved school so much that most of my classmates considered me a dork," she said. "I'm going to college. I don't care if it ruins my career. I'd rather be smart than a movie star." Early in her life, Nat left her homeland for Washington, DC where she attended the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. After a few more moves, her family finally settled in New York and lived there until she graduated from Long Island High School 1999 with honors, which then allowed her to study at Harvard and graduated in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Raised in Long Island, Nat was discovered by a Revlon model scout in a pizza parlor at the age of 11 who immediately offered her an opportunity to model. Decided that she would rather pursue a career in acting, the young girl did ask for a contract which led to her getting an agent first and then auditioned for Luc Besson's 1994 film "Léon" (aka The Professional). Concerning her young age she was initially turned down for the role of Mathilda, a girl who asks a hit man, Jean Reno's role, to train her as an assassin to avenge her brother's death and falls in love with him in the process, but Besson who saw something in her decided to give her a go. Her debut in the flick, indeed, earned her positive notices which later on granted her roles in such films, as "Heat" (1995), "Beautiful Girls" (1996) and "Mars Attacks!" (1996).
It was not until the year of 1999 that Nat gained her worldwide fame through her portrayal of Queen Amidala in the highly anticipated $431 million grossing "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace". Released early that year, the flick became the highest grossing film of the year and the second highest grossing film out of the Star Wars series. Following this, the young lady then was billed to star in the critically acclaimed drama "Anywhere But Here" (1999), for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and in the 2000 drama/romance "Where the Heart Is". Adding stage career to her resume, in July 2001 Nat opened in New York City's Public Theater production of Chekhov's "The Seagull" before then in the same year made a cameo appearance in the comedy "Zoolander".
Then again involved in the production of the second Star Wars prequel, "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" in 2002, Nat in between times was cast in the 2003 "Cold Mountain", being in the same scene with senior actors Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. The following year, the movie beauty was cast in two more projects, the first being the independent movie "Garden State" and the next was the drama "Closer". Played alongside A-list actors, including Jude Law, Clive Owen, and Julia Roberts, her role of Alice in the later movie successfully earned her a Supporting Actress Golden Globe award as well as a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. The year 2005 saw her starred in drama flick "Free Zone" and the last installment of the Star Wars, "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith". Released worldwide on May 19th, this final film was credited by the critics as the best of the prequels, with a worldwide gross reached nearly $850 million while also was voted Favorite Motion Picture at People's Choice Awards.
The success of this film obviously boosted Nat's acting career even higher than ever which then resulted in her been billed to star in the film adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel, "V for Vendetta" (2006), for which she willingly shaved her head just to be able to get into the shoes of her character. Since then on, more and more film projects approached her, naming some were "Goya's Ghosts", The Darjeeling Limited", and "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium", all came up in 2007. Others like "My Blueberry Nights" and "The Other Boleyn Girl", in the meantime, have been slated to hit theaters in 2008 followed by "Brothers" in 2009.
Taking a look into her private life, Nat would always like to keep her love relationship away from the media spotlight. Being beautiful, smart, and talented, she often linked to numbers of male friends, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Hayden Christensen, and Gael Garcia Bernal just to name a few. In addition to all, Nat was also reported dating Adam Levine of California rock band Maroon 5 and once was romantically linked to British financier Nat Rothschild. Early in 2007, the actress made headlines when she and Bernal were spotted leaving a German nightclub together, thus provoked rumors they have rekindled their romance.