Charlize Theron (born August 7, 1975) is a South African actress, film producer, and former fashion model. She rose to fame in the late 1990s following her roles in 2 Days in the Valley, Mighty Joe Young, The Devil's Advocate, and The Cider House Rules. She received critical acclaim and an Academy Award for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster, for which she became the first African to win an Academy Award in a major acting category. She received another Academy Award nomination for her performance in North Country. She was named Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive in 2007. In late 2008 she was asked to be a UN messenger of peace by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.