Natalie Portman is an Israeli born actress who made her film debut in 1994 playing Mathilda Lando (protégée of a hitman) in the French thriller Léon: The Professional. She later gained international recognition in 1999 for starring in two movies that were huge successes. The first was Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace where she played Padmé Amidala and the second was Anywhere but Here, where she starred as Ann August. In 2002, she appeared in the sequel of Star Wars: Episode I, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith in 2005.
The Havard University graduate is also a film producer and director with several accolades which includes two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award.
Natalie’s Early Life
Portman was born on the 9th day of June 1981 in Jerusalem to parents of Jewish heritage who gave her the traditional name of Neta-Lee Hershlag. She is the only child of Shelley and Avner Hershlag. Her mom is a Portman agent and her dad is a fertility specialist and gynecologist.
Shelley and Avner Hershlag met at a Jewish student center in Ohio State University and got married a few years later in Israel. Three years after Natalie’s birth, the couple moved back to the U.S where Avner completed his medical training. The family first settled in Washington, D.C.before moving over to Connecticut in 1988 and to New York in 1990. While living in Jericho, New York, Potman attended Solomon Schechter Day School of Nassau County (a Jewish elementary school) and learned to speak Hebrew.
After her elementary education, she proceeded to Syosset High School where she graduated from in 1999. And in 2003 she bagged a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in psychology from Harvard University. After Havard, she headed to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she took graduate courses.
By March 2006, Natalie Portman was at Columbia University as a guest lecturer taking a course in terrorism and counter-terrorism. In addition to her degrees, Natalie Portman also took courses in Arabic, German, French and Japanese languages. She attended Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights, and also took a course in ballet and modern dance at the American Theater Dance Workshop. Portman has both Israeli and American citizenship.
Natalie Portman has always had an interest in Arts from a very tender age and at the age of four, her parents enrolled her in dance lessons. As soon as she began to master her dance steps, she began performing with local dance troupes. At the age of ten, she was offered an opportunity to become a child model by a Revlon agent but she turned down the offer preferring to go for acting instead.
In 1992, she auditioned for off-Broadway show Ruthless! and was chosen alongside now pop star Britney Spears to serve as understudies for the star actress Laura Bell Bund. In 1994, she made her first debut in Luc Besson’s French thriller, Léon: The Professional, where she starred as a protégée to a hitman, played by Jean Reno, it was at this point that she took on the stage name “Portman” (her great grandmother’s maiden name).
Her performance in Léon: The Professional, brought her several other roles. She soon appeared in Everyone Says I Love You, Heat, Mars Attacks! and Beautiful Girls. In 1997, she played the role of Anne Frank in a Broadway adaptation of the book; The Diary of Anne Frank, in the same year, she also played Padmé Amidala in the first of Star Wars prequel trilogy – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
She initially turned down the offer of playing Ann August in Anywhere but Here, after she learned the role would involve her playing a sex scene. She, however, accepted the role after the script was rewritten at the demand of Susan Sarandon and Wayne Wang (who played her parents in the movie). The movie earned her first Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 2000, she appeared as a teenage mother in Where the Heart Is. After this role, she took some time off to attend Havard and except for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Portman didn’t make any serious appearance in any other movie for the next four years.
In 2004, she appeared in Garden State. Her performance in the movie earned her an Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Feature. In the same year, she won the Golden Globe award for Supporting Actress and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Closer.
In 2011, Natalie Portman won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, for her role as a young ballerina in Darren Aronofsky’s film Black Swan, released in 2010. She also starred alongside Ashton Kutcher in the 2011 film No Strings Attached and in Your Highness, which also starred Danny McBride and James Franco.
Portman was in Thor and Thor: The Dark World as Jane Foster. She served as the producer in the movie adaptation of the novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, released in 2016. She also played the role of U.S First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, in the biographical drama Jackie, directed by Pablo Larrain. The movie earned her a Golden Globe Award, Academy Award, and a BAFTA Award nominations for Best Actress. Her performance in the drama also earned her a SAG Award.
Who is Natalie Portman’s Husband?
The multiple-award-winning actress is married to French dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied. The couple met in 2009 while filming Black Swan, Ben was Portman’s choreographer. In December 2010, Natalie confirmed they were expecting a child together and at the same time announced their engagement.
They got married in 2012 at a private Jewish wedding in Big Sur, California, after the birth of their first child Aleph who was born in June 2011. The couple welcomed their second child – a daughter named Amalia in February 2017.
How Tall is Natalie Portman?
The beautiful wife and mother of two stands at a height of 5″3 in (160m) and weighs less than 55 kg. Her body measurement is 34-25-34 in or 86-63.5-86 cm. Her dress size is US size 4, EU 36 and UK size 8. Her bra size is 32B and her shoe size is US size 8 or EU size 38.5.