Natalie Portman (born June 9, 1981) is an actress and filmmaker with dual Israeli and American citizenship. Prolific in film since a teenager, she has starred in blockbusters, for which she has received several accolades, including an Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards.

Portman began her acting career at age 12 by starring as the young protégée of a hitman in the 1994 action film Léon; 'The Professional'.

While in high school, she made her Broadway theatre debut in a 1998 production of 'The Diary of a Young Girl' and gained international recognition for starring as Padmé Amidala in 'Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace' (1999).

From 1999 to 2003, Portman attended Harvard University for a bachelor's degree in psychology, while continuing to act in the 'Star Wars prequel trilogy' (2002, 2005) and in 'The Public Theater's' 2001 revival of Anton Chekhov's play 'The Seagull'.

In 2004, Portman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and won a Golden Globe Award for playing a mysterious stripper in the romantic drama 'Closer'.

Portman was born on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem to Jewish parents. She was given the traditional Hebrew name 'Neta-Lee'. She is the only child of Shelley (née Stevens), an American homemaker who works as Portman's agent, and Avner Hershlag, a gynecologist. Her maternal grandparents were American Jews and her paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants to Israel.

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