Charlize Theron’s dark childhood as she watched mum shoot dad in front of her

Action film buffs would need no introduction to Charlize Theron.

The actress, who turned 47 this week, has starred hit films including The Italian Job, Hancock, Prometheus, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Fate of the Furious, Atomic Blonde and The Old Guard.

The Hollywood A-lister has also won best actress Academy Awards for her roles in drama film Monster, North Country and Bombshell.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Theron would play Clea in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This began with her debut in the mid-credits scene of the superhero film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was released in May.

Theron also made a surprise cameo appearance in Season 3 of superhero TV series The Boys as an actress playing Stormfront.

When she's not playing action-packed roles on screen, Theron also adopts a tough persona off it.

She's had her share of rows with actors, including expletive-laden comments about "aggressive" Max Mad: Fury Road co-star Tom Hardy and the "not very nice to women" Steven Segal.

But long before her gritty and action-packed film roles, the South African-born and raised Theron had her own dark origin story.

Charlize Theron's childhood

Theron grew up her a farm in Benoni, near Johannesburg, the town where she was born in 1975.

Theron has said her alcoholic father was verbally abusive and had a troubled marriage to her mother.

When she was 15, in June 1991, her father came home drunk and threatened to kill the teenager and her mother.

He reported physically attacked her mother and repeatedly fired his gun, before shooting again into Theron's bedroom.

Theron's mother then grabbed her own gun and shot back, killing him.

Her mother never faced prosecution after the attorney general ruled she had acted to defend herself and her daughter, according to ABC News.

In an interview with TV journalist Diane Sawyer, Theron said: "I know what happened. And I know that if my daughter was in the same situation, I would do the same thing."

She added: "I think, for me, it took a long time to sink in, what had really happened because you just don't think stuff like that will ever happen to you.

"It's a part of me, but it doesn't rule my life."

Theron also had health issues growing up and had jaundice as a young child.

She has previously spoken about how she was on so many antibiotics her front milk teeth rotted and had to be removed.

As a result, she said she had no teeth until she was 11.

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