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Charlize Theron: Lucky Break

When a knee injury forced her to stop dancing, Charlize Theron turned her focus to modeling but had difficulty finding work in New York.

Unhappy and uncertain about her future, Theron called her mother, who persuaded her to go west to seek her fortune as an actress and sent her a one-way ticket.

After two weeks in Hollywood, Theron went to a bank to cash the final check from photo shoots in New York and threw a tantrum when the teller refused to cash an out-of-state check.

Local talent manager John Crosby happened to be standing in line behind her, and, after helpfully explaining that she could cash her check at any post office, asked if she was, perchance, an actress. Theron, somewhat flustered, replied that she fully intended to become one and Crosby promptly signed her on as a client.

[Theron had found an agent in record time, despite her remarkable ignorance of Hollywood: When Charlize received her ticket from New York to Los Angeles, she panicked and called her mother. "Oh, my God, they made a mistake," she cried. "They're flying me to L.A., Mom!" As Charlize later explained: "I didn't even know Hollywood was in L.A."]

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