Natalie Portman

From ArticleWorld

Natalie Portman (Hershlag) was born in Jerusalem, Israel on June 9, 1981. This Israeli-American actress is best known for her role as Senator Padme Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.


Family life

Portman is the only child of father, Dr. Avner Hershlag, M.D. and mother Shelley Hershlag. Unlike many other actors who normally take on stage names, Natalie’s last name of “Portman” is taken from her maternal grandmother’s maiden name. Her family moved to the United States when she was three years old so that her father might pursue medical training in Maryland.


Natalie caught the performing bug early in her pre-teen years. She took dancing lessons at age eleven and later quickly got involved in acting with her debut role in the 1994 film Léon (a.k.a The Professional). Subsequent minor roles followed in early 90’s films such as Heat, Everyone Says I Love You and Mars Attacks! as well as a starring role, her junior year of high school, in the Broadway production of The Diary of Anne Frank.


Even in the midst of her blossoming acting career, Natalie held her education as a high priority. She was quoted as saying in the November, 1994 issue of USA Today: "I'm going to college. I don't care if it ruins my career. I'd rather be smart than a movie star." After graduating high school in 1999 with high honors, she went on to Harvard University to pursue a BS in Psychology. It was during her summer breaks from studying at Harvard University, that she filmed the Star Wars trilogy of movies. In addition, she has written numerous research papers, both in high school and college, and was a research assistant to two of her professors at Harvard. Natalie is now pursuing a graduate degree from Hebrew University in Israel.

Personal life

It is not known whether or not Portman has a significant other, although she has been linked in the tabloids with many friends, co-stars and musicians over the years. There is some speculation as to who she might have romantic links with, yet nothing has been confirmed. Natalie is a vegetarian and is dedicated to such causes as ending poverty and the Democrat’s 2004 U.S. presidential campaign. She was the 2004/2005 Ambassador of Hope for FINCA International, an organization dedicated to financially helping female business owners.