Photo of Natalie Portman Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman was born June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, to a doctor father and artist mother who moved the family to America when Natalie was 3 years old. Discovered by a talent agent at age 11, she made her film bow in a major role in 1995's The Professional.

Impressive in small parts in Heat, Beautiful Girls and Everyone Says I Love You, Portman joined the Star Wars universe as Queen Amidala in Episode I: The Phantom Menace (and its sequels). Proving to critics that her talent wouldn't be buried under computer-generated special effects, Portman was memorable as a Civil War widow in Cold Mountain (2003) and as Zach Braff's love interest in the 2004 indie Garden State.

Portman wowed remaining doubters with a supporting turn in Closer that earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nod in 2005. She added another Golden Globe and her first Academy Award to her résumé in 2011 for her lead performance in Black Swan.

Natalie Portman in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace

1999 PG

In this Star Wars prequel, jedi Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) must protect Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) from the evil clutches of Darth Sidious and Senator Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Along the way, they meet Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a child who shows intimations of a great gift. Terence Stamp and Samuel L. Jackson co-star amid spectacular CGI scenery in director George Lucas's sci-fi epic.

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