Cameron Michelle Diaz (born August 30, 1972) is an American actress, producer and former fashion model. She rose to stardom in the 1990s with roles in The Mask (1994), My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) and There's Something About Mary (1998). Other high-profile credits include Charlie's Angels (2000) and its sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), voicing the character of Princess Fiona in the Shrek series (2001–10), The Holiday (2006), Knight and Day (2010), The Green Hornet (2011), Bad Teacher (2011), and The Other Woman (2014).
Diaz has received four Golden Globe Award nominations for her performances in Being John Malkovich (1999), Vanilla Sky (2001), Gangs of New York (2002), and There's Something About Mary (1998) for which she also won the New York Film Critics Best Lead Actress Award. In 2013, Diaz was named the highest-paid actress over 40 in Hollywood.
Diaz was born in San Diego, California. Her mother, Billie Early, was an import-export agent, and her father, Emilio Diaz, worked for the California oil company Unocal as a foreman. Diaz has an elder sister, Chimene. Her father's family was Cuban, and settled in Tampa's Ybor City, later moving to California, where Emilio was born (Diaz's ancestors had originally moved from Spain to Cuba). Her mother has English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry. Diaz grew up in Long Beach, California, and attended Los Cerritos Elementary School, in Cerritos, California, and Long Beach Polytechnic High School.
She began her career as a fashion model at age 16, and contracted with a modeling agency, Elite Model Management. For the next months, she worked all over the world on contracts for companies including Calvin Klein and Levi's. When she was age 17, she was featured on the front cover of the July 1990 issue of Seventeen. Diaz also modeled for 2–3 months in Australia and shot a commercial for Coca-Cola in Sydney in 1991.
At age 21, Diaz auditioned for The Mask, based on the recommendation of an agent for Elite, who met the film's producers while they were searching for the main actress. Having no previous acting experience, she started acting lessons after being cast. The Mask became one of the top ten highest grossing films of 1994. and launched Diaz as a sex symbol.
Preferring to feel her way effectively into the industry,independent films The Last Supper (1996), Feeling Minnesota (1996), She's the One (1996), and Head Above Water (1996). She was scheduled to perform in the film Mortal Kombat, but had to resign after breaking her hand while training for the role. Diaz returned to mainstream films with My Best Friend's Wedding and A Life Less Ordinary, both released in 1997. The following year, she played the title role in the smash hit There's Something About Mary (1998), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the category of Best Actress – Musical or Comedy.
Diaz avoided large studio films for the next three years and took roles in the
She received critical acclaim for her performance in Being John Malkovich (1999), which earned her Best Supporting Actress nominations at the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and SAG Awards. Between 1998 and 2000, Diaz was featured in many movies, such as Very Bad Things, Any Given Sunday, Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, and the successful adaptation of Charlie's Angels. In 2001, she won nominations for Best Supporting Actress for the Golden Globe Awards, the SAG Awards, the Critics' Choice Awards, and the American Film Institute Awards for Vanilla Sky, and also voiced Princess Fiona in the movie Shrek, for which she earned $10 million. In 2003 she starred in Gangs of New York.
In 2005, Diaz played opposite Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine in In Her Shoes (2005), a comedy-drama film based on the novel of the same name by Jennifer Weiner, which focuses on the relationship between two sisters and their grandmother. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and Diaz garnered acclaim for her performance of a dyslectic wild child engaged in a love-hate struggle with her plain, sensible sister (Collette), with USA Today calling it "her best work" then. She followed In Her Shoes with a role in Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy The Holiday, also starring Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black. In it she played Amanda, an American movie trailer producer who temporarily exchanges homes with a British woman (Winslet). Released to a mixed reception by critics, the film became one of the biggest commercial successes of the year, grossing more than $205 million worldwide.
Diaz's only film of 2007 was Shrek the Third, the third installment in the Shrek franchise. Although the film was met with mixed reviews from critics, in contrast to the critical acclaim achieved by the previous films, it grossed $798 million worldwide. The same year, Diaz also voiced Princess Fiona in a thirty-minute Christmas special, directed by Gary Trousdale. Diaz reportedly earned $50 million during the period of a year ending June 2008, for her roles in the Shrek sequel and her next film What Happens in Vegas opposite Ashton Kutcher. A romantic comedy by Tom Vaughan, Diaz and Kutcher portrayed two strangers who awaken together to discover they have gotten married following a night in which they won a huge jackpot after playing the other's quarter. While audiences reacted positively to the film, reviews were negative.
In 2009, she starred in My Sister's Keeper and The Box. Based on Jodi Picoult's novel of the same name, My Sister's Keeper was released to mixed reviews in June 2009. In the drama, Diaz plays a former lawyer and mother of two, one of whom is dying of leukemia. A moderate commercial success, it grossed $95 million worldwide, mostly from its domestic run. Set in 1976, The Box, written and directed by Richard Kelly, stars Diaz and James Marsden as a couple who receive a box from a mysterious man who offers them one million dollars if they press the button sealed within the dome on top of a box, knowing that someone, somewhere, will die from it. Critical response towards the psychological horror film was mixed, and, though having grossed its budget back, was considered a financial disappointment.
In 2010, Forbes
ranked Diaz as the richest Hispanic
female celebrity, ranking her number 60 among the wealthiest 100.
Also that year, Diaz reprised her voice role of Princess Fiona
in Shrek Forever After
, the fourth installment in the Shrek
series. Although the film opened to mixed reviews from critics, it grossed a worldwide total of over $752 million and became the fifth top grossing films released that year.
Also in 2010, Diaz reunited with her Vanilla Sky
co-star Tom Cruise
in the action comedy film Knight and Day
. In it, Diaz plays a classic car restorer who unwittingly gets caught up with the eccentric secret agent Roy Miller, played by Cruise, who is on the run from the Secret Service
. Knight and Day
received mixed reviews,
and while the comedy performed poorly at the box office in its debut, it became a sleeper hit
at the box office at a worldwide gross of $262 million.
In 2011, she played Lenore Case, a journalist, in the remake of the 1940s film The Green Hornet. Directed by Michel Gondry, Diaz starred alongside Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, and Christoph Waltz in the superhero action comedy film. Released to mixed to negative reviews from critics, who called it an "overblown, interminable and unfunny update", the film ended its theatrical run on April 21, 2011, with a worldwide gross total of $228 million. The same year, she played opposite Justin Timberlake and Jason Segel in Jake Kasdan's adult comedy Bad Teacher. In the film, Diaz plays an immoral, gold-digging Chicago-area middle school teacher at the fictional John Adams Middle School who curses at her students, drinks heavily, and smokes marijuana. Again, it received mostly negative reviews from critics who felt that "in spite of a promising concept and a charmingly brazen performance from Diaz, Bad Teacher is never as funny as it should be." A commercial hit however, the R-rated comedy grossed $216 million worldwide. Also in 2011, Diaz was listed among CEOWorld magazine's Top Accomplished Women Entertainers.
In 2012, Diaz was cast in What to Expect When You're Expecting
, directed by Kirk Jones
and based on the pregnancy guide of the same name
Diaz, who filmed her scenes in a two-week period, portrays Jules Baxer, a contestant on a celebrity dance show and a host to a weight-loss fitness show, who becomes pregnant with her dance partner's baby.
Upon release, the ensemble comedy received mostly negative reviews, but became a moderate commercial success with a worldwide gross of $84.4 million.
Diaz's other film that year was Gambit
, a remake of the 1966 film of the same name
directed by Michael Hoffman
and scripted by Joel and Ethan Coen
. The film received overwhelmingly negative reviews,
and performed poorly at the box office, grossing only $10 million internationally.
Diaz also voiced Sigmund Freud
in A Liar's Autobiography
(2012), a 2012 British animated comedy film that is a completely inaccurate portrayal of the life of Monty Python
alumnus Graham Chapman
In Ridley Scott's The Counselor, Diaz's only film project of 2013, a thriller film about greed, death, the primal instincts of humans and their consequences, she starred along with Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz and Brad Pitt. Diaz plays a pathological liar and a sociopath, an immigrant who is now living the high-life after escaping a sordid past as an exotic dancer. While Diaz earned positive reviews for her performance, the film was largely panned by critics.
Diaz's first film of 2014 was the romantic revenge comedy The Other Woman opposite Leslie Mann and Kate Upton. Primarily filmed in Downtown Manhattan, New York City, it depicts Diaz as a successful, strong-minded lawyer, who discovers her boyfriend is married, only to bond with his wife and another woman she discovers he has been cheating with. While The Other Woman received mostly negative reviews from critics, who felt that it settled for cheap laughs, it opened atop the US weekend box office with earnings of $24.7 million across the three days. Also in 2014, Diaz starred in the comedy Sex Tape, with Jason Segel, and co-starred in another adaptation of the musical, Annie, playing Miss Hannigan.
In late 2013, she published a health book, The Body Book: Feed, Move, Understand and Love Your Amazing Body, co-written with Sandra Bark. It was no. 2 on The New York Times Best Seller list in March 2014.
Diaz has had long-term relationships with video producer Carlos de la Torre, actor Matt Dillon, actor/singer Jared Leto, singer/actor Justin Timberlake, and New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez. She married musician Benji Madden at her home in Beverly Hills, California, on January 5, 2015, after a 17-day engagement, having been introduced seven months earlier by her close friend and now sister-in-law, Nicole Richie. The marriage came as a reversal for Diaz, who had previously referred to the custom as a "dying institution" that doesn't "suit our world any longer".
Diaz received substantial defamation damages from suing American Media Incorporated, after the National Enquirer posted an article and pictures with the headline “Cameron Caught Cheating” on their website in May 2005. The photos claimed to show Diaz cheating on her boyfriend of the time, Justin Timberlake, with the married MTV producer of her show Trippin', Shane Nickerson. After Diaz complained, the article and pictures were removed from the web and the hard copy did not contain any of the content. The magazine apologized to Diaz, Timberlake, Nickerson and his wife for the distress caused and said the story was untrue and the picture showed no more than a goodbye hug between friends.
She endorsed Al Gore publicly during 2000. Known for her environmental activism, she is an early adopter of the Prius electric car and worked to promote Gore's Live Earth campaign, raising awareness of climate change. Diaz wore a T-shirt that read "I won't vote for a son of a Bush!" while making publicity visits for Charlie's Angels.
Diaz has been involved with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the first and largest nonprofit organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has spoken as an advocate for military families. Although she was quoted by a 1997 Time article as saying she was germophobic, in 2009, Diaz specifically stated that a small comment she made 12 years earlier regarding public-bathroom doorknobs was distorted.
On April 15, 2008, Diaz's father, Emilio Diaz, died at the age of 58 from pneumonia.
In February 2015, Diaz spoke of the effect of practicing Transcendental Meditation, saying, "To have that tool now and to be able to go inside to the deepest part of myself and to access that and to recharge my battery internally, within myself, I feel so badass. I really do. I think it's so awesome. I feel so empowered that I actually possess that."
Awards and nominations
American Comedy Awards
American Film Institute Award
Boston Society of Film Critics Award
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award
Chicago Film Critics Association Award
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award
Golden Globe Award
Kids' Choice Awards
MTV Movie Awards
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
NRJ Cine Awards
Online Film Critics Society Awards
People's Choice Awards
Screen Actors Guild Awards
Teen Choice Awards
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Cameron Michelle Diaz; born August 30, 1972, in Long Beach (some sources say San Diego), CA
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April 27, 2014
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Roping in pal Cameron Diaz to star in its campy yet impressively plausible trailer...
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