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Pop Culture

Natalie Portman

Child star, Harvard grad, “Star Wars” queen and bona fide movie star with an Oscar.

27 PHOTOS

Straight arrow

Portman plays a warrior princess in 2011's "Your Highness," starring alongside James Franco and Danny McBride. The film has been called "a medieval stoner comedy."

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Megawatt smile

Portman arrives at the premiere of "No Strings Attached" in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. The film received mediocre reviews but did better than expected at the box office.

Matt Sayles | AP
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Mismatched couple?

In 2011 comedy "No Strings Attached," Portman plays a doctor who tries to keep her relationship with Ashton Kutcher purely physical. The film topped the box office on its debut weekend, beating Seth Rogen's "The Green Hornet."

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He does want to sleep with me

While accepting her best actress Golden Globe for "Black Swan," Portman thanked Millepied, who plays a small role in the film as a dancer with no sexual interest in the neurotic Nina. "It's not true! He totally wants to sleep with me!" she said. Her nervous laugh after delivering the joke was repeated and drawn out into a viral video that quickly made the rounds on the Internet.

Handout | Getty Images North America
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Parents to be

Portman and Millepied arrive at the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was born in France and raised in Senegal, beginning ballet training at age 8 with his mother, herself a ballet dancer. He reportedly left the ballerina with whom he was living when he and Portman fell in love on "Black Swan."

Jason Merritt | Getty Images North America
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Beauty in black and white

Natalie Portman won the best actress award at the Critics' Choice Awards on Jan. 14, 2011 in Los Angeles. She thanked "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky, joking "You made me very skinny and you ... made me fat," referring to the workouts she took on for the role and to her eventual pregnancy with and engagement to choreographer Benjamin Millepied.

Jason Merritt | Getty Images North America
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Dark side

In 2010's "Black Swan," Portman plays nervous and naive ballerina Nina, who can play "Swan Lake's" innocent white swan easily, but struggles to understand the role of the sensual black swan.

Ho | X80001
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Bringing hope to the world

Portman speaks at the 25th anniversary of the Foundation for International Community Assistance in November 2010. She is an ambassador of hope for the group, which promotes the use of micro-finance to provide financial services to the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs. Portman has visited FINCA programs in Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Uganda and often speaks on its behalf.

Joe Corrigan | Getty Images North America
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War story

In 2009's "Brothers," Portman plays a mom and wife who's suddenly left a widow, or so she believes. But her husband, played by Tobey Maguire, makes an unexpected return, only to find that his brother (Jake Gyllenhaal) has fallen for Portman's character.

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Giving out the gold

Ben Stiller, dressed as Joaquin Phoenix, presented an award with Portman at the 2009 Academy Awards.

Kevin Winter | Getty Images North America
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The city that never sleeps

In 2009, Portman starred in "New York, I Love You," a collective work of 11 short films about the city. It's the second in a series called the "Cities of Love" franchise. 2006's "Paris, je t'aime" was the first.

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Putting her best foot forward

Portman was a vegetarian since childhood and became a vegan in 2009, reportedly after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book, "Eating Animals." The year before that, she launched a line of vegan footwear, seen here.

Astrid Stawiarz | Getty Images North America
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Losing her head

Portman played the famous Anne Boleyn and Scarlett Johansson her lesser-known sister Mary in 2008's "The Other Boleyn Girl," based on Philippa Gregory's novel.

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Bluer than blue

In 2007, Portman starred with Norah Jones in "My Blueberry Nights," the first English feature film directed by Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai. Portman plays a poker player who's lost all her money gambling.

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Going ape

In 2007, Portman teamed up with wildlife expert Jack Hanna to make "Gorillas on the Brink," a TV special about the plight of gorillas in Rwanda.

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Double role

Portman plays two characters in 2007's "Goya's Ghosts," set in Spain in the 1700s. She portrays both a young model and her lookalike, a prostitute.

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World of 'Wonder'

Portman plays an employee in a magical toy store run by Dustin Hoffman in 2007's "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium." She told the press she was excited to make a movie for children.

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Rap it up

In 2006, Portman spoofed herself in an SNL Digital Short on "Saturday Night Live." She turns her good-girl image on its ear by playing herself as an angry gangsta rapper, saying when she was at Harvard she did drugs constantly and cheated on every test.

Hulu.com: Natalie Portman raps on "SNL."

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Who needs hair?

Portman wasn't afraid to shave her head for 2006's "V for Vendetta," an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name. Her character joins an underground anti-government group. Jerusalem-born Portman has been quoted as saying "being from Israel was a reason I wanted to do this because terrorism and violence are such a daily part of my conversations since I was little."

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Close to you

Portman and Clive Owen starred in 2004's "Closer," often mentioned as one of the actress' best films. Both Owen and Portman were nominated for supporting-acting Oscars for their roles. Neither won, but they did win Golden Globes.

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Smile for the cameras

Portman poses for pictures during the New York premiere of "Garden State" in 2004.

Stephen Lovekin | FilmMagic
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'Garden State'

Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, left, and Zach Braff, right, starred in 2004's "Garden State." Portman's character was an epileptic and a pathological liar. Braff wrote and directed the film, which had only a limited release in theaters but gained more attention on DVD.

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Giving birth at Wal-Mart

Portman starred in the 2000 film "Where the Heart Is," based on the best-selling Billie Letts novel. She plays Novalee Nation, who is abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart and decides to live there, even giving birth to her baby in the store.

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Luke, I am your mother

Portman gained real fame in 1999 when she played Queen Padme Amidala in the first of the three "Star Wars" prequels, "The Phantom Menace." Her marriage to Anakin Skywalker, who later becomes Darth Vader, produces twins Luke and Leia, but she dies giving birth to them.

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You are so 'Beautiful'

In 1996's "Beautiful Girls," Portman plays a young girl who describes herself as "an old soul." Matt Dillon, Timothy Hutton and Rosie O'Donnell also star.

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Working with Woody Allen

Portman also had a role in the 1996 Woody Allen film "Everyone Says I Love You."

Rights Managed
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Getting her start

Natalie Portman was just 13 when she made her feature film debut, as a child who befriends a middle-aged hitman (Jean Reno) in 1994's "Leon: The Professional." Born Natalie Hershlag, she took her grandmother's maiden name, Portman, for her stage name.

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