Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman at the Toronto Film Festival. Photo by Marco Manna

The Life of Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman as a child in Leon: The Professional

Natalie Portman was born June 9th, 1981 in Jerusalem. She is the only child of Shelly, an American homemaker who works as Portman’s agent, and Avner Hershlag, an Israeli citizen who is a fertility specialist and gynecologist.

Natalie Portman is best known for her leading role in Black Swan where the actress took home a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.

Natalie Portman’s Career


In the early years of Natalie Portman’s life, the actress made her big debut though the movie Leon: The Professional. Interestingly enough, soon after landing the role, Natalie took her godmothers last name, Portman, in order to maintain privacy within her life.

Later on, she was even the first choice to play Juliet in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (you know, the one with Leonardo DiCaprio), but producers felt her age wasn’t appropriate for the film. Natalie also starred in the Star Wars prequels; Episode I, II and III playing the role of Padme.

Another famous film Natalie Portman stars in is Where the Heart Is where she plays a pregnant teen left by her boyfriend in a Wal-Mart in Oklahoma. After filming Where the Heart Is, Portman moved into Harvard University’s dorms to peruse her bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Natalie Portman at Harvard

In 2003, Natalie Portman graduated Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. While at Harvard, she stated that for the next four years she wasn’t going to be acting in order to focus on school. “I don’t care if college ruins my career,” she told the The New York Post. “I’d rather be smart than a movie star.”

Also while at Harvard, she was the assistant to Alan Dershowitz’s, known as one of America’s most public Jewish defenders. Which makes sense considering Natalie Portman is Jewish. While attending Harvard, she was a resident of Lowell House and wrote a letter to the Harvard Crimson in response to an essay critical of Israeli actions toward Palestinians.