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Charlize Theron

When Charlize Theron received her accolade on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, she must have been thinking of her very own real life star, her "team-mate" and mother, Gerda. The resilient South African ran a home and a road-construction business in the African bush, protected Charlize from an alcoholic father and later bought her a one-way ticket to Los Angeles.

And when the young wannabe called home in tears from a basement apartment in the big city, Gerda soon dispensed some tough love. "She said: 'I'll get you a basement back home, and you can go and cry in there'," recalls the North Country actress.

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