She was invited to join the national tour of Zero Mostel's Lunatics and Lovers.
Her first television role was as Bessie, the secretary, on the 1955 syndicated series The Great Gildersleeve, starring Willard Waterman and based on the Fibber Mc Gee and Molly radio program.
She attended the Schuster-Martin School of Drama in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was founded by an aunt of the actor Tyrone Power.
Thereafter she studied in New York City under Stella Adler, having modeled to pay for her acting lessons.
Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend reportedly broke up last month after nine years together. Charlize said numerous times over the years that she and Stuart would not marry until it was legal for gays and lesbians in the United States, but that they considered themselves married.