BiographyHailed as a child prodigy for her uncommonly skilled performances in Luc Besson's The Professional (1994) and Michael Mann's Heat (1995), Natalie Portman dodged the "child star curse" bullet to become a major big screen draw in her twenties. Even as a teen, Portman's talent for portraying sensitive old souls reflected her own grounded, emotionally evolved persona, as well as her ability to plan her career and choose roles wisely. She offered a Golden Globe-nominated performance as the level-headed daughter of flighty single mom Susan Sarandon in Anywhere But Here (1999), before transforming into a sci-fi pin-up as regal queen Padme Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999, 2002, 2005). Her foray into mega blockbuster territory - including "V for Vendetta" (2006) - proved Portman's screen appeal as an empowered, intelligent and irresistibly cute screen star. Throughout her career Portman maintained "acclaimed actress" status with a Golden Globe-winning turn in Mike Nichols' Closer (2004) and returned regularly to independent films like Garden State" (2004), where her charm, emotional accessibility and increasing dramatic range made her one of the most bankable young females on the big screen.