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It doesn't really get anymore "California Girl" than Cameron Diaz. Born on August 30, 1972, in Long Beach, California, Diaz's dad, Emilio, a Cuban-American, was a foreman at a California oil company. Her mom, Billie, who's German, English and Native American, was an import-export broker. And Diaz, of course, was a high school cheerleader. If episodes of 90210 have taught us anything, it's that sneaking out to party under-age will get you into trouble with the 'rents, but sneaking out to party is what launched Diaz's career, so screw 90210's moral agenda.
By her mid-teens, Cameron Diaz began attending Hollywood parties and staying out until the wee hours of the morning. It was during this party phase of her life that Diaz met Jeff Dunas. Dunas spotted Cameron Diaz while she was out one night and told her that he could sign her up with the Elite, a high-profile modeling agency. Sounds creepy, right? Although Cameron Diaz initially thought his proposition was somewhat fishy, she took his card and discussed it with her family and friends.
After leaving Long Beach and traveling around the world as a model, appearing in magazines like Mademoiselle and Seventeen, Cameron Diaz returned to California, hoping to expand into acting.
In 1994, she decided to audition for a small bit part in the movie The Mask, starring Jim Carrey. Although she didn't have any acting experience, Cameron Diaz was cast as the female lead in the film. After receiving rave reviews for her performance in The Mask, Diaz set out to perfect her acting skills by steering clear of potential blockbuster hits and focusing on low-budget films such as The Last Supper (1999), Feeling Minnesota (1996), which costarred Keanu Reeves, and Head Above Water (1996), in which she played Harvey Keitel's wife.
Once Cameron Diaz felt that she reached her acting acme, she returned to big-budget films like My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), opposite Julia Roberts. It was at this time that The National Association of Theatre Owners acknowledged her string of movie triumphs by naming her the ShoWest Female Star of Tomorrow. That same year, she hit the silver screen once again in A Life Less Ordinary, starring opposite Ewan McGregor.
The film that really turned Cameron Diaz into a household name was her iconic role in There's Something About Mary (1998), which costarred Ben Stiller and Matt Dillon. The film not only catapulted her stardom, but it also gave Cameron Diaz her first publicized relationship as she began dating Dillon. The relationship lasted for nearly three years.
In 1999, Cameron Diaz starred opposite Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday, and opposite John Cusack in Being John Malkovich, which earned her nominations for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes, the BAFTA Awards and the SAG Awards.
2000 marked the year Cameron Diaz debuted as an action star in Charlie's Angels with fellow beauties Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, and the year women everywhere requested the movie's theme song -- "Independent Women" by Destiny's Child -- making dance floors the world over the most terrifying place to be.
2001 was also a big year for this starlet: She lent her voice to the ever-popular animated film, Shrek, and she starred alongside Tom Cruise is the critically acclaimed Vanilla Sky. Her appearance in the film earned her Best Actress nominations at the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the AFI Awards.
Cameron Diaz spent the next few years starring in Gangs of New York (2002), Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003) -- for which her $20 million salary made her the second actress after Julia Roberts to earn that much for a role -- and Shrek 2 (2004).
During this time, Cameron Diaz was in another high-profile relationship, this time with former boy-band member, Justin Timberlake, whom she met at the Kids' Choice Awards in 2003. The two had a four-year relationship before calling it quits in 2007, the same year that Cameron Diaz appeared in Shrek The Third as the voice of the lovable Fiona.
Cameron Diaz took on several 2008 projects. First she cohosted Saturday Night Live in January and starred in What Happens in Vegas... alongside Ashton Kutcher. Although starring with Kutcher in a romantic comedy often equals career suicide for most actresses, Diaz came out of the experience fairly unscathed.
She added My Sister's Keeper with Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack in 2009, and she's looking forward to lending her voice to the fourth installment of Shrek in '10.