Actors Who Had Family Members That Were Tragically Murdered

In films like “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Atomic Blonde,” Charlize Theron has fought against and dealt out jaw-dropping violence with astonishing skill and gravitas. But the Oscar winner found herself in a real-life fight for her life in her native South Africa, and one which ended with a familial tragedy. In a 2019 interview with NPR, Theron recalled the violent impact of her father’s alcohol addiction on her family.

“It was a pretty hopeless situation,” she said. Her father’s addiction issues left them in a constant state of anxiety, wondering when it would bloom into physical violence. That tension finally reached a boiling point when Theron was 15. Her father threatened Theron and her mother, Maritz, with a gun, and even fired shots into a room where they were hiding. “None of those bullets ever hit us, which is just a miracle,” she explained. To save herself and her daughter, Theron’s mother fired back with her own weapon, killing her husband. Charges were not filed because Maritz had acted in self-defense.

Theron has spoken openly about the experience in hopes of supporting others who might be in similar situations. “I’m not ashamed to talk about it, because the more we do talk about these things, the more we realize we are not alone in any of it,” she said.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

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