Charlize Theron has linked the violent death of her father to her successful acting career - because witnessing tragedy at a young age inspired her to make the most of her life.
Theron was 15 when she saw her mother, Gerda, shoot dead her alcoholic and abusive father, Charles, in self-defence.
The actress, who won a coveted Academy Award in 2004, admits the incident will stay with her for life - but also had a positive affect by giving her the motivation to become successful.
She says, "I don't know how to say this without sounding strange. But I feel like having this tragedy at such a young age has given me a leg up from other people. Because, man, from 16, I knew the value of life and I knew how quickly it could be taken away. And from that moment on, I made a choice to either swim or to drown, you know?
"(I have) had many painful journeys and heartbreaks since my father died, many of which I draw on for my work."