Cameron Michelle Diaz (born August 30, 1972) is an American actress and former model. She became famous during the 1990s with roles in the movies The Mask, My Best Friend's Wedding, and There's Something About Mary. Other high-profile credits include the two Charlie's Angels films, voicing the character Princess Fiona for the Shrek series and Bad Teacher. Diaz received Golden Globe award nominations for her performances in the movies There's Something About Mary, Being John Malkovich, Vanilla Sky, and Gangs of New York.
Diaz, the younger of two daughters, was born in San Diego, California. Her mother, Billie, is an import-export agent, and her father, Emilio Diaz (1949–2008), worked for the California oil company UNOCAL for more than 20 years as a field gauger. Diaz has an older sister, Chimene. Her father's family came from Spain via Cuba (her Spanish paternal grandparents settled in Tampa's Ybor City and her father was born in Los Angeles County). Her mother is of English, German, and Cherokee descent. Diaz was raised in Long Beach, California and attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School.
At age sixteen, she began her career as a fashion model, contracted with modeling agency Elite Model Management. For the next few years, she worked around the world for contracts with major companies, modeling for designers such as Calvin Klein and Levi's. When she was 17 years old, she was featured on the front cover of the July 1990 issue of the magazine Seventeen.
At age 21 Diaz auditioned for The Mask, based on the recommendation of an agent for Elite, who met the film's producers while they were searching for the female main actress. Having no previous acting experience, she started acting lessons after being cast. The Mask became one of the top ten highest grossing films of 1994. Diaz's performance as the sultry lounge singer "Tina Carlyle" earned her nominations for several awards and launched her as a sex symbol.
Preferring to feel her way effectively into the industry, Diaz avoided large studio films for the next three years and took roles in the independent films The Last Supper (1995), Feeling Minnesota (1996), She's the One (1996), and Head Above Water (1996). She was scheduled to feature in the film Mortal Kombat, but had to resign after breaking her hand while training for the role.
Diaz returned to mainstream films with My Best Friend's Wedding and A Life Less Ordinary, both released in 1997. The following year, she played the title role in the smash hit There's Something About Mary (1998), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the category of Best Actress – Musical or Comedy. She received critical acclaim for her performance in Being John Malkovich (1999), which earned her Best Supporting Actress nominations at the Golden Globe Award, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG Awards). Between 1998 and 2000, Diaz featured in many movies, such as Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, Very Bad Things, Any Given Sunday, and the successful adaptation of Charlie's Angels. In 2001, she won nominations for Best Supporting Actress for the Golden Globe Awards, the SAG Awards, the Critics' Choice Awards, and the American Film Institute Awards for Vanilla Sky, and also voiced Princess Fiona in the movie Shrek, for which she earned $10 million.
In 2003, Diaz received another Golden Globe nomination for Martin Scorsese's 2002 epic Gangs of New York, and became the third actress (after Wedding costar Julia Roberts) to earn $20 million for a role, receiving the sum for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Her next movies were In Her Shoes (2005) and The Holiday (2006). She was preparing to work again with The Mask co-star Jim Carrey for the film Fun with Dick and Jane, but resigned to feature in In Her Shoes. Diaz reportedly earned $50 million during the period of a year ending June 2008, for her roles in What Happens in Vegas opposite Ashton Kutcher, and the Shrek sequels. In 2009, she starred in My Sister's Keeper and The Box.
In 2010, Forbes Magazine ranked Cameron Diaz as the richest Hispanic female celebrity, ranking number 60 among the wealthiest 100. Also that year, Diaz voiced Princess Fiona for the movie Shrek Forever After, and reunited with her Vanilla Sky co-star Tom Cruise in the action adventure Knight and Day. In 2011, she played "Lenore Case", the journalist in the remake of the 1940s film The Green Hornet, and was the central lead in the hit comedy Bad Teacher. She was listed among CEOWORLD magazine's Top Accomplished Women Entertainers.
Diaz received "substantial" defamation damages from suing American Media Incorporated, after The National Enquirer had claimed she was cheating on then-paramour Justin Timberlake. She endorsed Al Gore publicly during 2000. Diaz wore a t-shirt that read "I won't vote for a son of a Bush!" while making publicity visits for Charlie's Angels. Diaz has also been involved with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the first and largest nonprofit organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has spoken as an advocate for military families. Although she was quoted by a 1997 Time magazine article as saying she was germophobic, Diaz specifically denied this on the June 26, 2009, edition of Real Time with Bill Maher, saying that a small comment she made 12 years earlier regarding public bathroom doorknobs was distorted out of proportion. On April 15, 2008, her father, Emilio Diaz, died of pneumonia, aged 58.