Natalie Portman was born on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel as the only child of a Doctor (father) and an artist (mother, who also acts as Natalie's agent). Natalie left Israel for Washington when she was still very young. After a few more moves, her family finally settled in New York, where she lived until her graduation from high school. She graduated with honors, and her academic achievements allowed her to attend Harvard. She was discovered by an agent in a pizza parlor at the age of 11. She was pushed towards a career in modeling but she decided that she would rather pursue a career in acting. She was featured in many live performances, but she made her powerful film debut in the movie Léon (1994) (The Professional). Following this role Natalie won roles in such films as Heat (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996) and Mars Attacks! (1996). It wouldn't be until 1999 when she received worldwide fame as Queen Amidala in the highly anticipated $431 million grossing Prequel Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999). Natalie next starred in two critically acclaimed comedy dramas Anywhere But Here (1999), and Where the Heart Is (2000).