In 1997's My Best Friend's Wedding Cameron Diaz did the impossible: she made us hate Julia Roberts. Cameron's naive but lovable Kimmy Wallace stole our hearts, while the pretty woman tried to steal her man. There's something about Cameron and it's not just skin deep.
Reference her unrecognisable turn in the Spike Jonze's critically acclaimed Being John Malkovich.
Rather than inhabit the shrewd businesswoman - as she did so well in Oliver Stone's football opus Any Given Sunday
- Cameron opted for the decidedly less glamorous role of John Cusack
's sexually frustrated wife, Lotte Schwartz. Foregoing make-up and hiding behind a frizzy dark wig, the star's skilful acting took centre stage.
Born August 30, 1972, Cameron grew up on the beaches of San Diego, California, the daughter of a Cuban-American father and Anglo-German mother. At 16, she took off on a six-year modelling tour with Elite, before bursting onto the Hollywood scene with the 1994 Jim Carrey
comedy The Mask.
With a slew of similar "eye candy" roles at her disposal, the She's The One
actress shunned Hollywood and took on numerous indie projects including 1996's Head Above Water
opposite Harvey Keitel. "I just knew I wanted to carry on acting and to learn about acting," she said at the time. "So I chose these smaller films."
But it was the 1998 comedy There's Something About Mary
that really established Cameron. Even her creative hair gel and strange culinary enthusiasms couldn't put us off. Crowds flocked to the blockbuster, with one magazine dubbing her the 'It Girl' of the moment as did her co-star and then-boyfriend Matt Dillon.
After a two-year, bi-coastal relationship and a short engagement, Matt and Cameron called it quits. A series of affairs on Matt's part including a New York club encounter with diva Mariah Carey
was rumoured to be the cause.
Short-lived flings with Born On The Fourth Of July
director Oliver Stone and Oscar-nominee Edward Norton
followed, before the actress struck up a long-term relationship with Fight Club
actor Jared Leto. While her personal life was somewhat bumpy, her career was on a steady incline. After the box-office success of the Charlie's Angels
re-make, Cameron's asking price soared to $15 million. Meanwhile, high-profile projects such as Vanilla Sky
and Gangs Of New York
, sealed the popular California girl's success.
Then, in 2003, Cameron hooked up with singer Justin Timberlake
, nine years her junior. But after nearly four years together the free-spirited actress confirmed she still wasn't ready to settle down. "I think everybody wants at some point to have that responsibility and involvement. But not at the moment," she said in November 2006. And just two months later, in January 2007, the pair confirmed they were going their separate ways.