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Cameron Michelle Diaz (born August 30, 1972) is an American actress and former fashion model.

Diaz was born in San Diego, California, the daughter of Billie (née Early), an import-export agent, and Emilio Diaz (1949-2008), who worked for the California oil company UNOCAL for twenty plus years, as a Field Gauger, and in the pipeline department, until he retired in 1998. Her father was a second-generation Cuban American whose family came from Spain via Cuba. Then her grandparents settled in Tampa's Ybor City.[3] Her mother is of English and German ancestry.[4][5][6] She has one older sister, Chimene Diaz, (born June 5, 1970, San Diego). She attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School at the same time as rapper Snoop Dogg.

Modelling

At 16, she began her career as a fashion model. Diaz signed with top modeling agency Elite Model Management. After graduating from high school, she went to work in Japan and met video director Carlo de la Torre. On her return to the U.S., she moved in with him. For the next few years, her modeling took her around the world, working for contracts with major companies. She modeled for designers such as Calvin Klein and Levi's. She was featured on the cover of the July 1990 issue of Seventeen magazine.

Acting

At 21, Diaz auditioned for The Mask, even though she had no previous acting experience, based on the recommendation of an agent for Elite who met the film's producers while they were searching for the female lead. After obtaining the lead female role, she immediately started acting lessons. Over the next three years, she won roles in low-budget, independent films, such as The Last Supper, Feeling Minnesota, and She's the One, preferring to feel her way effectively into the business. She then regained mainstream success with her roles in My Best Friend's Wedding and There's Something About Mary, a film for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Actress - Musical or Comedy. She won critical acclaim for her performance in Being John Malkovich, which earned her Best Supporting Actress nominations at the Golden Globes, the BAFTA Awards, and the SAG Awards.

Personal life

Diaz has publicly admitted that she has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), is deeply germophobic, and habitually rubs doorknobs so hard before opening doors to clean them that the original paint fades afterwards. She says she washes her hands and floors "many times" each day and uses her elbows to push open doors. Diaz commented on her progress with the disorder on May 10, 2007, saying, "I think I've made my peace with it".

Diaz received "substantial" defamation damages from suing American Media Incoporated, after The National Enquirer had claimed she was cheating on then-boyfriend Timberlake. Diaz also sued successfully to stop the publication of bondage-themed nude photos taken of her before she became famous.

When Diaz was asked if she can speak Spanish she said:

I go, "God, you know, it all sounds so familiar. I know what you're saying, I really do. I just cannot respond to you back in Spanish. I can barely speak English properly." I didn't grow up in a Cuban community. I grew up in Southern California on the beach, basically. And I'm third generation. I'm of Cuban descent.

In September 2004, Diaz created some controversy after her appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The show in question concerned celebrities encouraging young people to vote in the 2004 Presidential election. While Diaz was sitting next to her Charlie's Angels co-star Drew Barrymore, singer Christina Aguilera, and hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, Diaz warned "Women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies. We could lo--if you think that rape should be legal, then don't vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body, and you have a right to say what happens to you and fight off that danger of losing that, then you should vote." Several conservative pundits like talk show host Laura Ingraham condemned this statement.[citation needed]

The actress was vocal in her support for Al Gore in 2000. Diaz went so far as sporting a t-shirt that read "I won't vote for a son of a Bush!" while making the publicity rounds for Charlie's Angels.

On April 15, 2008, her father, Emilio Diaz, died of pneumonia, aged 58.

Relationships

Diaz dated actor Matt Dillon from 1995 to 1998. She is also the ex-fiancee of actor/musician Jared Leto. They had a low-profile relationship from 1998 to 2002. Reports have said that they broke up because Diaz was concentrating more on her acting as Leto was more concerned about his band. She then for a short while dated English singer/songwriter Julian Barry before they split due to career commitments.

Diaz dated former *NSYNC member Justin Timberlake, whom she met at the 2003 Kids' Choice Awards. In October 2004, Diaz and Timberlake were in an altercation with a tabloid photographer outside a hotel. When the photographer and another man tried to photograph them, the couple snatched the camera. Pictures of the incident appeared in Us Weekly. Representatives for the pair claimed that they were "ambushed" and acting out of self-defense. The pair issued a joint statement on January 11, 2007, announcing they had broken up, following weeks of breakup rumors.

Diaz also dated Leonardo di Caprio after they co-starred in Gangs of New York.

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