Charlize Theron first met Nelson Mandela in March 2004, saying, “You inspired me, I love you so much." In sincere return, Mandela thanked her for "putting the country on the map".
After Mandela's death on Thursday night, Theron began the tributes to Nelson Mandela in a tweet:
"My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in Peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever.”
She later added: “There will never be words to say what I'm feeling right now. I am saddened to the depths of my soul. Truly.”
During her acceptance speech at the 2004 Academy Awards for her role in "Monster," Theron had promised South Africans a homecoming, waving her Oscar in the air, and saying, "I'd like to thank South Africa. I'm bringing this home next week." According to The Guardian, she wiped tears upon meeting the philanthropist and revolutionary.
Morgan Freeman posted a remembrance of his own on his Facebook page:
"Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve -- a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind," Freeman said. "As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we've come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us."
Freeman played the former president in the 2009 film, "Invictus."
According to The Toronto Sun, political figures also weighed in on the tributes.
President Obama paid tribute in a Thursday press conference by saying, "He achieved more than could be expected of any man and today he has gone home." He added, "We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the ages."
George W. Bush, Obama's predecessor, said, "President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time. He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example. This good man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever."
Other celebrities such as William Shatner, John Legend, Mike Tyson, Bette Midler, Kelly Osbourne, Michael Moore, Olivia Wilde, LL Cool J, Russell Simmons, Gabrielle Union, Gene Simmons, Ricky Martin, Channing Tatum and Tony Bennett flooded the social networks with tributes and kind words on Thursday after hearing of Mandela's death.
image via: YouTube