Movie stunner Charlize Theron put her parents through hell when she was a child after getting lost in a disused diamond mine near her farm home in South Africa.

The actress disappeared for a day after losing her way in the mine, and her distraught folks felt sure she'd been swallowed up by quicksand.

She recalls, "As kids we used to sneak in to these mines and play and I got stuck in some quicksand. I got out but I lost my way and my parents started looking for me.

"My father saw where I was headed and when he came across the quicksand he saw air bubbles.

"There were no cell phones in those days so he was like running to the fire marshall and they came. My mum just thought I was gone."

02/05/2003 19:02