- Angelina Jolie Voight
June 04, 1975 (age 46)
- Actor, Model, Voice Actor, Film Director, Screenwriter
- Jonny Lee Miller
- Marcheline Bertrand, Jon Voight
Angelina Jolie (born Angelina Jolie Voight; June 4, 1975) is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood's highest-paid actress by Forbes in 2009 and 2011. Jolie promotes humanitarian causes, and is noted for her work with refugees as a Special Envoy and former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She has often been cited as the world's "most beautiful" woman, a title for which she has received substantial publicity.
Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father Jon Voight in Lookin' to Get Out (1982), but her film career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993). Her first leading role in a major film was in the cyber-thriller Hackers (1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical television films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama Girl, Interrupted (1999).
Jolie achieved wide fame after her portrayal of video game heroine Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), and established herself among the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood with the sequel The Cradle of Life (2003). She continued her action star career with Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), and Salt (2010)—her biggest live-action commercial successes to date - and received further critical acclaim for her performances in the dramas A Mighty Heart (2007) and Changeling (2008), which earned her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Jolie made her directorial debut with the wartime drama In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011).
Divorced from actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie is now married to actor Brad Pitt. They have six children, three of whom are adopted. Jolie and Pitt's relationship has attracted protracted media attention.
Early life and family
Born in Los Angeles, California, Jolie is the daughter of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She is the sister of actor James Haven, niece of singer-songwriter Chip Taylor, and goddaughter of actors Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell. On her father's side, Jolie is of German and Slovak descent, and on her mother's side, she is of primarily French Canadian, Dutch, and German ancestry. Like her mother, Jolie has stated that she is part Iroquois, although her only known Native ancestor was a Huron woman born in 1649.
After her parents' separation in 1976, Jolie and her brother lived with their mother, who had abandoned her acting ambitions to focus on raising her children. As a child, Jolie often watched movies with her mother and explained this had inspired her interest in acting; she stated that she was not influenced by her father's career. When she was six years old, her mother and stepfather, filmmaker Bill Day, moved the family to Palisades, New York; they returned to Los Angeles five years later. She then decided she wanted to act and enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, where she trained for two years and appeared in several stage productions.
At the age of 14, Jolie dropped out of her acting classes and aspired to become a funeral director. She began working as a fashion model, modeling mainly in Los Angeles, New York, and London. During this period, she wore black clothing, experimented with knife play, and went out moshing with her live-in boyfriend. Two years later, after the relationship had ended, she rented an apartment above a garage a few blocks from her mother's home. She graduated from high school and returned to theater studies, though in recent times she has referred to this period with the observation, "I am still at heart—and always will be—just a punk kid with tattoos."
Jolie suffered episodes of depression throughout her teens and early twenties. She felt isolated at Beverly Hills High School among the children of some of the area's affluent families, as her mother survived on a more modest income, and she was teased by other students, who targeted her for being extremely thin and for wearing glasses and braces. She found it difficult to emotionally connect with other people, and as a result she started to self-harm; later commenting, "I collected knives and always had certain things around. For some reason, the ritual of having cut myself and feeling the pain, maybe feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me." She also began experimenting with drugs; by the age of 20, she had tried "just about every drug possible," including heroin.
Jolie has had a difficult relationship with her father. Because of Voight's marital infidelity and the resulting breakup of her parents' marriage, she was estranged from her father for many years. They reconciled and he appeared with her in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), but their relationship again deteriorated.
In July 2002, Jolie—who had long used her middle name as a stage name to establish her own identity as an actress—filed a request to legally drop Voight as her surname, which was granted on September 12, 2002. In August of that year, Voight claimed his daughter had "serious mental problems" on Access Hollywood. In response, Jolie released a statement in which she indicated that she no longer wished to pursue a relationship with her father. She explained that because she had adopted her son Maddox, she did not think it was healthy for her to associate with Voight. In the wake of her mother's death from ovarian cancer on January 27, 2007, Jolie again reconciled with her father after a six-year estrangement.
When she was seven years old, Jolie had a small part in Lookin' to Get Out (1982), a movie co-written by and starring her father, Jon Voight. She committed to acting at the age of 16, but initially found it difficult to pass auditions, often being told that she was "too dark." She appeared in five of her brother's student films, made while he attended the USC School of Cinema-Television, as well as in several music videos, namely Lenny Kravitz's "Stand by My Woman" (1991); Antonello Venditti's version of Crowded House's hit "Don't Dream It's Over", "Alta Marea" (1991); The Lemonheads's "It's About Time" (1993); and Meat Loaf's "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" (1993). She began to learn from her father, as she noticed his method of observing people to become like them. Their relationship during this time was less strained, with Jolie realizing that they were both "drama queens."
Jolie began her professional film career in 1993, when she played her first leading role in the low-budget, straight-to-video science-fiction sequel Cyborg 2, as Casella "Cash" Reese, a near-human robot, designed to seduce her way into a rival manufacturer's headquarters and then self-detonate. Jolie was so disappointed with the film that she did not audition again for a year. Following a supporting role in the independent film Without Evidence (1995), Jolie starred as Kate "Acid Burn" Libby in her first Hollywood picture, Hackers (1995). The New York Times wrote, "Kate (Angelina Jolie) stands out. That's because she scowls even more sourly than [her co-stars] and is that rare female hacker who sits intently at her keyboard in a see-through top. Despite her sullen posturing, which is all this role requires, Ms. Jolie has the sweetly cherubic looks of her father, Jon Voight." The movie failed to make a profit at the box office, but developed a cult following after its video release.
Jolie's career prospects began to improve after she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in TNT's George Wallace (1997). She portrayed Cornelia Wallace, the second wife of Alabama Governor George Wallace, played by Gary Sinise. The film was very well received by critics and won, among other awards, the Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film. Jolie received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance.
In 1998, Jolie starred in HBO's Gia, portraying supermodel Gia Carangi. The film chronicled the destruction of Carangi's life and career as a result of her addiction to heroin, and her decline and death from AIDS in the mid-1980s. Vanessa Vance from Reel.com noted, "Angelina Jolie gained wide recognition for her role as the titular Gia, and it's easy to see why. Jolie is fierce in her portrayal—filling the part with nerve, charm, and desperation—and her role in this film is quite possibly the most beautiful train wreck ever filmed." For the second consecutive year, Jolie won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy Award. She also won her first Screen Actors Guild Award.
In 2000, Jolie appeared in her first summer blockbuster, Gone In 60 Seconds, in which she played Sarah "Sway" Wayland, the ex-girlfriend of car thief Nicolas Cage. The role was small, and The Washington Postcriticized that "all she does in this movie is stand around, cooling down, modeling those fleshy, pulsating muscle-tubes that nest so provocatively around her teeth." She later explained that the film had been a welcome relief after the emotionally heavy role of Lisa Rowe. It became her highest-grossing movie to that point, earning $237 million internationally.
Although highly regarded for her acting abilities, Jolie had not found films that appealed to wide audiences, but Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) made her an international superstar. An adaptation of the popular Tomb Raider videogame, Jolie had to speak with an English accent and undergo extensive martial arts training to play the title role of Lara Croft. She was generally praised for her physical performance, but the movie generated mostly negative reviews. Slant commented, "Angelina Jolie was born to play Lara Croft but [director] Simon West makes her journey into a game of Frogger." The movie was an international success, earning $275 million worldwide, and launched Jolie's global reputation as a female action star.
Jolie first personally encountered the effects of a humanitarian crisis while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) in war-torn Cambodia, an experience she later credited with having brought her a greater understanding of the world. Upon her return home, she contacted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for information on international trouble spots. To learn more about the conditions in these areas, she began visiting refugee camps around the world. In February 2001, she went on her first field visit, an 18-day mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania; she later expressed her shock at what she had witnessed.
In the following months, she returned to Cambodia for two weeks and met with Afghan refugees in Pakistan, where she donated $1 million in response to an international UNHCR emergency appeal, the largest donation UNHCR had ever received from a private individual. She covered all costs related to her missions and shared the same rudimentary working and living conditions as UNHCR field staff on all of her visits. She was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva on August 27, 2001.
Jolie had a serious boyfriend for two years from the age of 14. Her mother allowed them to live together in her home, of which Jolie later said, "I was either going to be reckless on the streets with my boyfriend or he was going to be with me in my bedroom with my mom in the next room. She made the choice, and because of it, I continued to go to school every morning and explored my first relationship in a safe way." She has compared the relationship to a marriage in its emotional intensity, and said that the breakup compelled her to dedicate herself to her acting career at the age of 16.
During filming of Hackers (1995), Jolie had a romance with British actor Jonny Lee Miller, her first lover since the relationship in her early teens. They were not in touch for many months after production ended, but eventually reconnected and married soon after on March 28, 1996. She attended her wedding in black rubber pants and a white T-shirt, upon which she had written the groom's name in her blood. Jolie and Miller separated in September 1997 and divorced on February 3, 1999. They remained on good terms, and Jolie later explained, "It comes down to timing. I think he's the greatest husband a girl could ask for. I'll always love him, we were simply too young."
Jolie had a brief relationship with model-actress Jenny Shimizu on the set of Foxfire (1996). She later said, "I would probably have married Jenny if I hadn't married my husband. I fell in love with her the first second I saw her." Shimizu claimed in 2005 that her relationship with Jolie had lasted many years and continued even while Jolie was romantically involved with other people. In 2003, asked if she was bisexual, Jolie responded, "Of course. If I fell in love with a woman tomorrow, would I feel that it's okay to want to kiss and touch her? If I fell in love with her? Absolutely! Yes!"
After a two-month courtship, Jolie married actor Billy Bob Thornton on May 5, 2000, in Las Vegas. They met on the set of Pushing Tin (1999), but did not pursue a relationship at that time as Thornton was engaged to actress Laura Dern. As a result of their frequent public declarations of passion and gestures of love—most famously wearing one another's blood in vials around their necks—their marriage became a favorite topic of the entertainment media. Jolie and Thornton announced the adoption of a son from Cambodia in March 2002, but abruptly separated three months later. Their divorce was finalized on May 27, 2003. Asked about the sudden dissolution of their marriage, Jolie stated, "It took me by surprise, too, because overnight, we totally changed. I think one day we had just nothing in common. And it's scary but... I think it can happen when you get involved and you don't know yourself yet."
In early 2005, Jolie was involved in a well-publicized Hollywood scandal when she was accused of being the reason for the divorce of actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. She and Pitt were alleged to have started an affair during filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). She denied this on several occasions, but later admitted that they "fell in love" on the set. She explained in 2005, "To be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive. I could not look at myself in the morning if I did that. I wouldn't be attracted to a man who would cheat on his wife." Jolie and Pitt did not publicly comment on the nature of their relationship until January 2006, when Jolie confirmed to People that she was pregnant with Pitt's child. Pitt and Jolie announced their engagement in April 2012, after seven years together. The couple—dubbed "Brangelina" by the entertainment media—are the subject of worldwide media coverage.