Although you may have thought such a perfectly-befitting name like Angelina Jolie must be a carefully-crafted stage name, Angelina was born Angelina Jolie Voigt, daughter to famous actor John Voigt and actress Marcheline Bertrant on June the 4th, 1975. Talent runs thick in her family. Her elder brother by 2 years, James Haven, is also an actor and producer and her father’s brother, James Wesley Voigt known on stage as Chip Taylor, is an American songwriter of such well-known tunes as ‘Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning.”
When Angelina was still just a babe-in-arms, her mother and father split and she and James lived with their mother. No longer able to focus on her career as an actress, Marcheline focused her attention on raising her children and she and Angelina spent hours watching movies together. It was from this that Angelina’s interesting in acting blossomed. She studied acting as a child at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, but after 2 years, she dropped out and pursued modelling in New York, London and L.A.
High school was tough on Angelina. Attending Beverly Hills High School, she was skinny, had braces, and wasn’t as affluent as most of her peers who teased her Feeling left out and alone, she suffered from depression off and on and her fascination with knives turned to self harm for awhile. It wasn’t until after she graduated from high school, that Angelina returned to acting at the age of 16.
She has never had a close relationship with her father. Holding his initial infidelity against him that was cause of her parent’s divorce, she would not use ‘Voigt” to identify herself and in 2002 filed to legally drop it altogether. After some public sparring with him via the Hollywood media, she estranged herself from him altogether until the death of her mother in 2007. They still remain aloof.
Angelia acted in her first picture when she was only 7 but hadn’t really committed to acting seriously until she was a teenager. She was often turned down for auditions because she was “too dark”. But she did manage to appear in several of her brother’s films, and several music videos before landing her role in the 1998 made-for-television film “Gia”. That was the year a star was born, and Angelina was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
An Academy Award followed in 1999 for her stunning performance in “Girl, Interrupted”. Angelina took her place among the stars and hasn’t budged since. Starring in many varied roles from an assassin in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” to the widow of Danny Pearl in “A Mighty Heart” the public has fallen in love with her She’s won many awards since entered the role of director for her 2011 film, “In the Land of Blood and Honey” which landed her the Stanley Kramer Award and received nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
In 1996, Angelina married Jonny Lee Miller, a British actor she connected with during the filming of “Hackers”. Unfortunately, their marriage ended with divorce in 1999, although they remain on friendly terms with each other. When asked, Angelina said she felt the marriage was poorly timed and that they were just too young. In 2000, Angelina married Billy Bob Thornton. They knew each other from filming “Pushing Tin” but weren’t romantically involved until much later. In 2003 their marriage quickly dissolved and ended in another divorce. Angelina said it took her by surprise but that the two simply woke one day and found they had nothing in common.
Angelina also had an affair with model and actress Jenny Shimizu and according to Shimizu, it last for several years. When Angelina was questioned about her bisexuality, she confirmed it without hesitation.
Then in 2005, while filming “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” Angelina’s affair with Brad Pitt began and scorched headlines everywhere as the woman who broke apart Pitt’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston. The couple has been together ever since, finally marrying in 2014.
Children and Humanitarian Work
Angelina adopted her first child, Maddox Chivan, while married to Billy Bob Thornton from an orphanage in Cambodia in 2002. In 2005, she adopted another orphan, her daughter, Zahara Marley, in Ethopia. A daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, was born in 2006 to Angelina and Brad after the successful conclusion of proceedings to allow Pitt to legally adopt Maddox and Zahara. Pax Thien, an orphan from Vietnam, was adopted next in 2007 and in 2008, Angelina gave birth to Brad’s twins, son Knox Leon and daughter Vivienne Marcheline making the total Jolie-Pitt brood seven children in all.
Humanitarian WorkAngelina Jolie’s name has become synonymous with humanitarian work both national and worldwide. Born during the filming of “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” when she was in Cambodia she has been associated with causes such as ambassador for UNHCR, Special Envoy to the High Commissioner Antonio Guterres, and many more She has donated countless hours and millions of dollars. Undertaking several field missions from places like Cambodia to Pakistan to the Sudan’s bullet-riddled Darfur region she’s proven tireless and fearless. In 2005, she received the Global Humanitarian Action Award from the United Nations, one of many such awards, and she continues to work for global causes.
She has also become politically and legally involved in her humanitarian efforts since 2003. She has lobbied senators and representatives, pushed for legislation to help vulnerable children, not only in the U.S. but worldwide and has been campaigning to end sexual violence in war zones. She has worked for children’s protection and rights in many areas with organizations like KIND, the National Center for Refugee and Migrant Children, and countless others.
In February of 2006, Angelina underwent a voluntary double mastectomy after learning she was at high risk for breast cancer after which she wrote “My Medical Choice” published by the New York Times to help educate women on the risk of breast and available health options. It came at a time when BRCA gene patenting rights were before the Supreme Court, and although it was found not patentable, Angelina succeeded in drawing a lot of public attention to the issue of genetic testing. It remains testament to the influence she holds over the public on a large scale.
A simple page cannot express the total person Angelina Jolie is From her career as an actress and now director, the awards list is as long as her many humanitarian accolades. She’s a woman who has taken the world into her arms and won our hearts. It’s doubted her influence will ever dim and that her light will only continue to brighten as long as walks upon this Earth. A truly great lady.