“Love one person, take care of them until you die. You know, raise kids. Have a good life. Be a good friend. And try to be completely who you are. And figure out what you personally love. And go after it with everything you’ve got no matter how much it takes.”
– Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie Voight was born on June 4, 1975, to Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight and actress Marcheline Bertrand. At age 11, four years after making her film debut opposite her father in Lookin’ to Get Out, Jolie began studying acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.
Although her dream as a child was actually to become a funeral director, 16-year-old Jolie worked as a professional model in London, New York and Los Angeles. Musical groups and singers such as the Rolling Stones, Lemonheads, Meatloaf, and Lenny Kravitz cast her in their music videos, and even her brother James Haven Voight directed her in his student films for the USC School of Cinema.
Wishing to get even closer to pursuing an acting career, Jolie studied at L.A.’s MET Theatre Company, which also counts Ed Harris and Holly Hunter amongst its alumni.
Angelina Jolie in Hackers
Jolie’s first foray into film was of a sci-fi nature, with a supporting role in 1993’s Cyborg 2, which didn’t even make it to the big screen, and a lead role in Hackers (1995), where she met her future husband, British actor Jonny Lee Miller of Trainspotting fame. Jolie’s and Miller’s dark wedding reception in 1995, during which Jolie wore black and had Jonny’s name written across the back of her shirt in blood, was a good sign that their marriage would not last too long. In fact, they were separated within the year and filed for divorce in 1999.
Her career as an actress, however, was flying high. She received critical acclaim for Without Evidence (1995), in which she portrayed a drug-addicted teen, as well as for her roles as a rebellious teen known as “Legs” in Foxfire (1996) and as an Italian girl in love with the son of her family’s rival in Love Is All There Is (1996).
In 1997, she had a supporting role in the box-office bomb Playing God, starring David Duchovny and Timothy Hutton.
Angelina Jolie Wins a Golden Globe
Jolie’s television roles were what gained her the ultimate respect of critics. She was honored with a 1997 Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination for her role as Cornelia Wallace in the TV movie George Wallace, costarring Gary Sinise. But the best was yet to come for Jolie.
She won her second Golden Globe for her role as model Gia Carangi in HBO’s biopic Gia. Her intense portrayal of the drug-addicted model who was diagnosed with AIDS was highly deserving of the Best Actress Golden Globe, Emmy nomination and critical acclaim it received.
Angelina Jolie in the Bone Collectors
On the big screen, Jolie was well-received by audiences for her role in 1998’s Playing By Heart with Sean Connery, Gillian Anderson and Ryan Phillippe. She also played Billy Bob Thornton’s seductive wife in 1999’s Pushing Tin and starred opposite big leaguer Denzel Washington in the thriller The Bone Collector later that same year.
But it was her supporting role in 1999’s Girl, Interrupted that showed audiences her dramatic skills, garnering her a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Jolie created controversy when she showed up at the Oscars with her brother James and kissed him as though he was her boyfriend. The two later denied rumors that they had in an incestuous relationship.
Angelina Jolie Marries Billy Bob Thornton
In 2000, Jolie eloped with her Pushing Tin costar Billy Bob Thornton, but after they adopted a Cambodian boy named Maddox Chivan Thornton Jolie in 2002, their marriage fell apart and they filed for divorce. While it lasted, their sexually-charged marriage was the subject of much tabloid fodder; the eccentric couple carried vials of each other’s blood around their necks and were prone to public displays of affection.
In 2001, Angelina was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Angelina is Lara Croft
During that time, Angelina also starred in a slew of films, including Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) with Nicolas Cage, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), for which Angelina is proud to say she did her own stunts, Original Sin (2001) with Antonio Banderas, Life Or Something Like It (2002), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), and Beyond Borders (2003).
In 2004, Angelina was busy starring in Taking Lives, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Shark Tale, and as Olympias in Oliver Stone’s Alexander.
Angelina Jolie Meets Brad Pitt
After Angelina starred alongside Brad Pitt in the romantic comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), rumors began circulating that the two were an item, even though Brad was in the process of separating from his wife, Jennifer Aniston.
Although the pair denied the rumors, pictures of them playing with little Maddox on the beach in Kenya emerged in April 2005, and several more tabloid photos in the months that followed confirmed that they were an item.
Angelina Jolie Adopts Zahara and Gives Birth to Shiloh
On July 6, 2005, Angelina adopted her second child, a six-month-old girl named Zahara Marley, from Ethiopia. Months later, it was revealed that Brad and Angelina had made the decision to adopt Zahara together. Just eight days later, Brad’s request to legally adopt Maddox and Zahara went through, and their last names were changed to Jolie-Pitt.
After much media attention, on May 27, 2006, Angelina gave birth to Brad Pitt’s child, a girl named Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, in Namibia.
Amongst all the action in her personal life, Angelina amazingly managed to get some work done. In 2006, she appeared in the Robert De Niro-directed The Good Shepherd.
Angelina Jolie Adopts Pax
In March 2007, Angelina Jolie adopted a three-year-old boy from Vietnam, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, who was born on November 29, 2003 and abandoned at birth at a local hospital. Jolie named him Pax, which was suggested by her mother before she passed away.
Angelina Jolie Stars in Beowulf
2007 was another jam-packed year for this busy mom. She appeared in A Mighty Heart as well as did voice work alongside Anthony Hopkins in Beowulf. She was also named one of the Entertainers Of The Year by Entertainment Weekly.
Her 2008 projects include Wanted, Kung Fu Panda, The Changeling, and Atlas Shrugged.