Born in: Los Angeles, California
Career: American actor
Angelina Jolie is a very famous American film actor, known for films like ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ and ‘Tomb Raider’. She is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency. Renowned for her excellent acting skills, lovely beauty and humanitarian efforts, she is currently living with Brad Pitt. She began her acting career with the low budget production, Cyborg 2 (1993) and is one of the most sought-after Hollywood celebrities today. Angelina has received three Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards & an Academy Award, till date.
Angelina Jolie was born as ‘Angelina Jolie Voight’ on 4th June 1975, in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, both of them established actors, the niece of Chip Taylor, sister of James Haven and the god-daughter of Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell. Her father is of Slovak and German descent, while her mother is French Canadian and said to be part-Iroquois. Jolie’s parents separated in 1976 and she, along with her brother, was raised by Marcheline, who moved to Palisades, New York.
Jolie’s mother moved back to Los Angeles when she was eleven and this is when she enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and stayed there for two year, appearing in several stage productions. She completed her schooling from Beverly Hills High School (later Moreno High School). Being brought up on a modest income, amidst affluent classmates, she was often ridiculed on her ‘second-hand’ clothes, different looks, lean body and even braces. She even used to cut herself, experiencing the pain as therapeutic.
Early Life and Career
When Angelina was just fourteen, she dreamt of becoming a funeral director and even moved out of her home and had a live-in relation. During this time, she worked as a fashion model and even appeared in a number of music videos. She returned to her theatre studies after two years and graduated from high school. Her career, as a professional actor, began only in 1993, when she played her first leading role in the low budget film, Cyborg 2. However, her first major film was Hackers, where she met her first husband Jonny Lee Miller.
Angelina Jolie married British actor Jonny Lee Miller in 1996 and the same year, she appeared in a number of movies, including ‘Love Is All There Is’, ‘Mojave Moon’ and ‘Foxfire’. She separated from Johnny the following year, finally divorcing him in 1999. In 1997, she starred in the thriller ‘Playing God’, the TV movie ‘True Women’ and a Rolling Stones music video. The same year, she won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy, for her performance in ‘George Wallace’.
Jolie won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy the next year also, this time for starring in HBO's Gia, as supermodel Gia Carangi. The movie won her first Screen Actors Guild Award. After the film, she moved to New York, stopped acting for a while and enrolled at New York University to study filmmaking and even attended writing classes. She came back to Hollywood, with ‘Hell's Kitchen’ and later appeared in ‘Playing by Heart’. For the latter, she won the Breakthrough Performance Award by the National Board of Review.
After a lackluster role in ‘Pushing Tin’ (1999), she came back with a bang in ‘The Bone Collector’, an adapted crime novel. Jolie did a supporting role in ‘Girl Interrupted’. The movie won her, her third Golden Globe, her second Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2000, she appeared in her first summer blockbuster, ‘Gone In 60 Seconds’. Jolie’s second marriage took place in the same year, with Billy Bob Thornton and they got divorced three years later, in 2003.
Angelina Jolie received international recognition with her lead role in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). Her next movie ‘Original Sin’ was a major critical failure and was followed by ‘Life or Something Like It’, which generated positive reviews in terms of her performance. In July 2002, Jolie filed a request to change her name legally to ‘Angelina Jolie’, dropping Voight as her surname. The same year, she adopted her first child, seven-month-old Maddox, from Cambodia. In 2003, she starred in Tomb Raider’s sequel, ‘Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life’.
Jolie did ‘Taking Lives’ in 2004 and the same year, she dubbed for the animated DreamWorks movie ‘Shark Tale’, played Olympias in ‘Alexander’ and did a brief role in ‘Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow’. In 2005, she starred in ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’, her biggest commercial success till date. It was here that she met Brad Pitt, the ex-husband of Jennifer Aniston and since then, has been in constant relationship with him. The same year, Jolie adopted a six-month-old girl from Ethiopia, named as Zahara.
In 2006, she acted in ‘The Good Shepherd’ and also gave birth to her daughter, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, in Swakopmund, Namibia. Jolie made her directorial debut with the documentary ‘A Place in Time’, in 2007. Her performance in ‘A Mighty Heart’, released in 2007, won her a fourth Golden Globe and her third Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. She adopted a three-year-old boy Pax Thien, from Vietnam, the same year. She last appeared in ‘Beowulf’ and has completed shooting the action film ‘Wanted’ & the DreamWorks movie ‘Kung Fu Panda’.
Angelina Jolie became involved in humanitarian work while shooting for ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’. In February 2001, she went on her first field visit, an 18-day mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The same year, she met with Afghan refugees in Pakistan and donated $1 million. UNHCR named her a Goodwill Ambassador on 27th August 2001. In 2002, Jolie visited Tham Hin refugee camp in Thailand and Colombian refugees in Ecuador. Later, Jolie went to various UNHCR facilities in Kosovo, paid a visit to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya and also met with Angolan refugees.
In 2003, Jolie embarked on a six-day mission to Tanzania, visited Iraqi refugees in Jordan's remote eastern desert and went to Egypt to meet Sudanese refugees. She met detained asylum seekers in Arizona in 2004 and also met Afghan refugees in Thailand. In 2005, Jolie visited Pakistani camps housing Afghan refugees and in 2006, she met with Afghan and Burmese refugees in New Delhi and spent Christmas with Colombian refugees in San José, Costa Rica. The same year, she announced the founding of the Jolie/Pitt Foundation and has been continuing with her humanitarian efforts till date.