Angelina Jolie is one of Hollywood’s leading actresses, known for movies like ‘Girl, Interrupted,’ ‘Salt’ and ‘Maleficent,’ and for high-profile relationships like her former marriage to actor Brad Pitt.
Who Is Angelina Jolie?
Born in Los Angeles, California, on June 4, 1975, Angelina Jolie starred in the HBO biopic Gia before earning a best supporting actress Academy Award for Girl, Interrupted. Jolie became one of Hollywood’s marquee names, with starring roles in movies like Wanted, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Salt and Changeling. She later had a huge international blockbuster with Disney’s Maleficent, which spawned a sequel. Jolie also directed the films In the Land of Blood and Honey, Unbroken and By the Sea, in which she co-starred with then-husband Brad Pitt.
Early Life and Acting Roots
Actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie Voight was born on June 4, 1975, in Los Angeles, California, to actor Jon Voight and actress Marcheline Bertrand. She began acting at a young age, studying at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute while in her early teens. Jolie later attended New York University.
Angelina Jolie’s Movies
‘Gia’ and Oscar Win for ‘Girl, Interrupted’
In the 1990s, Angelina Jolie became a popular actress. She gave a star-making performance in the 1998 television film Gia, based on the short, tragic life of model Gia Marie Carangi, for which she won a best actress Golden Globe. Her rapid ascent continued with Girl, Interrupted (1999), as the rebellious member of a group of institutionalized teenagers, her performance resulting in an Academy Award win for best supporting actress.
‘Tomb Raider,’ ‘Taking Lives,’ ‘Sky Captain’
In the new millennium Jolie continued to take on a variety of interesting roles. She portrayed adventurer Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider films (2001 and 2003), a FBI profiler in Taking Lives (2004) and a squadron commander in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004).
‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith,’ ‘The Good Shepherd,’ ‘A Mighty Heart’
After teaming with Brad Pitt to play married assassins in the sexy action flick Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), Jolie played a neglected, troubled socialite wife in The Good Shepherd (2006) and then a vengeful, monstrous mother in an adaptation of Beowulf (2007). That year she also gave a brilliant performance as Mariane Pearl, the pregnant widow of Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl, in A Mighty Heart. The film was based on Mariane’s account of her husband’s abduction and murder.
‘Kung Fu Panda,’ ‘Changeling,’ ‘Salt’
In 2008, Jolie joined the voice cast of the animated comedy Kung Fu Panda as Master Tigress, a role she later reprised for multiple sequels.That year she also portrayed an assassin in Wanted and starred in the Clint Eastwood-directed thriller Changeling, as a mother who investigates her son’s unusual disappearance and reappearance. The role led to her first Oscar nomination in the best actress category. Jolie went on to earn the lead role in the action-packed Salt (2010), about a CIA agent, Evelyn Salt, who is on the run after being accused of being a Russian spy. That same year, she played the mysterious Elise Clifton-Ward in the espionage flick The Tourist, alongside Johnny Depp.
‘Maleficent’ and Sequel
In 2014, the actress enjoyed the rewards of shaping a major blockbuster, both starring in and executive producing Disney’s Maleficent. Jolie portrayed the sorceress title character, with the film taking on a woman-centered revisionist approach to the main villain from the animated classic Sleeping Beauty (1959). With U.S. critics divided on the Maleficent‘s merits, the project nonetheless worked box office magic, earning around $240 million domestically and an additional $517 million overseas. The sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, hit theaters in October 2019.
Director: ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey,’ ‘Unbroken’
Jolie also began honing her craft as a director. She made her feature-length directorial debut with 2011’s In the Land of Blood and Honey, looking at a relationship horribly damaged by the Bosnian War. This was followed by 2014’s Unbroken, a biopic that told the story of Olympian Louis Zamperini’s survival in a Japanese POW camp. The film was based on the bestselling Laura Hillenbrand book of the same name and earned more than $163 million worldwide.
‘By the Sea,’ ‘First They Killed My Father’
In 2016, Jolie directed and co-starred with Pitt in the art film By the Sea, a slowly-paced Mediterranean tale set in the 1970s about a married couple and the tensions of their relationship. The following year, she focused strictly on directing for First They Killed My Father, based on a Cambodian activist’s memoir of being trained as a child soldier.
Marriages and Children
Famous for her off-screen romances, Jolie has been married three times. She married Hackers co-star Jonny Lee Miller in 1995. The couple divorced in 1999. The following year, Jolie married Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton. That union lasted until 2003.
Jolie met Pitt during the making of Mr. and Mrs. Smith in 2004. At the time, Pitt was married to Friends star Jennifer Aniston, and his affair with Jolie prompted their divorce, resulting in a Hollywood scandal that dominated tabloids for years. Referred to as “Brangelina,” Jolie and Pitt became one of the most sought after Hollywood couples.
In 2002, Jolie adopted a son from Cambodia and named him Maddox. Three years later, she adopted a daughter, Zahara. In 2005, Pitt filed paperwork to adopt both of Jolie’s children. The couple’s first biological daughter, Shiloh, was born in Namibia in 2006. Jolie, Pitt and their children had traveled there to avoid the media frenzy that seemed to follow them wherever they went.
In March 2007, Angelina Jolie added a new member to her family. She adopted a 3-year-old boy from a Vietnamese orphanage and named him Pax Thien. Jolie then gave birth to twins, Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, on July 12, 2008, in a seaside hospital in southern France. The rights for the first images of the twins were sold to People and Hello! magazines for $14 million—making them the most expensive celebrity pictures ever taken.