Photo: BY MICHAEL LOCCISANO/GETTY IMAGES
Full Name: Angelina Jolie Voight
Born: June 4, 1975
Born Place: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Citizenship: United StatesCambodia
Spouse(s): Jonny Lee Miller (m. 1996; div. 1999)
Billy Bob Thornton (m. 2000; div. 2003)
Brad Pitt (m. 2014; div. 2019)
Parent(s): Jon Voight (father)
Marcheline Bertrand (mother)
Education: New York University, Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute
Occupation: Actress, Filmmaker, Humanitarian
Other names: Angelina Jolie Pitt
Angelina Jolie DCMG is an American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. The recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award and three Golden Globe Awards, she has been named Hollywood’s highest-paid actress multiple times.
Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father, Jon Voight, in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982), and her film career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993), followed by her first leading role in a major film, Hackers (1995).
She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical cable films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1999 drama Girl, Interrupted. Her starring role as the video game heroine Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) established her as a leading Hollywood actress.
She continued her action-star career with Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), Salt (2010), and The Tourist (2010), and received critical acclaim for her performances in the dramas A Mighty Heart (2007) and Changeling (2008), the latter of which earned her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Her biggest commercial success came with the fantasy picture Maleficent (2014). She is also known for her voice role in animation film series Kung Fu Panda (2008–present). Jolie has also directed and written several war dramas, namely In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011), Unbroken (2014), and First They Killed My Father (2017).
Angelina Jolie Voight was born on June 4, 1975, in Los Angeles, California, to actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She is the sister of actor James Haven as well as the niece of singer-songwriter Chip Taylor and geologist and volcanologist Barry Voight. Her godparents are actors Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell. On her father’s side, Jolie is of German and Slovak descent, while on her mother’s side, she has primarily French Canadian, Dutch, and German ancestry. Jolie has noted that she is part Iroquois through a 17th-century Huron ancestor.
Following her parents’ separation in 1976, she and her brother lived with their mother, who had abandoned her acting ambitions to focus on raising her children.Jolie’s mother raised her as a Catholic but did not require her to go to church. As a child, she often watched films with her mother and it was this, rather than her father’s successful career, that inspired her interest in acting, though she had a bit part in Voight’s Lookin’ to Get Out (1982) at age seven.
When Jolie was six years old, Bertrand and her live-in partner, filmmaker Bill Day, moved the family to Palisades, New York; they returned to Los Angeles five years later. Jolie 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.
Jolie first attended Beverly Hills High School, where she felt isolated among the children of some of the area’s affluent families because her mother survived on a more modest income. She was teased by other students, who targeted her for being extremely thin and for wearing glasses and braces.
Her early attempts at modeling, at her mother’s insistence, proved unsuccessful. She then transferred to Moreno High School, an alternative school, where she became a “punk outsider,” wearing all-black clothing, going out moshing, and experimenting with knife play with her live-in boyfriend.
She dropped out of her acting classes and aspired to become a funeral director, taking at-home courses to study embalming. At age 16, after the relationship had ended, Jolie graduated from high school and rented her own apartment before returning to theater studies, though in 2004 she referred to this period with the observation, “I am still at heart—and always will be—just a punk kid with tattoos.”
1991–1997: Early work
Jolie committed to acting professionally at the age of 16, but initially found it difficult to pass auditions, often being told that her demeanor 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 “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 direct-to-video science-fiction sequel Cyborg 2, as a near-human robot designed for corporate espionage and assassination. She 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), she starred in her first Hollywood picture, Hackers (1995).
The New York Times critic Janet Maslin wrote that Angelina’s character Kate “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.” Hackers failed to make a profit at the box office, but developed a cult following after its video release.
After starring in the modern-day Romeo and Juliet adaptation Love Is All There Is (1996), Jolie appeared in the road movie Mojave Moon (1996), of which The Hollywood Reporter said, “Jolie, an actress whom the camera truly adores, reveals a comic flair and the kind of blatant sexuality that makes it entirely credible that Danny Aiello’s character would drop everything just for the chance of being with her.” In Foxfire (1996) she played a drifter who unites four teenage girls against a teacher who has sexually harassed them. Jack Mathews of the Los Angeles Times wrote of her performance, “It took a lot of hogwash to develop this character, but Jolie, Jon Voight’s knockout daughter, has the presence to overcome the stereotype. Though the story is narrated by Maddy, Legs is the subject and the catalyst.”
In 1997, Jolie starred with David Duchovny in the thriller Playing God, set in the Los Angeles underworld. The film was not well received by critics; Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert wrote that Jolie “finds a certain warmth in a kind of role that is usually hard and aggressive; she seems too nice to be [a mobster’s] girlfriend, and maybe she is.” Her next work, as a frontierswoman in the CBS miniseries True Women (1997), was even less successful; writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Robert Strauss dismissed her as “horrid, a fourth-rate Scarlett O’Hara” who relies on “gnashed teeth and overly pouted lips.” Jolie also starred in the music video for the Rolling Stones’s “Anybody Seen My Baby?” as a stripper who leaves mid-performance to wander New York City.
Jolie’s career prospects began to improve after she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in TNT’s George Wallace (1997), about the life of the segregationist Alabama Governor and presidential candidate George Wallace, played by Gary Sinise. Jolie portrayed Wallace’s second wife, Cornelia, a performance Lee Winfrey of The Philadelphia Inquirer considered a highlight of the film. George Wallace was very well received by critics and won, among other awards, the Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film. Jolie also received a nomination for an Emmy Award for her performance.
Human rights and women's rights
After Jolie joined the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in June 2007, she hosted a symposium on international law and justice at CFR headquarters and funded several CFR special reports, including “Intervention to Stop Genocide and Mass Atrocities.” In January 2011, she established the Jolie Legal Fellowship, a network of lawyers and attorneys who are sponsored to advocate the development of human rights in their countries. Its member attorneys, called Jolie Legal Fellows, have facilitated child protection efforts in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake and promoted the development of an inclusive democratic process in Libya following the 2011 revolution.
Jolie has fronted a campaign against sexual violence in military conflict zones by the UK government, which made the issue a priority of its 2013 G8 presidency. In May 2012, she launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) with Foreign Secretary William Hague, who was inspired to campaign on the issue by her Bosnian war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011). PSVI was established to complement wider UK government work by raising awareness and promoting international co-operation. Jolie spoke on the subject at the G8 foreign ministers meeting, where the attending nations adopted a historic declaration, and before the UN security council, which responded by adopting its broadest resolution on the issue to date. In June 2014, she co-chaired the four-day Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, the largest-ever meeting on the subject, which resulted in a protocol endorsed by 151 nations.
Through her work on the PSVI, Jolie met foreign policy experts Chloe Dalton and Arminka Helic, who served as special advisers to Hague. Their collaboration resulted in the 2015 founding of Jolie Pitt Dalton Helic, a partnership dedicated to women’s rights and international justice, among other causes. In May 2016, Jolie was appointed a visiting professor at the London School of Economics to contribute to a postgraduate degree program at the university’s Centre on Women, Peace and Security, which she had launched with Hague the previous year.
On September 9, 2020, Jolie made a generous donation to two young boys, who were running a lemonade stand in London. The boys were raising money through the stall for the people of Yemen, as the country was on the brink of humanitarian crisis caused by the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels.
Recognition and Honors
Jolie has received wide recognition for her humanitarian work. In August 2002, she received the inaugural Humanitarian Award from the Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program, and in October 2003, she was the first recipient of the Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association. She was awarded the Global Humanitarian Award by the UNA-USA in October 2005, and she received the Freedom Award from the International Rescue Committee in November 2007. In October 2011, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres presented Jolie with a gold pin reserved for the most long-serving staff, in recognition of her decade as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.
In November 2013, Jolie received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an honorary Academy Award, from the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In June 2014, she was appointed an Honorary Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG) for her services to the UK’s foreign policy and campaigning to end sexual violence in war zones. Queen Elizabeth II presented Jolie with the insignia of her honorary damehood during a private ceremony the following October.
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. Jolie initially declined to name her former beau in interviews, but in 2014 he was finally identified as costumer Anton Schneider.
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 in March 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. Although the relationship ended for good the following year, Jolie remained on good terms with Miller, whom she called “a solid man and a solid friend”. Their divorce, initiated by Jolie in February 1999, was finalized shortly before she remarried the next year.
Prior to her marriage to Miller, Jolie began a 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.” According to Shimizu, their relationship lasted several years and continued even while Jolie was romantically involved with other people. In 2003, when 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!”
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
|1998||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or Movie||George Wallace||Nominated|
|1998||Golden Globe Award||Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Won|
|1998||Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or Movie||Gia||Nominated|
|1999||Golden Globe Award||Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Won|
|1999||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Female Actor – Miniseries or Television Movie||Won|
|2000||Academy Award||Best Supporting Actress||Girl, Interrupted||Won|
|2000||Golden Globe Award||Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture||Won|
|2000||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Supporting Female Actor||Won|
|2008||Golden Globe Award||Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama||A Mighty Heart||Nominated|
|2008||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Leading Female Actor||Nominated|
|2009||Academy Award||Best Actress||Changeling||Nominated|
|2009||BAFTA Award||Best Leading Actress||Nominated|
|2009||Golden Globe Award||Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama||Nominated|
|2009||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Leading Female Actor||Nominated|
|2011||Golden Globe Award||Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||The Tourist||Nominated|
|2012||Golden Globe Award||Best Foreign Language Film||In the Land of Blood and Honey||Nominated|
|2018||BAFTA Award||Best Film Not in the English Language||First They Killed My Father||Nominated|
|2018||Golden Globe Award||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|