Born to actor Jon Voight and actress Marcheline Bertrand, Angelina Jolie Voight has Hollywood’s blood running through her veins. She developed an interest in performing by the time she was eleven and enrolled in the Lee Strasburg Theatre Institute. Her education there only lasted two years as she soon found work as a model.
She broke through on stage and in small films, usually playing dark and disturbed characters. In 1998, Jolie starred in HBO’s Gia, portraying supermodel Gia Carangi. Jolie won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy Award. She also won her first Screen Actors Guild Award. This led to her break-out performance as the sociopathic mental patient Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted. Her performance rewarded her with an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her career and love life took off from here.
She married fellow actor, Johnny Lee Miller, whom she met on the set of the film, Hackers. The marriage only lasted four years and the following year found her married to another Hollywood actor, Billy Bob Thornton. As a result of their frequent public declarations of passion and gestures of love—most famously wearing one another’s blood in vials around their necks—their marriage became a favorite topic of the entertainment media. Jolie and Thornton announced the adoption of a son from Cambodia in March 2002, but abruptly separated three months later. Asked about the sudden dissolution of their marriage, Jolie stated, “It took me by surprise, too, because overnight, we totally changed. I think one day we had just nothing in common. And it’s scary but… I think it can happen when you get involved and you don’t know yourself yet.
In early 2005, Jolie was involved in a well-publicized Hollywood scandal when she was accused of being the reason for the divorce of actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. While Jolie has vehemently denied that she ever had an affair with Pitt, she did admit that the two “fell in love” while working together on Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Three years after she adopted her child Maddox from Cambodia, she adopted a second child, Zahara. In 2005, Brad Pitt filed paperwork to adopt both of Jolie’s children. The couple’s first biological daughter, Shiloh, was born in the African country of Namibia in 2006. In March 2007, 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. This brings their grand total to six children. For more on Brad and Angelina, Click Here.
Jolie is one of Hollywood’s most famous and richest celebrities. She has done numerous very lucrative studio films. Her most recent film, Maleficent hits theaters this week (May 30th). Maleficent is a new take on the classic tale, Sleeping Beauty. Watch the trailer here:
A devoted humanitarian, Angelina Jolie was made a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency in 2001. She has made headlines for her work to obtain aid for refugees in Cambodia, Darfur and Jordan, to name just a few areas of concern.
In 2005, Jolie received the Global Humanitarian Action Award from the United Nations Association of the USA for her activism on behalf of refugee rights. She continues to travel the world to draw attention to global issues.
In 2007, Jolie became a member of the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Jolie has since funded various CFR special reports, including the “Intervention to Stop Mass Atrocities and Genocide.” Following several visits to Haiti in 2010, she established the Jolie Legal Fellows Program to enhance government capacity around the rule of law. The program places young lawyers within the existing structures in Haiti to support the government’s child protection efforts.
The Jolie-Pitt Foundation, has provided funding in Namibia to the N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary for the care of injured wildlife and to help minimize conflict between humans and wild animals. Jolie has funded children’s centers in Cambodia and Ethiopia that apply innovative and integrated treatment for children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
In 2007, the International Rescue Committee awarded its Freedom Award to Jolie and High Commissioner Guterres for their contributions to the cause of refugees and human freedom. In October 2011, the UN refugee agency paid tribute to Jolie, for her 10 years of service to the humanitarian cause as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.
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