Born in Los Angeles, California, Angelina Jolie is the
daughter of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She is
the niece of Chip Taylor, sister of James Haven and the
goddaughter of Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell. In a
2004 article in Vogue she stated that her mother is from
Chicago. At the Premiere Magazine "Women in Hollywood" Awards,
she said her mother was born in a bowling alley and has stated
that because of her name people often assume that her mother is
French. Jolie's grandparents were French-Canadian. Her paternal
grandfather was from Czech Republic. She is of Czech and English
descent on her father's side, and French-Canadian and Iroquois
on her mother's side. As a teenager, Jolie dreamed of becoming a
funeral director. She attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre
Institute from the age of 11, later attending Beverly Hills High
School. Her mother also studied with Lee Strasberg. Though she
enrolled at the film school at New York University after
finishing Gia, she did not complete her studies.
Jolie has been long estranged from her father, though a reconciliation was attempted by his appearing with her in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. In the October 2004 issue of Premiere Magazine, Jolie indicated that she was no longer interested in pursuing a relationship with her father, but that she did not hate him because she realised that "...we only have so much energy in this life". Soon afterwards, he claimed that she has "serious emotional problems" on Access Hollywood, and she legally dropped Voight as her last name, taking "Angelina Jolie" as her legal name. She stated that she didn't want to publicize her reasons for not having a relationship with her father, but since she had just adopted her son Maddox, that she didn't think it was healthy for her to be around him. Voight has yet to meet any of his three grandchildren.
Before Angelina Jolie began a career as an actress, she was a model who was signed with Finesse Model Management. She modeled in both the United States and Europe. She also appeared in numerous music videos, including those of Korn, Meat Loaf, Lenny Kravitz, and The Rolling Stones.
Jolie's first starring role came in the 1995 film Hackers. In 1998 she achieved a major critical success, starring in the TV film Gia, the true story of 1970-80s supermodel Gia Carangi, who died of AIDS. Jolie won Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Satmifie awards, and was nominated for an Emmy.
Angelina Jolie had roles in several box-office flops until 1999, when she co-starred in The Bone Collector with Denzel Washington and won an Oscar for Girl, Interrupted. Her first headlining blockbuster role came from 2001's video-game-based Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Several of her subsequent films, such as Life or Something Like It, Alexander, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, were box-office disappointments, although Jolie herself usually received good notices. She did provide the voice of the fish Lola in the successful animated film Shark Tale. Nonetheless, she has become one of Hollywood's most "in-demand" actresses.
Thanks to a mixture of generally good reviews and advance publicity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith opened in the No. 1 position at the box-office on its release in early June 2005, providing Jolie with her first box-office success in several years. Following the success of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jolie is set to earn up to $15 million to star in the film The Good Shepherd, alongside Robert De Niro and Matt Damon.
On March 28, 1996 Angelina Jolie married British actor Jonny Lee Miller, her co-star in the film Hackers. Jolie attended her wedding in black leather trousers and a white shirt, which had her groom's name painted in her blood on the back. Jolie and Miller subsequently divorced on February 3, 1999. Jolie then married American actor Billy Bob Thornton on May 5, 2000. As a result of their frequent public declarations of passion and gestures of love (most famously wearing one anothers' blood in vials around their necks), their relationship became a favorite topic of the entertainment media. Jolie and Thornton divorced on May 27, 2003.
Jolie has said in interviews that she is bis--ual. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Jolie said "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!" In a 2005 television interview, model Jenny Shimizu claimed to have had a s--ual relationship with Jolie as teenagers around the time of the Foxfire filming. In 2006, a British tabloid reported that Jennie continued to enjoy a long-standing and ongoing romantic and s--ual relationship with her former Foxfire co-star. Within a week Shimizu gave a special interview on the Q Television Network to specifically deny having a current romantic or s--ual relationship with Angelina although they remain good friends. She claimed that the tabloid information was false and that they had not interviewed her.
In early 2005, Angelina Jolie found herself in the middle of a well-publicized Hollywood scandal when she was accused of being the "other woman" in the divorce of actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. The allegation was that she and Pitt had started an affair during filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith. However, in several interviews she has denied starting an affair with Pitt. In an interview with Marie Claire recently, she stated that she could never have a relationship with a married man because she has seen what relationships like that did to her mother. Her father has acknowledged that he cheated on Jolie's mother when they were married. Jolie stated that she "could not look at herself in the mirror" if she had an affair with a married man.
Speculation over the nature of Jolie and Pitt's relationship continued throughout the summer of 2005. On August 22, the Calgary Herald ran a front-page story with a photo of Jolie taken during a surprise visit she made to Calgary, Alberta a couple of days earlier, accompanied by her adopted daughter Zahara. Pitt was at that time filming in Calgary, as was her father, Jon Voight. It was later reported that Jolie and Pitt visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta together, and sources reported in September of 2005 that they had visited the West Edmonton Mall together.
On September 30, the Calgary Sun reported that Pitt and Jolie had rented a house together in the city of Spruce Grove, Alberta, west of Edmonton where Pitt was filming; the same issue printed a photograph of the couple, now dubbed "Brangelina," leaving an Edmonton grocer's.
On March 10, 2002, Angelina Jolie adopted her first child, Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt. He was born on August 5, 2001 as Rath Vibol in Cambodia. He was being housed in a Cambodian orphanage when Jolie saw him for the first time there in a production break for the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. After her divorce from her second husband, Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie received sole custody of Maddox.
After that, Angelina took Maddox everywhere. Angelina developed many nicknames for him; she calls him "Khmer," "Madness," "Mad," "My Love," and even "Psycho." He could gel his own Mohawk, which she gave him because "he had this crazy hair that stuck straight up. I had to do something with it." Maddox has also become a fashion icon; whatever he wears flies off shelves.
In the autumn of 2004, it was reported that Jolie had started proceedings to adopt another child, (a 7-month-old boy named Gleb) this time from Russia. However, no adoption ever took place.
On March 8, 2005, Angelina Jolie took part in a Washington Press club luncheon. It was there that she announced the founding of the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children in Washington, DC, an organization that provides free legal-aid to children who prior to this had no legal representation. Jolie donated $500,000 to the centre which will help keep it afloat for the first two years of its operation. At that same conference she stated that she never intended to adopt a Russian orphan boy. Jolie expressed a deep sadness at the media's exploitation of the child. She stated that she was on business through the United Nations and not looking for a child to adopt. She also mentioned that her son wanted an "African brother or sister" because of his love of Africa and the work he knows she does in that region.
Around the same time, Lauryn Galindo, the Hawaii-based adoption facilitator whose services Jolie had used to adopt Maddox, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to visa fraud and money laundering charges. She had been falsifying records of children to be adopted in visa applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and several of the children she placed had not been abandoned at all but were enticed away or bought from their birth families. There is no evidence that Maddox was among them, although the investigation is continuing. Maddox Jolie-Pitt, as he is legally named, was naturalized as a United States citizen some time ago, and there is no indication that that will be rescinded.
On July 5, 2005, People Magazine reported that Angelina Jolie
was in the final stages of adopting a baby girl, who was thought
to be orphaned by AIDS, but her mother from Ethiopia didn't have
enough money to raise her, through the agency Wide Horizons for
Children. Jolie has named her daughter Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt.
Zahara was born on January 8, 2005. A woman in London has been
claiming she is Zahara's birth mother since August 2005. Jolie
had a lawyer in London to look into the matter, which proved to
On September 28, 2005 while making an appearance to discuss America's financial involvement in fighting AIDS globally on CNN's "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer, Angelina Jolie stated that her daughter is an "AIDS orphan." By that she means her birth mother died from the disease but her daughter does not have the disease. The birth father of Zahara is not known. Her statement made it clear that the birth mother is indeed dead. In late October 2005, an Ethiopian judge ruled that there is no evidence to suggest that Ms. Jolie would have to file for re-adoption of her daughter Zahara Marley Jolie. The judge ruled that the woman claiming to be her mother is not the birth mother. Earlier in the summer, another woman had come forward claiming to be the grandmother of Zahara. That claim also proved to be false.
American magazine US Weekly indicated erroneously that Jolie and Brad Pitt had adopted Zahara together. When the magazine realised its error, the presses were stopped and an apology issued to Jolie and Pitt; printing of the issue resumed with the correction made, though a number of copies with the error were still released to the public. Reportedly, however, Pitt was present when Jolie signed the adoption papers. The agency later said Brad Pitt was not present when Angelina Jolie picked up her daughter.
Zahara's name means "luminous" in Arabic; the second name "Marley" comes from late Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley. Right after she came to the United States, she became so ill with salmonella that she had to spend time in a hospital. Angelina stated that "she was six months and not nine pounds. Her skin--you could squeeze it and it would stick together." Since then, however, Zahara has gained weight well, and the family now calls her "Chubby".
In December 2005 however, it was confirmed that Pitt was seeking to legally adopt Jolie's two children and a Swedish girl by the name of Kristin Bergesen. In support of this bid (and as part of legal requirements), Jolie took out classified advertisements in the Los Angeles paper, the Daily Commerce, announcing the name change request, and on January 19, 2006, a judge in California approved this request. The children's legal surnames were formally changed to Jolie-Pitt.
On May 27, 2006, Angelina Jolie gave birth to the couple's third child, a daughter named Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, at night at the Cottage Medi-Clinic Hospital in Swakopmund, Namibia. Shiloh was born by a scheduled caesarean section, due to breech presentation, and Pitt was there to cut her umbilical cord. The couple's Los Angeles obstetrician was assisted by local staff. Shiloh, according to a longstanding translation from the Bible, has come to mean "the peaceful one."
"Angie and baby are fantastic," a source close to the couple told People on May 28. "Brad was at her side during the birth." People was also told by Namibia's Environment and Tourism Deputy Minister, Leon Jooste, that "Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt will, according to Namibian law, be allowed to obtain Namibian citizenship, if the parents should choose to do so." He added that discussion of the child's passport will be taken up with her parents "at a later stage." A photoshoot featuring the couple and baby on Italian Vanity Fair magazine has also been circulated on the Internet.
In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper (to air June 20, 2006), Angelina Jolie revealed that she and Pitt would be adopting another child within a week (from June 19th). The s-- or location of the child are still unknown at this point.
Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide crises while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in poverty-stricken and widely mined Cambodia. She was deeply affected by these experiences and eventually turned to USA for UNHCR for more information on international trouble spots. In the coming months she agreed to visit different refugee camps around the world to learn more about the situation and the conditions on the ground.
In February, Angelina Jolie went on her first field visit, an 18-day mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania; she later expressed how shocked she was by these first missions. She then flew to Cambodia in June for two weeks, mainly concentrating on the land mine situation there, and later in August for ten days visited refugee camps in Pakistan which primarily host Afghan refugees; responding to an international UNHCR emergency appeal she decided to donate $1 million for Afghan refugees. She insisted on covering all costs related to her missions and shared the same rudimentary working and living conditions as UNHCR field staff on all of her visits.
Impressed by Angelina Jolie's interest and devotion in the subject, UNHCR named her a Goodwill Ambassador on August 27, 2001 at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. During a press conference she explained her motives for joining the refugee agency: "We cannot close ourselves off to information and ignore the fact that millions of people are out there suffering. I honestly want to help. I don't believe I feel differently from other people. I think we all want justice and equality, a chance for a life with meaning. All of us would like to believe that if we were in a bad situation someone would help us."
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Angelina Jolie was sporadically criticized for her commitment with Afghan refugees; she even received three death threats.
In March 2002 – while filming the movie Beyond Borders – Jolie visited Osire refugee camp in Namibia, home to mostly Angolan refugees, and met the UNHCR’s Representative in Namibia, Hesdy Rathling. She and the production team of her movie later donated 270 tents and several hundred items of bedding and mattresses to the camp.
Jolie’s next field mission brought her to the Tham Hin refugee camp in Thailand in May. Accompanied by the UN refugee agency's Regional Representative, Jahanshah Assadi, she toured the camp and was briefed by the Thai authorities in the camp as well as the refugee committee and refugee elders. The following month she took a four day trip to Ecuador visiting Colombian refugees – taking a closer look at the “Western Hemisphere's most severe humanitarian crisis”.
Angelina Jolie attended a land mine awareness centre in Cheshire, UK in October and later that month went to Kenya visiting the Kakuma refugee camp that hosts more than 80,000 refugees, mainly from Sudan. UNHCR's Representative to Kenya, George Okoth-Obbo, praised her “presence, just to bring some joy into what is undoubtedly a hard life for many of the people here”.
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