Angelina Jolie (born Angelina Jolie Voight on June 4, 1975) is an American film actor and a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency. She has been cited as one of the world's most beautiful women and her off-screen life is widely reported. Jolie has received three Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and an Academy Award.
Though she made her screen debut as a child alongside her father Jon Voight in the 1982 film Lookin' to Get Out, Jolie's acting career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993). Her first leading role in a major film was in Hackers (1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama Girl, Interrupted (1999). Jolie achieved international fame as a result of her portrayal of video game heroine Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), and since then has established herself as one of the best-known and highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. She has had her biggest commercial successes with the action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) and the animated film Kung Fu Panda (2008).
Divorced from actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie currently lives with actor Brad Pitt, in a relationship that has attracted worldwide media attention. Jolie and Pitt have three adopted children, Maddox, Pax, and Zahara, as well as three biological children, Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne. Jolie has promoted humanitarian causes throughout the world, and is noted for her work with refugees through UNHCR.
Early life and family
Born in Los Angeles, California, Jolie is the daughter of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She is the niece of Chip Taylor, sister of James Haven and the god-daughter of Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell. On her father's side, Jolie is of Slovak and German descent, and on her mother's side she is French Canadian and is said to be part Iroquois, although Voight claims Bertrand is "not seriously Iroquois," and they merely said it to enhance his ex-wife's exotic background.
After her parents' separation in 1976, Jolie and her brother were raised by their mother, who abandoned her acting ambitions and moved with them to Palisades, New York. As a child Jolie regularly saw movies with her mother and later explained that this had inspired her interest in acting; she had not been influenced by her father. When she was eleven years old, the family moved back to Los Angeles and Jolie 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. She later recalled her time as a student at Beverly Hills High School (later Moreno High School), and her feeling of isolation among the children of some of the area's more affluent families. Jolie's mother survived on a more modest income, and Jolie often wore second-hand clothes. She was teased by other students who also targeted her for her distinctive features, for being extremely thin, and for wearing glasses and braces. Her self-esteem was further diminished when her initial attempts at modeling proved unsuccessful. She started to cut herself; later commenting, "I collected knives and always had certain things around. For some reason, the ritual of having cut myself and feeling the pain, maybe feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me."
Jon Voight at the 1988 Oscar ceremony, Jolie can be seen behind himAt the age of 14, she dropped out of her acting classes and dreamed of becoming a funeral director. During this period, she wore black, dyed her hair purple and went out moshing with her live-in boyfriend. Two years later, after the relationship had ended, she rented an apartment above a garage a few blocks from her mother's home. She returned to theatre studies and graduated from high school, though in recent times she has referred to this period with the observation, "I am still at heart—and always will be—just a punk kid with tattoos".
Jolie has been long estranged from her father, though a reconciliation was attempted, and he appeared with her in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). In July 2002, Jolie filed a request to legally change her name to "Angelina Jolie", dropping Voight as her surname; the name change was made official on September 12, 2002. In August of the same year, Voight claimed that his daughter had "serious emotional problems" on Access Hollywood. Jolie later indicated that she no longer wished to pursue a relationship with her father, and said, "My father and I don't speak. I don't hold any anger toward him. I don't believe that somebody's family becomes their blood. Because my son's adopted, and families are earned." She stated that she did not want to publicize her reasons for her estrangement from her father, but because she had adopted her son, she did not think it was healthy for her to associate with Voight.