Angelina Jolie was born Angelina Jolie Voight on June 4, 1975, in Los Angeles. She is the second child of actor Jon Voight and actress and model Marcheline Bertrand.
Jolie was raised by her mother in Palisades, N.Y., and attended The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York City. She did some professional modeling and appeared in a few rock videos, as well as a small role in a movie called "Lookin’ to Get Out" in 1982 when she was 7, which was co-produced and co-written by her father, who also played the lead in the film.
At 11, she moved back to L.A. with her mother and brother, James Haven Voight. It was there she joined the Met Theatre Group and began her formal training.
One of Jolie’s first movie breaks was "Hackers" in 1995, where she met her first husband, British actor Jonny Lee Miller. The costars married in 1996 — but they were separated in less than a year.
In 1997, Jolie portrayed Cornelia Wallace opposite Gary Sinise in the film "George Wallace," earning a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and an Emmy nomination.
But the first film that showcased her raw talent and really put her in the spotlight as a risk-taker was the HBO biopic "Gia" in 1998, about the life and death of model Gia Carangi. Jolie masterfully portrayed the troubled model who became stricken with AIDS, earning another Golden Globe — this time for Best Actress, another Emmy nomination and plenty of buzz.
After two years of separation, divorce papers were filed in her first marriage to Miller in August 1999. The divorce became final in 2000, just in time for her to elope to Vegas with four-time divorcee Billy Bob Thornton, with whom she’d starred in "Pushing Tin" in 1999.
The two married on May 5, 2000.
Like her role in "Gia," the role of Lisa in "Girl, Interrupted" was the perfect venue for Jolie’s talent of portraying rebelliousness and vulnerability simultaneously. The drama was based on the memoirs of a woman's two-year stay in a psychiatric hospital, with the main character played by Winona Ryder.
Jolie won her third Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for "Girl, Interrupted" in 2000, joining the ranks of her father, who’d won an Oscar in 1979 for "Coming Home."
It was also around this time that the relationship between father and daughter became volatile, with Jolie releasing the statement, “I don't want to make public the reasons for my bad relationship with my father. I have determined that it is not healthy for me to be around my father,” according to Internet Movie Database.
But the really big news of the night was not her win but what was seen as her unnatural enthusiasm toward her brother James after she kissed him on the mouth on Oscar night and claimed, “I am so in love with my brother right now” during her acceptance speech. Her Morticia Addams look at the time from the set of "Original Sin" didn't help.
The “kiss heard round the world” between Jolie and James led some to bombard her with questions about an incestuous relationship, which she denied and she later admitted baffled her. During her appearance on "Inside the Actors Studio," she described her reaction to the accusations: “The world is a lot sicker than I thought.”
By that point she had come to be known as a bit of a bad girl, especially when details about her marriage became public, creating a fascination with Jolie that still exists.
Often thought of as a vixen and even a homewrecker, Jolie has always been very open about her sexuality — admitting she’d explored bisexuality with a co-star from one of her early films, "Foxfire," and disclosing her sexual, physical habits with Thornton.
The “sex in the limo on the way” to awards shows that they vocally shared with reporters on red carpets, the admission of carrying vials of each other’s blood around their necks and her “Billy Bob” tattoo on her left shoulder helped mold her image as an intriguing sex siren.
She played a good/bad girl in "Gone in 60 Seconds" opposite Nicolas Cage, playing a fellow master car thief and former flame to his lead role as a reformed criminal who must pull off the biggest luxury car theft heist in history.
For many years, people even saw her as creepy and odd for wearing the vial of blood, for admitting she’d cut herself in her adolescence, revealing she used to want to be a mortician and for tattooing symbols all over her body. But a year or so into her marriage to Thornton, both of their priorities seemed to change dramatically.
In 2000, Jolie began filming the first of two movies based on the video game "Tomb Raider," playing the lead as avenger Lara Croft. Croft was a cyber character widely known as a deadly combination of sex appeal, survival skills and expertise in martial arts and deadly weapons.
Part of the filming for "Tomb Raider" took place in Cambodia, beginning a new phase of Jolie’s life. According to National Geographic News, she said, “I started to travel and realized there was so much I was unaware of. There were many things I hadn't been taught in school and daily global events I was not hearing about in the news, so I wanted to understand.”
In 2001, Jolie was named Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Unlike other celebrities who have been lackadaisical about similar appointments, Jolie took her role extremely seriously and set about visiting desperate refugees living in countries like Sierra Leone, Sudan, Chad, Cambodia, Pakistan, Namibia, Thailand, Ecuador, Kenya, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Jordan and Egypt.
She became outspoken about her opposition to war and her support for displaced people, even appealing to foreign governments for aid on their behalf.
She also became very vocal about her life changes that caused movies to take a back seat, claiming Hollywood meant less to her now that she had seen 12-year-old mothers and devastated families in countries that didn’t know or care who she was.
With these travels, her maternal instinct began to strengthen, and she made public her desire to adopt in an E! Entertainment news interview, saying, “I've never wanted to be pregnant, I've always wanted to adopt.”
Upon another visit to Cambodia in November 2001, she and Thornton became smitten with a group of orphans and promptly adopted a 3-month-old boy they named Maddox.
Jolie became bothered, though, when her father announced the adoption first in a publicity interview, proclaiming he “became a grandfather today.”
Once the adoption became final in March 2002 and the couple made the official announcement, it was thought that she, Thornton and Maddox would make a family.
In fact, while Jolie was away filming "Beyond Borders" in Africa and Asia with Maddox in her care, a film with a plot strikingly similar to that of her own life at the time as a rich girl who becomes a U.N. aid worker, Thornton was back in L.A., and he became increasingly involved in his self-titled band.
Thornton had not embraced fatherhood the way Jolie had hoped, and the two separated in June 2002 amid a flurry of publicity. Divorce papers were filed the following May, and Jolie gained sole custody of Maddox.
Having already dropped the use of her surname Voight almost entirely, Jolie’s strained relationship with her father — due to his rocky marriage to her mother — became embarrassingly public when he proclaimed on television that Jolie should get help for “mental problems” in the summer of 2002, following her divorce from Thornton.
Saying he was reacting to reports in the press about her revelations of cutting herself, Voight spoke openly about signs he’d seen in his daughter as she grew up of “serious mental problems” and “real illness” and tearfully pleaded for her to get help and for the two to get back in touch.
This angered Jolie, who rushed to court in September 2002 to legally remove the name Voight from her records.
Jolie forbade Voight from meeting the boy, stating that her father’s cries could have jeopardized her adoptive motherhood and that she refused to expose her son to the suffering she went through growing up.
Since then, Voight has repeatedly tried to contact his daughter, most notably through press statements, even asking for anyone to give her a call to help him out.
Her subsequent films "Life or Something Like It," "Alexander" and "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" disappointed critics, and her private life calmed down as Jolie settled into motherhood and continued her work with the United Nations.
Even the second installment of "Tomb Raider" was not a huge event, but Jolie insisted she was satisfied with the pair and reiterated that film success was not the focus of her life anymore.
In 2003 she told the Associated Press, “These days, I don't know what Oscars mean.”
She said she was too busy for romance, until a March 2004 GQ magazine article reignited the public’s fascination with her as a sex symbol with the quote, “I have now taken a lover,” which appeared in syndicated news reports worldwide.
She had been linked to "Alexander" co-star Colin Farrell, actor Val Kilmer, ex-husband No. 1 Miller and Jared Leto but added to the suspense by saying “nobody’s got the right guy.”
In 2004, Jolie began filming "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" co-starring Brad Pitt, but all was quiet until rumors leaked of an affair between the two later in the year.
Pitt, who was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time, recently had been voicing his desire to be a father and had become involved in the fight against AIDS in Africa.
Aniston herself had hinted at starting a family once "Friends" ended, but her movie career took off instead. Pitt and Aniston separated in January 2005 and filed for divorce in March.
All eyes were on Pitt and Jolie as the paparazzi eagerly awaited any sign of the two together, and in April 2005, tabloids published photos of the two on a beach in Kenya playing with Maddox, then 3.
For most of the year, the couple carefully choreographed their appearances and travels in an attempt to keep a low profile as the press heated up speculation about how Pitt’s marriage had fallen apart, but images and reports continued to leak of Brad holding Maddox and the boy calling Pitt “Daddy.” The nickname "Brangelina" was coined.
Jolie and Brad made a trip to Ethiopia in July 2005 to finalize the adoption of a baby girl Jolie named Zahara Marley, who had been born in January 2005.
Jolie, who had already admitted she saw herself adopting several more children, spoke to People magazine about her trip to the orphanage in Ethiopia.
“I know some of the kids that were next to my daughter; two of them passed away, with symptoms very similar to hers. I really do believe that if I didn't get her out at that time that she wouldn't be here. She was days away,” Jolie said.
Indeed, the baby was then briefly treated at a New York hospital for dehydration and malnutrition.
In August 2005, Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni awarded Jolie Cambodian citizenship for her work in the country and her fight against landmines.
Pitt’s divorce became final in October 2005.
The rumors of Pitt and Jolie's relationship were finally and unequivocally confirmed when Jolie told a charity worker in the Dominican Republic, where she’d been filming in January 2006, “Yes, I’m pregnant.”
Pitt’s publicist confirmed the actor’s paternity, and Pitt himself legally adopted Jolie’s children on Jan. 19, 2006, changing their surnames to Jolie-Pitt.
The night of May 27, 2006, in Namibia, Africa, Jolie gave birth by Caesarean section to a daughter, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt.
Jolie decided to offer the first public photos of Shiloh directly to the media rather than having the paparazzi seek them out.
The couple sold the North American rights to the pictures to People magazine for more than $4.1 million, and the international rights to Hello! magazine for roughly $3.5 million. The baby pictures are the most expensive celebrity images of all time. The couple donated all proceeds from the sale to charity.
In September 2006, Pitt said in a magazine interview that he and Jolie will only consider marriage when all Americans are given the legal right to marry.
In January 2007, Jolie's mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, died of cancer.
In March 2007, Jolie adopted a 3-year-old boy from an orphanage in southern Vietnam. Since Vietnamese adoption laws do not allow unmarried couples to adopt, Jolie adopted Pax Thien Jolie as a single parent. In June 2007 the child legally became Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt.
In May 2008, the Pitt-Jolie clan moved into the Miraval Estate in the French town of Correns, located in the Provence region.
In May, "Kung Fu Panda" co-star Jack Black was the first to reveal that Jolie was expecting twins. In an interview on the "Today Show" he joked that the couple will "have as many as [the] Brady Bunch when you have these." Jolie confimed the news, saying "yeah, yeah, we've confirmed that already. Well, Jack's just confirmed it actually."
On July 12, 2008, Jolie gave birth to the twins in Nice, France. Daughter Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt weighed 5 pounds, and son Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt weighed 5 pounds, 3 ounces.
The Associated Press contributed to this biography.
"Wanted" (2008) — Fox
"Changeling" (2008) — Christine Collins
"Kung Fu Panda" (2008) — Tigress (voice)
"Beowulf" (2007) — Grendel's Mother
"A Mighty Heart" (2007) — Mariane Pearl
"The Good Shepherd" (2006) — Clover Wilson
"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (2005) — Jane Smith
"Alexander" (2004) — Olympias
"Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" (2004) — Franky
"Shark Tale" (2004) — Lola (voice)
"Taking Lives" (2004) — Illeana
"Beyond Borders" (2003) — Sarah Jordan
"Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" (2003) — Lara Croft
"Trading Women" (2003) — Narrator
"Life or Something Like It" (2002) — Lanie Kerrigan
"Original Sin" (2001) — Julia Russell/Bonnie Castle
"Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" (2001) — Lara Croft
"Gone in Sixty Seconds" (2000) — Sara 'Sway' Wayland
"Girl, Interrupted" (1999) — Lisa Rowe
"The Bone Collector" (1999) — Amelia Donaghy
"Pushing Tin" (1998) — Mary Bell
"Playing by Heart" (1998) — Joan
"Hell's Kitchen" (1998) — Gloria McNeary
"Playing God" (1997) — Claire
"Foxfire" (1996) — Margret 'Legs' Sadovsky
"Love Is All There Is" (1996) — Gina Malacici
"Mojave Moon" (1996) — Eleanor 'Elie' Rigby
"Without Evidence" (1995) — Jodi Swearingen
"Hackers" (1995) — Kate 'Acid Burn' Libby
"Cyborg 2" (1993) — Casella 'Cash' Reese
"Lookin' to Get Out" (1982) — Tosh
"Diary: The Diary of Angelina Jolie and Jeffrey Sachs in Africa" (2005) — Herself
"Trading Women" (2003) — Narrator
"Gia" (1998) — Gia Marie Carangi
George Wallace (1997) — Cornelia Wallace
"True Women" (1997) — Georgia Virginia Lawshe Woods