Angelina Jolie is an American film actress, former fashion model and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency.
She is known for headlining numerous feature blockbusters, including Hackers; Girl, Interrupted; Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
After appearing 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) and she played her first leading role in a major film in Hackers (1995).
She appeared 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).
She achieved international fame as a result of her portrayal of videogame 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 had her biggest commercial success with the action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005).
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, and a biological child, Shiloh.
Jolie has promoted humanitarian causes throughout the world, and is noted for her work with refugees through UNHCR.
Early Life and Family
Born Angelina Jolie Voight in Los Angeles, California, she is the daughter of actors Jon Voight and the late Marcheline Bertrand. Jolie 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, she is of Czechoslovakian and German descent, and on her mother's side she is French Canadian and is said to be part Iroquois, although Bertrand's alleged Native American ancestry was once disputed by Voight in an interview in 2001.
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 11, 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.
As her despondency grew, she started to cut herself; later commenting during an appearance on CNN, "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."
At 14, she dropped out of her acting classes and dreamed of becoming a funeral director. Her self-loathing led her to embark on a rebellious period in her life; 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 time 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, blaming his infidelity for the break-up of the family, though a reconciliation was attempted, and he appeared with her in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
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.
In the October 2004 issue of Premiere Magazine, Jolie 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 publicise 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.
Early Work, 1993–1997
Jolie began working as a fashion model at 14. She was signed with Finesse Model Management and modeled in both the United States and Europe, working mainly in Los Angeles, New York and London.
She also appeared in numerous music videos, including those of Meat Loaf ("Rock'n'Roll Dreams Come Through"), Antonello Venditti ("Alta Marea") and Lenny Kravitz ("Stand by My Woman").
At the age of 16 Jolie returned to theatre, and played her first role as a German dominatrix. 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 appeared in five of her brother's student films, made while he attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts, but her professional movie career began in 1993, when she played her first leading role in the low budget film Cyborg 2, as Casella "Cash" Reese, a near-human robot, designed to seduce her way into a rival manufacturer's headquarters and then self-detonate.
Following several undistinguished projects she starred as Kate "Acid Burn" Libby in her first Hollywood picture, Hackers (1995), where she met her first husband Jonny Lee Miller.
The New York Times wrote, "Kate (Angelina Jolie) 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. Despite her sullen posturing, which is all this role requires, Ms. Jolie has the sweetly cherubic looks of her father, Jon Voight."
The movie failed to make a profit at the box-office, but developed a cult following after its video release.
She appeared as Gina Malacici in the 1996 comedy Love Is All There Is, a modern-day loose adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set among two rival Italian family restaurant owners in Bronx, New York.
In the road movie Mojave Moon she was a youngster, named Eleanor Rigby, who falls for Danny Aiello, while he takes a shine to her mother, Anne Archer.
Still in 1996 she played Margret "Legs" Sadovsky, one of five teenage girls who form an unlikely bond in the film Foxfire after they beat up a teacher who has sexually harassed them.
The Los Angeles Times wrote about Jolie's 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, a film portraying a famed L.A. surgeon who is stripped of his medical licence and is lured deep into the criminal world where he meets Jolie’s character, Claire.
The movie was not received well by critics and Roger Ebert noted that "Angelina Jolie finds a certain warmth in a kind of role that is usually hard and aggressive; she seems too nice to be (a criminal's) girlfriend, and maybe she is."
She then appeared in the TV movie True Women, a historical romantic drama set in the West, and based on the book by Janice Woods Windle. She also appeared as a stripper in the Rolling Stones music video for the song "Anybody Seen My Baby?"
Jolie's career prospects began to improve after her performance as Cornelia Wallace in the 1997 biopic George Wallace, for which she won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy. The film was highly praised by critics and, among other awards, received the Golden Globe for "Best Miniseries/Motion Picture made for TV".
She played the second wife of the segregationist Governor of Alabama who was shot and paralyzed while running for President. The film starred Gary Sinise and was directed by John Frankenheimer.
In 1998 Jolie starred in HBO's Gia, as the supermodel, Gia Carangi. The film depicted a world of sex, drugs and emotional drama, and chronicled the destruction of Carangi's life and career as a result of her drug addiction, and her decline and death from AIDS.
Vanessa Vance from Reel.com noted, "Angelina Jolie gained wide recognition for her role as the titular Gia, and it's easy to see why. Jolie is fierce in her portrayal—filling the part with nerve, charm, and desperation — and her role in this film is quite possibly the most beautiful train wreck ever filmed."
For the second consecutive year, Jolie won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy. She also won her first Screen Actors Guild Award.
In accordance with Lee Strasberg's method acting Jolie reportedly prefers to stay in character in between scenes during many of her films, and as a result has gained a reputation for being difficult to deal with. While shooting Gia, she told her then-husband Jonny Lee Miller that she wouldn't be able to phone him. "I'd tell him: 'I'm alone; I'm dying; I'm gay; I'm not going to see you for weeks.'"
Following Gia, Jolie moved to New York and stopped acting for a short period of time, because she felt that she had "nothing else to give". She enrolled at New York University to study filmmaking and attended writing classes. She described it as "just good for me to collect myself" on Inside the Actors Studio.
Jolie returned to film as Gloria McNeary in the 1998 gangster movie Hell's Kitchen, and later that year was part of an ensemble cast that included Sean Connery, Gillian Anderson, Ryan Phillippe and Jon Stewart in Playing by Heart.
The drama tells the story of several seemingly unconnected characters, with Jolie playing a young club-scene hipster, Joan. The film received predominantly positive reviews and Jolie was praised in particular.
The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Jolie, working through an overwritten part, is a sensation as the desperate club crawler learning truths about what she's willing to gamble." Jolie won the Breakthrough Performance Award by the National Board of Review.
In 1999 she starred in Mike Newell's comedy-drama Pushing Tin, about two air traffic controllers who engage in macho conflict, co-starring alongside John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett. Jolie played Thornton's seductive wife Mary Bell.
The film received a lukewarm reception from critics and Jolie's character was particularly criticised. The Washington Post wrote, "Mary (Angelina Jolie), a completely ludicrous writer's creation of a free-spirited woman who weeps over hibiscus plants that die, wears lots of turquoise rings and gets real lonely when Russell spends entire nights away from home."
She then worked with Denzel Washington in The Bone Collector, an adapted crime novel written by Jeffery Deaver. Jolie played Amelia Donaghy, a police officer haunted by her cop father's suicide who reluctantly helps Washington track down a serial killer.
The movie grossed $151-million worldwide, but was a critical failure; the Detroit Free Press concluded, "Jolie, while always delicious to look at, is simply and woefully miscast."
Jolie next took the supporting role of Lisa Rowe alongside Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted (1999), a film that tells the story of mental patient Susanna Kaysen, and which was adapted from Kaysen's original memoir Girl, Interrupted.
While the lead role of the film was Ryder's character, and hoped to be a comeback for Ryder, the film instead became the "welcome-to-Hollywood coronation" for Jolie.
Jolie won her third Golden Globe, her second Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Variety noted, "Jolie is excellent as the flamboyant, irresponsible girl who turns out to be far more instrumental than the doctors in Susanna's rehabilitation" and Roger Ebert wrote about her performance: "Jolie is emerging as one of the great wild spirits of current movies, a loose cannon who somehow has deadly aim."
In 2000 Jolie appeared in her first summer blockbuster, Gone In 60 Seconds, in which she played Sarah "Sway" Wayland, ex-girlfriend of car-thief Nicolas Cage.
The role was small, and the Washington Post criticised that "all she does in this movie is stand around, cooling down, modeling those fleshy, pulsating muscle-tubes that nest so provocatively around her teeth."
She later explained that the film was a welcome relief after the heavy role of Lisa Rowe, and it became her highest grossing movie up until then, with $237-million internationally.
International Success, 2001–present
Although highly regarded for her acting abilities, Jolie's films to date had often not appealed to a wide audience, but Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) made her an international superstar.
An adaptation of the popular Tomb Raider videogame, Jolie was required to master a British accent and undergo extensive martial arts training to play the title role of Lara Croft. She was generally praised for her physical performance, but the movie generated mostly negative reviews.
Slant Magazine commented, "Angelina Jolie was born to play Lara Croft but (director) Simon West makes her journey into a game of Frogger."
The movie was a huge international success nonetheless, earning $275-million worldwide, and started her reputation as a female action star.
Jolie then starred alongside Antonio Banderas as the mail-order bride Julia Russell in Original Sin, a thriller based on the novel Waltz into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich. The film was a major critical failure, with The New York Times noting, "The story plunges more precipitously than Ms. Jolie's neckline."
In 2002, she played Lanie Kerrigan in Life or Something Like It, a film about an ambitious TV reporter who is told that she will die in a week. The film was poorly received by critics, though Jolie's performance received positive reviews.
CNN's Paul Clinton wrote, "Jolie is excellent in her role. Despite some of the ludicrous plot points in the middle of the film, this Academy Award-winning actress is exceedingly believable in her journey towards self-discovery and the true meaning of fulfilling life."
Jolie reprised her role as Lara Croft in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life in 2003. The sequel, while not as lucrative as the original, earned $156-million at the international box-office.
Later that year Jolie starred in Beyond Borders, a film about aid workers in Africa. Although reflecting Jolie's real-life interest in promoting humanitarian relief, the film was critically and financially unsuccessful.
The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Jolie, as she did in her Oscar-winning role in Girl, Interrupted, can bring electricity and believability to roles that have a reality she can understand. She can also, witness the Lara Croft films, do acknowledged cartoons. But the limbo of a hybrid character, a badly written cardboard person in a fly-infested, blood-and-guts world, completely defeats her."
In 2004, Jolie starred alongside Ethan Hawke in the thriller Taking Lives, as Illeana Scott, an FBI profiler summoned to help Montreal law enforcement hunt down a serial killer.
The movie received mixed reviews and The Hollywood Reporter concluded, "Angelina Jolie plays a role that definitely feels like something she has already done, but she does add an unmistakable dash of excitement and glamour."
She also provided the voice of Lola, an angelfish in the animated DreamWorks movie Shark Tale; the cast included Will Smith, Martin Scorsese, Renée Zellweger, Jack Black and Robert De Niro.
Also in 2004, Jolie had a brief appearance as Franky in Kerry Conran’s Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, a science fiction adventure film shot with actors entirely in front of a bluescreen, with all the sets and nearly all of the props computer-generated.
Jolie then played Olympias in Alexander (2004), Oliver Stone’s biopic about the life of Alexander the Great. The film failed domestically, with Stone attributing its poor reception to disapproval of the depiction of Alexander’s homosexuality, but it succeeded internationally, with revenue of $139-million outside the United States.
Newsday wrote of Jolie's performance, "Jolie is the only one in the picture who seems to be having any fun with her role, and one misses her whenever she's off-screen."
Jolie's only movie of 2005, the action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith, is also her biggest commercial success to date. The film, directed by Doug Liman, tells the story of a bored married couple who find out that they are both secret assassins. Jolie starred as Jane Smith alongside Brad Pitt.
The film was well received and was generally lauded for the chemistry between the two leads. The Star Tribune noted, "While the story feels haphazard, the movie gets by on gregarious charm, galloping energy and the stars' thermonuclear screen chemistry."
The movie earned over $478-million worldwide, one of the biggest hits of 2005.
Jolie next appeared in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd (2006), a film about the early history of the CIA, as seen through the eyes of Edward Wilson, played by Matt Damon. Jolie co-stared as Margaret Russell, Wilson's neglected wife who becomes increasingly discontented by the effects of his work.
The Chicago Tribune commented on her role, "Jolie ages convincingly throughout, and is blithely unconcerned with how her brittle character is coming off in terms of audience sympathy."
In 2007, Jolie made her directorial debut with the documentary A Place in Time, which captures the life in 27 locations around the globe during a single week and features fellow actors such as Jude Law, Hilary Swank, Colin Farrell and Jonny Lee Miller.
Jolie starred as Mariane Pearl in Michael Winterbottom's documentary-style drama A Mighty Heart (2007), about the kidnap and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. The film is based on Mariane Pearl's memoirs A Mighty Heart and had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Hollywood Reporter described Jolie's performance as "well-measured and moving", played "with respect and a firm grasp on a difficult accent."
Her confirmed future projects include the animated movies Beowulf, playing Grendel's mother, and Kung Fu Panda. Jolie will also appear in Wanted, an action film based on a graphic novel by Mark Millar, and she was cast as Dagny Taggart in the movie adaptation of Atlas Shrugged.
Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises while filming Tomb Raider in poverty-stricken and widely mined Cambodia. According to Jolie, "I discovered things about what's happening in the world... Cambodia was really eye opening for me."
Deeply affected by these experiences, she eventually turned to UNHCR for more information on international trouble spots. In the following months she agreed to visit different refugee camps around the world to learn more about the situation and the conditions in these areas.
In February 2001, Jolie went on her first field visit, an 18-day mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania; she later expressed her shock at what she had witnessed.
In the coming months she returned to Cambodia for two weeks and later visited Afghan refugees in Pakistan where she donated $1-million for Afghan refugees in response to an international UNHCR emergency appeal.
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 her interest and devotion in the subject, UNHCR named her a Goodwill Ambassador on August 27, 2001 at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, despite her warning that her controversial public image might shed a negative light on the U.N.
In a press conference Jolie 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."
During her first three years as Goodwill Ambassador Jolie concentrated her efforts on field missions, visiting refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) all around the world. Asked what she hoped to accomplish, she stated, "Awareness of the plight of these people. I think they should be commended for what they have survived, not looked down upon."
In 2002, Jolie visited Tham Hin refugee camp in Thailand and Colombian refugees in Ecuador to take a closer look at the "Western Hemisphere's most severe humanitarian crisis".
She and US Secretary of State Colin Powell opened events to celebrate World Refugee Day 2002 on June 20 in Washington, D.C. Jolie then went to various UNHCR facilities in Kosovo and paid a visit to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya with 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”.
She also visited Angolan refugees while she was filming Beyond Borders in Namibia.
In 2003, Jolie embarked on a six-day mission to Tanzania where she traveled to western border camps, hosting Congolese refugees and she paid a week-long visit to Sri Lanka, where she saw the post–war conditions in northern Sri Lanka.
Jolie again attended World Refugee Day on June 20 in Washington, D.C., and later concluded a four-day mission to Russia as she traveled to North Caucasus to learn about all aspects of UNHCR's operations in the region.
Concurrently with the release of her movie Beyond Borders in October 2003 she published Notes from My Travels, a collection of journal entries that chronicle her early field missions (2001-2002). All her proceeds from the book went to UNHCR.
During a private stay in Jordan in December 2003 she asked to visit Ruwaished camp in Jordan's remote eastern desert, 70 km from the Iraqi border. The camp hosted some 800 people who had fled Iraq during the U.S.-led invasion and later that month she visited Sudanese refugees near the Egyptian capital in Kilo Arbaa We Nus.
On her first U.N. trip within the United States, Jolie went to Arizona in 2004, visiting detained asylum seekers at three facilities and the Southwest Key Program, a facility for unaccompanied children in Phoenix.
With the humanitarian situation in Sudan worsening, she flew to Chad in June 2004, paying a visit to border sites and camps for refugees who had fled fighting in western Sudan's Darfur region.
Four months later she returned to the region, this time going directly into West Darfur to learn about the situation of thousands of IDPs. She stressed the need for security and access to displaced people's home villages at a press conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
On June 18, 2004 she and US Secretary of State Colin Powell met again in Washington to launch the three day events of World Refugee Day.
Also in 2004 Jolie visited Afghan refugees in Thailand and on a private stay to Lebanon during the Christmas holidays she visited UNHCR's regional office in Beirut, as well as some young refugees and cancer patients in the Lebanese capital.
With increasing experience, Jolie became more involved in promoting humanitarian causes on a political level. Since 2005 she has attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, announcing the formation of a Council of Business Leaders with UNHCR's Deputy High Commissioner, Wendy Chamberlin, in 2005, and participated in the panel discussion Human Rights: Reduced to Charity? in 2006.
Jolie also began lobbying humanitarian interests in Washington, D.C. where she met with congressmen and senators at least 20 times from 2003. She explained in Forbes:
"As much as I would love to never have to visit Washington, that's the way to move the ball."
Among others, she pushed for The Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act in reaction to her previous visit to facilities for asylum seekers in Arizona.
On March 8, 2005 Jolie took part at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C. where she promoted the bill and in support of it announced the founding of the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children, an organisation that provides free legal-aid to asylum-seeking children with no legal representation which Jolie personally funded with a donation of $500,000 for its first two years.
The Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act eventually passed in December 2005.
Jolie also pushed for a bill to aid 70-million vulnerable children in the Third World which was signed by President Bush in November 2005, but so far no funding has been granted.
In addition to her political involvement, Jolie began using the public’s interest in her to promote humanitarian causes through the mass media.
In May 2005 Jolie filmed a MTV special, The Diary Of Angelina Jolie & Dr. Jeffrey Sachs in Africa, portraying her and noted economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs on their trip to Sauri, a remote group of villages in Western Kenya. There, Sachs's United Nations Millennium Project team is working with locals to end poverty, hunger and disease.
In September 2006 Jolie announced the founding of the Jolie/Pitt Foundation which made initial donations to Global Action for Children and Doctors Without Borders of $1-million each.
Jolie visited Pakistani camps containing Afghan refugees, in May 2005 and she also met with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. She returned to Pakistan with Brad Pitt during the Thanksgiving weekend in November to see the impact of the October 8 Kashmir earthquake. They met many quake victims as well as President Musharraf.
In 2006 Jolie and Pitt flew to Haiti and visited a school supported by Yéle Haïti, a charity founded by Haitian-born hip hop musician Wyclef Jean. Jolie also arranged a deal with People allowing them to print the first picture showing her visibly pregnant in exchange for a $500,000 donation to Yéle Haïti.
In November 2006, while filming A Mighty Heart in India, she visited Afghan and Burmese refugees in New Delhi and met the Minister of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma, praising India's longstanding hospitality to refugees.
Jolie spent Christmas Day with Colombian refugees in San José, Costa Rica where she handed out presents and met with Costa Rican officials.
In February 2007, Jolie returned to Chad for a two-day mission to assess the deteriorating security situation for refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan. In an op-ed for the Washington Post she stressed the need for justice and the increased involvement of the International Criminal Court to establish an enduring peace.
In May, Jolie and Pitt donated $1-million to three relief organisations in Darfur and neighbouring Chad.
Jolie has received wide recognition for her humanitarian work. On October 24, 2003 she was the first recipient of the new created Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association.
Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni awarded Jolie Cambodian citizenship for her conservation work in the country on August 12, 2005; she has pledged $5-million to set up a wildlife sanctuary in the north-western province of Battambang and owns property there.
On October 12, 2005, Jolie was awarded the Global Humanitarian Award by the UNA-USA.
In February 2007, she was accepted by the bipartisan think tank Council on Foreign Relations for a special five-year term designed to "nurture the next generation of foreign policy makers".
On March 28, 1996, Jolie married British actor Jonny Lee Miller, her co-star in the film Hackers. She 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 separated one year later and subsequently divorced on February 3, 1999. They remained on good terms and Jolie later explained, "It comes down to timing. I think he's the greatest husband a girl could ask for. I'll always love him, we were simply too young."
She then married American actor Billy Bob Thornton, who she had met on the set of Pushing Tin, on May 5, 2000. 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 relationship became a favourite topic of the entertainment media.
Jolie and Thornton divorced on May 27, 2003. Asked in Vogue 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."
Jolie has said in interviews that she is bisexual and has long acknowledged that she had a sexual relationship with her Foxfire co-star Jenny Shimizu, "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."
In an interview with Barbara Walters in 2003, 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!"
In early 2005, Jolie was involved in a well-publicised 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, she has denied this in several interviews.
In an interview with Ann Curry in 2005, she explained, "To be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive. I could not look at myself in the morning if I did that. I wouldn't be attracted to a man who would cheat on his wife."
While Jolie and Pitt never publicly commented about the nature of their relationship, speculations continued throughout 2005. The first intimate paparazzi photos emerged in April, one month after Aniston had filed for divorce; they show Pitt, Jolie and her son Maddox at a beach in Kenya.
During the summer Jolie and Pitt were seen together with increasing frequency and most of the entertainment media considered them a couple, dubbing them "Brangelina".
On January 11, 2006 Jolie confirmed to People that she was pregnant with Pitt's child and thereby confirmed their relationship for the first time in public.
On March 10, 2002, Jolie adopted her first child, Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt (originally Maddox Chivan Thornton Jolie). He was born on August 5 2001, as Rath Vibol in Cambodia and he initially lived in a local orphanage in Battambang.
Jolie decided to apply for adoption after she had visited Cambodia twice, while filming Tomb Raider and on a UNHCR field trip in 2001. After her divorce from her second husband, Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie received sole custody of Maddox.
His name is Celtic in origin, usually translated as "beneficent", and like Jolie's other children, Maddox has gained a considerable celebrity and appears regularly in the tabloid media; he was named the "cutest celebrity kid," and he is known for his mohawk hairstyle.
On July 6, 2005, Jolie adopted a six-month-old girl from Ethiopia, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt (originally Zahara Marley Jolie), who was orphaned by AIDS. Zahara was born on January 8, 2005 as Tena Adam.
Jolie picked her up at a Wide Horizons For Children orphanage in Addis Ababa. Shortly after they returned to the United States Zahara had to spend time in a hospital for dehydration and malnutrition.
Jolie stated that "she was six months and not nine pounds. Her skin, you could squeeze it, it stuck together."
Zahara's name means "flower" in Swahili, the second name "Marley" comes from late Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley.
Brad Pitt was reportedly present when Jolie signed the adoption papers and collected her daughter; later Jolie indicated that she and Pitt made the decision to adopt Zahara together.
In December 2005 it was confirmed that Pitt was seeking to legally adopt Jolie's two children, 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, Jolie gave birth to 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.
Shiloh, according to a long-standing translation from the Bible, has come to mean "the peaceful one".
Pitt confirmed that their newly-born daughter will have a Namibian passport while speaking to local journalists, and Jolie decided to offer the first pictures of Shiloh through the distributor Getty Images herself, rather than allowing paparazzi to make these extremely valuable snapshots.
People paid more than $4.1-million for the North American rights, while British magazine Hello! obtained the international rights for roughly $3.5-million; the total rights sale earned up to $10-million worldwide – the most expensive celebrity image of all time.
All profits were donated to an undisclosed charity by Jolie and Pitt.
On July 26, 2006 Madame Tussauds in New York unveiled a wax figure of two-month-old Shiloh; it was the first infant re-created in wax by Madame Tussauds.
On March 15, 2007, Jolie adopted a three-year-old boy from Vietnam, Pax Thien Jolie, who was born on November 29, 2003 and abandoned at birth at a local hospital, where he was initially named Pham Quang Sang. Jolie collected the boy from the Tam Binh orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City.
His new name is a combination of the Latin word for "peace" and the Vietnamese word for "sky" or "heaven." In April 2007, Jolie filed a petition to officially change his surname to "Jolie-Pitt".
Jolie in the Media
Jolie appeared in the media from an early age due to her famous father Jon Voight. At 7 she had a small part in Lookin' to Get Out, a movie co-written by and starring her father, and in 1986 and 1988 she attended the Academy Awards as a teenager with him.
However, when she started her acting career, Jolie decided not to use "Voight" as a stage name, because she wished to establish her own identity as an actress.
Jolie was never shy about controversy and integrated her teenage "wild girl" image into her public persona in the first years of her career.
During her acceptance speech at the 2000 Academy Awards, Jolie declared "I'm so in love with my brother right now" which, combined with her affectionate behaviour towards him that night, sparked rumours in the tabloid media of an incestuous relationship with her brother James Haven.
She has denied those rumours and said while appearing on Inside the Actors Studio “the world is a lot sicker than I thought”.
Jolie and Haven later explained in interviews that after their parents' divorce they relied on one another and because of that they hold on to each other as a means of emotional support.
Jolie is noted as "the one A-list celebrity without a publicist", and she quickly became a tabloid's favourite, since she presented herself as very outspoken in interviews, once claiming to be "most likely to sleep with a female fan".
Her love life, especially her interest in sadomasochism, has often been featured in the media. In 2004 she stated in Allure, "S&M sex can be misinterpreted as violence. It's really about trust. I like to push boundaries, both emotional and sexual, with another person. That's when I've felt the sexiest. I've been in both submissive and dominant roles because I want more."
As one of her most distinctive physical features, Jolie's lips have attracted notable media attention and she has been described as "the current gold standard of beauty in the West" among women seeking cosmetic surgery.
She also created headlines with her much publicised marriage to Billy Bob Thornton and her subsequent change into an advocate for global humanitarian problems.
As she took on the role of UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador she started to use her celebrity status to highlight humanitarian causes worldwide, e.g. promoting World Refugee Day 2006 in a two hour CNN interview with Anderson Cooper which attracting more than double the audience of his typical newscast.
Jolie has been taking flying lessons since 2004 and she has a student pilot and private pilot (UK based) license.
The media speculated that Jolie is a Buddhist, but she said that she teaches Buddhism to her son Maddox because she considers it part of his culture.
Jolie has not stated definitively whether or not she believes in God. When asked in an interview with The Onion A.V. Club in 2000 if there was a God, she said, "For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn't need to be a God for me."
Starting in 2005, her relationship with Brad Pitt became one of the most reported celebrity stories worldwide.
After Jolie confirmed her pregnancy in early 2006, the unprecedented media hype surrounding them "reached the point of insanity" as Reuters described it in their story "The Brangelina fever"; among others, there were several false wedding rumours including an alleged imminent wedding in Laglio, Italy that was even further ignited by the local mayor and was picked up by many noted news services like the Associated Press and the BBC.
Trying to avoid the media attention, the couple went to Namibia for the birth of “the most anticipated baby since Jesus Christ”, as it has been described.
Today, Jolie is one of the best known celebrities around the world. According to the Q Score survey by Marketing Evaluations Inc., in 2000, subsequent to her Oscar win, 31% of respondents in the United States said Jolie was familiar to them, by 2006 she was familiar to 81% of Americans.
In a 2006 global industry survey by ACNielsen in 42 international markets Jolie, together with Brad Pitt, was found to be the favourite celebrity endorser for brands and products worldwide.
Also in 2006, Jolie was among the Time 100, a list of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, she was featured on the cover of Forbes "The Celebrity 100" edition, ranking at No. 35, and she was described as the world's most beautiful woman in the "100 Most Beautiful" issue of People.
In February 2007, she was voted the greatest sex symbol of all time in the British Channel 4 television show The 100 Greatest Sex Symbols.
Jolie's inventory of tattoos has become the subject of much media attention and has often been addressed by interviewers. Jolie stated that, while she is not opposed to film nudity, the large number of tattoos on her body has forced filmmakers to become more creative when planning nude or love scenes. Make-up has been used to cover up the tattoos in many of her productions.
She frequently adds or even changes existing tattoos and has said that all the tattoos she possesses have a special meaning.
Jolie currently has 13 known tattoos, among them a Tennessee Williams quote "A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages" which she got together with her mother, the Arabic phrase "strength of will", the Latin proverb "quod me nutrit me destruit" (what nourishes me also destroys me), and a Buddhist Pali prayer written in the Khmer script for her son Maddox.
She also has four sets of geographical coordinates on her left shoulder indicating the birthplaces of her children.
Over time she covered or lasered several of her tattoos, including "Billy Bob", the name of her former husband Billy Bob Thornton, a Chinese character for death and a window on her lower back; she explained that she removed the window, because, while she used to spend all of her time looking out through windows wishing to be outside, she now lives there all of the time.
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. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Angelina_Jolie"