|Famous For: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Maleficent||Currently Known For: Actress, Filmmaker and Activist|
Currently Known For Actress, Filmmaker and Activist
“When other little girls wanted to be ballet dancers, I kind of wanted to be a vampire.” As “Hollywood” as Hollywood gets, Angelina Jolie made her big screen debut at only seven years old alongside her father, the legendary and Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight, in the 1982 comedy Lookin’ to Get Out. Since then, Jolie has dominated the industry and established herself as one of the best and highest earning actresses in the business. So how exactly did she get to the top of Tinsel Town and build an impressive $180 million empire? Let’s take a look!
Born into a family of entertainers in Los Angeles in 1975, not only was Jolie’s father a silver screen star, her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, was also an actress and well-known producer. With her parents separating when she was only a year old, the actress-to-be and her brother, James Haven, were raised by their mother who forfeited her Hollywood ambitions to take care of her children. It was because of this sacrifice and her close relationship with her mother that inspired Jolie to pursue acting on her own.
Spending her childhood watching and memorizing every part of her mother’s films, there was no doubt that Jolie would follow in her mother’s footsteps as she enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute while securing a few minor roles in local stage productions. Still in high school at the time, Jolie’s early success on the stage made up for her unpopularity at school where she was teased for her thick glasses and braces. Eventually taking on a “punk” persona and adopting an all-black wardrobe, Jolie briefly gave up acting and looked into becoming a funeral director before turning to drugs and self-harm in her 20s.
Somehow managing to rekindle her love of the stage between the heroin use and addiction, Jolie’s future started improving when she was cast in the sci-fi flick Cyborg 2 which, despite being poorly received, opened a door to Hollywood for the young actress. Filling the next five years with small-time roles, Jolie finally enjoyed her first taste of success in 1998 when she was cast in HBO’s Gia, an emotionally draining role that caused Jolie to reconsider her career after stating she “had nothing left to give.”
Fortunately, Jolie returned to the silver screen after a brief break from the spotlight and was cast in the 2001 video game adaptation of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which made her an international superstar. Since then, the 41-year-old has starred in dozens of box office hits with over 50 films to her name including Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Maleficent and Girl, Interrupted. While extending her reach as a director, screenwriter and producer, she has snagged 96 award nominations and nearly just as many wins in addition to a $180 million net worth that includes an average annual salary of $20 million.
With stacks of cash like that, Jolie doesn’t have to say “no” to virtually anything and, as you can imagine, her lifestyle definitely reflects that. For starters, the mother of six owns at least five real estate properties around the world including a stunning $35 million mansion in Chateau Mirval that sits on 1,000 acres of land and stretches across 35—yes, 35—bedrooms. Her other properties include a $40 million villa in Italy, a $16 million mansion in England and a more modest but equally stunning $3.5 million estate in New Orleans.
While each of her homes is impressive, they don't hold a candle to her collection of aircrafts and cars. With a huge passion for flying and a pilot’s license, Jolie owns a private jet and a Cirrus SR 22 helicopter, which was actually a gift for Brad Pitt. When she’s not in the air, the Wanted star still gets around in style with half a dozen cars in her garage including an upgraded Jaguar XJ, a BMW Hydrogen 7, a black Range Rover, Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Tahoe.
Apart from spending a small fortune on gorgeous real estate around the world, planes, helicopters and luxury cars, Jolie is known for writing big checks and donating her time to support a variety of international humanitarian efforts. Throughout her career, she has been frequently praised and awarded for her incredible activism and support for causes such as conservation, women’s rights, child immigration and education. But, she hasn’t stopped there.
Knowing she could do more than simply send money, Jolie embodies true humanitarianism as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a position that has taken her on over 50 field missions to war-torn third-world countries. Using her own position of fame and fortune, Jolie says her goal is to bring “awareness to the plight of these people [refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq]” who should be “commended for what they have survived, not looked down upon.”