Some actors and actresses were destined for the big screen because of their family name, but then there are some that try to make it out on their own without relying on a famous last name. Angelina Jolie is one of those actresses, and has become one of the biggest names in Hollywood over the past 20 years as a result.
Jolie is actually the middle name of the actress that was born on June 4, 1975 in Los Angeles to actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. Voight is known for his roles in films such as “Midnight Cowboy” and “Deliverance” while Bertrand appeared in “The Man Who Loved Women” and “That’s Life!”.
Jolie’s parents would split when she was just a year old, and she and her brother had lived with Bertrand while growing up. At a young age, Jolie knew that she wanted to be in films like her parents, and even tried her hand at modeling as a teenager without much success. Jolie became a bit of an outcast, but was still a good student that graduated at just 16 years old.
The nanny that took care of Jolie and her brother while growing up had said that “Angie to me was a very lonely and troubled child,” and that her parents divorce “broker her heart and it made the atmosphere in the house very tense...Angie has abandonment issues that are still being played out now.”
Jolie admitted that she and Voight didn’t spend much time while she was growing up. “I didn’t feel that close to my father,” she said. “I felt more of my mother’s daughter when I was a child, so that was one part of (why I didn’t take his last name. I wanted to see if I could get the job on my own, and not be hired for a name.”
It was a rough time for Jolie in her teens and early 20s, but she was able to find work, starting in music videos in the early 1990s. It was in 1993 that Jolie got her first leading role in a movie, but it wasn’t on the big screen. Instead, it was a film called “Cyborg 2” that went straight to video. After a leading role in the independent film “Without Evidence”, Jolie landed her first notable big screen role in “Hackers”.
The second half of the 1990s would see Jolie bloom into a bona fide star, winning a pair of Golden Globes for her performances in “George Wallace” and “Gia”. She wrapped up the decade with a role in “Girl, Interrupted”, and found mainstream success when the new millennium started thanks to roles in Gone in 60 Seconds”. Jolie would cement herself as an action star in the film “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”.
Jolie has been known mostly for her roles in action films like that, including hit movies such as “Wanted”, “Salt” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”. The latter movie is where she met Brad Pitt, who was fresh off of his divorce with actress Jennifer Aniston.
Jolie’s relationships have always been a big interest with the public, dating back to her time when she was married to Billy Bob Thornton. Before that, she had been married to Jonny Lee Miller, and she had been with Pitt for nearly a decade before they decided to get married in 2014. The “Brangelina” relationship was highly publicized, especially as their family continued to grow.
Since 2001, Jolie has adopted three children and had three of her own with Pitt, including twins in 2008. Things seemed to be going well for Jolie and Pitt, who traveled the globe and promoted humanitarian work, becoming two of the most influential people in philanthropy. However, things would come to an end in 2016 when Jolie and Pitt separated, and their divorce has yet to be finalized as they try to figure out a settlement and who gets custody of their six children.
Following the divorce, Jolie would open up and describe her life as a single mother. “I have had my ups and downs. I guess I am a little bit stronger,” she said. “We all have our difficult times, but as a mother you also have a responsibility first and foremost towards the kids. They are going through their formative years and everything else comes second to that.” She explained that the reason for not appearing in as many films following the divorce was because the children needed her. “We’ve all been a bit in lockdown. I think (the kids) are itching to get out into the world again,” she said.
Even though they’re no longer together, Jolie hasn’t ruled out working in films with Pitt again. “We had met working together and we worked well,” she said. “I wanted us to do some serious work together...I thought it would be a good way for us to communicate.” For now, however, there are no plans for an on-screen reunion between the two, as her upcoming projects include an animated film and a sequel to 2014’s “Maleficent”.