Angelina Jolie Voight was born on June 4, 1975, to Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight and actress Marcheline Bertrand. At age 11, four years after making her film debut opposite her father in Lookin’ to Get Out, Angelina Jolie began studying acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.
Although her dream as a child was actually to become a funeral director, 16-year-old Angelina Jolie worked as a professional model in London, New York and Los Angeles. Musical groups and singers such as the Rolling Stones, Lemonheads, Meatloaf, and Lenny Kravitz cast her in their music videos, and even her brother James Haven Voight directed her in his student films for the USC School of Cinema.
Wishing to get even closer to pursuing an acting career, Jolie studied at L.A.’s MET Theatre Company, which also counts Ed Harris and Holly Hunter among its alumni.
Angelina Jolie‘s first foray into film was of a sci-fi nature, with a supporting role in 1993’s Cyborg 2, which didn’t even make it to the big screen, and a lead role in Hackers (1995) where she met her future ex-husband, British actor Jonny Lee Miller of Trainspotting fame. They were separated within the year and filed for divorce in 1999.
Angelina Jolie’s television roles were what gained her the ultimate respect of critics. She was honored with a 1997 Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination for her role as Cornelia Wallace in the TV movie George Wallace, costarring Gary Sinise. But the best was yet to come for Angelina Jolie.
She won her second Golden Globe for her role as model Gia Carangi in HBO’s biopic Gia. Her intense portrayal of the drug-addicted model who was diagnosed with AIDS was highly deserving of the Best Actress Golden Globe and Emmy nomination.
On the big screen, Angelina Jolie was well-received by audiences for her role in 1998’s Playing By Heart with Sean Connery, Gillian Anderson and Ryan Phillippe. She also played Billy Bob Thornton’s seductive wife in 1999’s Pushing Tin and starred opposite big-leaguer Denzel Washington in the thriller The Bone Collector later that year.
But it was her supporting role in 1999’s Girl, Interrupted that showed audiences her dramatic skills, garnering her a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Angelina Jolie created controversy when she showed up at the Oscars with her brother James and kissed him as though he was her boyfriend. The two later denied rumors that they had in an incestuous relationship.
In 2000, Angelina Jolie eloped with her Pushing Tin costar Billy Bob Thornton, but after they adopted a Cambodian boy named Maddox Chivan Thornton Jolie in 2002, their marriage fell apart and they filed for divorce. While it lasted, their sexually charged marriage was the subject of much tabloid fodder; the eccentric couple carried vials of each other’s blood around their necks and were prone to public displays of affection.
In 2001, Angelina Jolie was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
During that time, Angelina Jolie also starred in a slew of films, including Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) with Nicolas Cage, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), for which Angelina is proud to say she did her own stunts, Original Sin (2001) with Antonio Banderas, Life Or Something Like It (2002), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), and Beyond Borders (2003).
In 2004, Angelina Jolie was busy starring in Taking Lives, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Shark Tale, and as Olympias in Oliver Stone’s Alexander.
After Angelina Jolie starred alongside Brad Pitt in the romantic comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), rumors began circulating that the two were an item, even though Brad was in the process of separating from his wife Jennifer Aniston.
Although the pair denied the rumors, pictures of them playing with little Maddox on the beach in Kenya emerged in April 2005, and several more tabloid photos in the months that followed confirmed they were an item.
On July 6, 2005, Angelina Jolie adopted her second child, a 6-month-old girl named Zahara Marley from Ethiopia. Months later, it was revealed that Brad and Angelina had made the decision to adopt Zahara together. Just eight days later, Brad’s request to legally adopt Maddox and Zahara went through, and their last names were changed to Jolie-Pitt.
After much media attention, on May 27, 2006, Angelina gave birth to Brad Pitt’s child, a girl named Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, in Namibia.
Among all the action in her personal life, Angelina Jolie amazingly managed to get some work done. In 2006, she appeared in the Robert De Niro-directed The Good Shepherd.
In March 2007, Angelina Jolie adopted a 3-year-old boy from Vietnam, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, who was born on November 29, 2003, and was abandoned at birth at a local hospital. Angelina named him Pax, which was suggested by her mother before she passed away.
The year 2007 was another jam-packed year for this busy mom. She appeared in A Mighty Heart as well as did voice work alongside Anthony Hopkins in Beowulf. She was also named one of the Entertainers Of The Year by Entertainment Weekly. With a “tail” such as Angelina Jolie’s in Beowulf, it’s no wonder she landed in the No. 35 position on our list of the Top 99 Most Desirable Women in 2008.
Angelina Jolie “unofficially” announced she was pregnant by wearing a form-fitting dress at the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards, indirectly confirming the rumors circulating that she was with child.
In 2008, Angelina Jolie was involved in several film projects, including Wanted starring Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy, Kung Fu Panda and Changeling.