With her long legs, ample lips and striking blue eyes Angelina Jolie may have been destined for screen stardom even without the benefit of talent or family name – both of which are considerable - but these attributes didn’t hurt.
Angelina Jolie Voight was born in Los Angels on June 4, 1975 as a daughter of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 from cancer. After her parents' separation in 1976, Jolie and her brother James Haven 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.
Jolie made her film debut as a seven years old with a bit role in the film Looking to Get Out, co-produced and co-written by Voight, who also starred. Jolie began formally studying acting at the renowned Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York City at age 11. She later recalled her time as a student at Beverly Hills High School.
Five years later, she began living on her own, working as a professional model and appearing in music videos for artists including the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, Meat Loaf, and the Lemonheads.
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.
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. At the couple’s wedding ceremony in March 1996, the unconventional bride wore black rubber pants and a shirt on which she had written the groom’s name in her own blood. Jolie and Miller separated less than a year later. They were divorced in 1999.
Over the next several years, Jolie´s reputation as Hollywood’s newest “bad girl” grew still, even as a number of highly acclaimed performances established her as a talented A-list actress. 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.
She achieved the same feats—this time as Best Actress—the following year, for her emotionally-charged performance at the film Gia, based on the true story of Gia Carangi, a rebellious, heroin-addicted model who died of AIDS in the mid-1980s. On the big screen, Jolie initially had less success, starring in several poorly received films, most notably Foxfire (1996) and Playing God (1997), co-starring Timothy Hutton and David Duchovny. She had more luck with the ensemble comedy-drama Playing By Heart (1998), appearing alongside such heavy-hitters as Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands. In 1999, Jolie appeared in three major films: the disappointing comedy Pushing Tin, co-starring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett; The Bone Collector, a thriller co-starring Denzel Washington; and Girl, Interrupted, co-starring Winona Ryder. In the latter film, Jolie’s performance as Lisa, a charismatic sociopathic inmate in a psychiatric hospital, earned her third straight Golden Globe, and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2000, Jolie starred with Nicolas Cage in the action-packed Gone in Sixty Seconds. In the summer of 2001, she made a serious bid for action stardom in the title role of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and starred with Antonio Banderas in the steamy period drama Original Sin.
After her divorce from Miller, Jolie was romantically linked to Timothy Hutton, her co-star in Playing God. They reportedly broke up in 1999. In the spring of 2000, she began dating relations with her co-star in Pushing Tin and Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton. The couple were married (she for the second time, he for the fifth) on May 2000, in Las Vegas. After three years she divorced with him too.
She had her biggest commercial success with the action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith who had premier in 2005. During work on this film Angelina fell in love with her movie partner Brad Pitt. Today Jolie currently lives with him, in a relationship that has attracted worldwide media attention. Jolie and Pitt have three adopted children and biological daughter named Shiloh Nouvel. On March, 2002, Jolie adopted her first child named Maddox Chivan. He was born in Cambodia. On July, 2005, Jolie adopted a six-month-old girl from Ethiopia, Zahara Marley who was orphaned by AIDS. On March 2007, Jolie adopted a three-year-old boy from Vietnam named Pax Thien.
Jolie has promoted humanitarian causes throughout the world, and is noted for her work with refugees through UNHCR. She eventually turned to UNHCR for more information on international trouble spots. Jolie went on mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania, Kenya, Cambodia, and later met with Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Here she donated 1 million dollars for Afghan refugees in response to an international UNHCR emergency appeal. Impressed by her interest and devotion in the subject, UNHCR named her a Goodwill Ambassador on August 2001 at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva.
Today, Jolie is one of the best known celebrities around the world. She was among the 100 most influential people in the world according to statement magazine Time, and she was described as the world's most beautiful woman in the "100 Most Beautiful" issue of magazine People.