Angelina Jolie - Biography & Career
Born June 4, 1975, Angelina Jolie Voight, daughter of Oscar winning actor Jon Voight and actress Marcheline Bertrand, used her middle name as her last name (the French translation of beautiful), probably in order to succeed, independent of her father's success as an actor. At age 11, Jolie began studying acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, six years after making her film debut in Lookin' to Get Out, starring her father.
Although her dream as a child was actually to become a funeral director, 16-year-old 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 would cast her in their music videos, and even brother James Haven Voight directed Jolie in his student films for the USC School of Cinema.
Wanting to get even closer to pursuing an acting career, Jolie studied at the Met Theatre group in L.A., whose alumni include Ed Harris and Holly Hunter.
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 future husband and British actor Jonny Lee Miller of Trainspotting fame. It should be noted that Jolie's performance was the only redeeming factor of the movie. Jolie and Miller's morbid wedding reception in 1995, where Jolie wore black and had Jonny's name written across the back of her shirt in blood, could have foreshadowed that their marriage would not last too long -- they were separated within the year and filed for divorce in 1999.
Her career as an actress, however, was flying high. She received critical acclaim in Without Evidence (1995), where she portrayed a drug-addicted teen; Foxfire, a 1996 Joyce Carol Oates adaptation, for her portrayal of a rebellious teen known as "Legs"; as well as in 1996's Love Is All There Is, for her role as an Italian girl in love with the son of her family's rival.
In 1997, she joined the ranks of other known cast members with a supporting role in the box-office bomb Playing God, starring David Duchovny and Timothy Hutton.
Jolie's television roles were what gained her the ultimate respect among 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, co-starring Gary Sinise. But the best was only yet to come for Jolie.
She won her second Golden Globe for her role as model Gia Carangi in HBO's biopic Gia. Her intense role as the drug-addicted model who was diagnosed with AIDS was highly deserving of the Best Actress Golden Globe, Emmy nomination and critical acclaim it received.
On the big screen, 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 (the man whom she'd later lure away from long-time girlfriend Laura Dern), and starred opposite big leaguer Denzel Washington in the thriller The Bone Collector later that same 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. Crazily enough, Jolie showed up at the Oscars with her brother James and was kissing him as though he were her boyfriend. The two later denied rumors that they were engaging in an incestuous relationship.
In 2000, Jolie eloped with her Pushing Tin co-star Billy Bob Thornton, but after they adopted a Cambodian baby boy named Maddox Chivan Thornton Jolie, in 2002, the couple later filed for divorce. Their sexually-charged marriage was the subject of much tabloid fodder, considering the eccentric couple carried vials of each other's blood around their necks and would suck face anytime a camera was near them.
In 2001, Angelina was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Angelina has 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 was busy starring in Taking Lives, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Shark Tale, and as Olympias in Oliver Stone's Alexander. After starring alongside Brad Pitt in the romantic comedy Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), Angelina can add the Robert De Niro-directed The Good Shepherd to her resume.
Angelina always manages to make headlines, but after Brad Pitt's marriage to Jennifer Aniston came to an end in 2005, rumors began circulating that maybe Angelina and Brad had an affair while filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith.