Angelina Jolie born Angelina Jolie Voight, June 4, 1975 is an American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and has been cited as Hollywood’s highest-paid actress. Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father, Jon Voight, in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982). Her film career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993), followed by her first leading role in a major film, Hackers (1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical cable films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama Girl, Interrupted (1999).
Jolie’s starring role as the video game heroine Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) established her as a leading Hollywood actress. She continued her successful action-star career with Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), and Salt (2010), and received critical acclaim for her performances in the dramas A Mighty Heart (2007) and Changeling (2008), which earned her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Her biggest commercial success came with the fantasy picture Maleficent (2014). In the 2010s, Jolie expanded her career into directing, screenwriting, and producing, with In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011), Unbroken (2014), By the Sea (2015), and First They Killed My Father (2017).
In addition to her film career, Jolie is noted for her humanitarian efforts, for which she has received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and an honorary damehood of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG), among other honors. She promotes various causes, including conservation, education, and women’s rights, and is most noted for her advocacy on behalf of refugees as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As a public figure, Jolie has been cited as one of the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry. For a number of years, she was cited as the world’s most beautiful woman by various media outlets, and her personal life is the subject of wide publicity. Divorced from actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, she separated from her third husband, actor Brad Pitt, in September 2016. They have six children together, three of whom were adopted internationally.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Jolie is the daughter of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She is the sister of actor James Haven, and the niece of singer-songwriter Chip Taylor and geologist and volcanologist Barry Voight. Her godparents are actors Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell. On her father’s side, Jolie is of German and Slovak descent, and on her mother’s side, she is of primarily French Canadian, Dutch, and German ancestry. Like her mother, Jolie has stated that she is part Iroquois, although her only known indigenous ancestors were 17th-century Hurons.
After directing the documentary A Place in Time (2007), which was distributed through the National Education Association, Jolie made her feature directorial debut with In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011), a love story between a Serb soldier and a Bosniak prisoner, set during the 1992–95 Bosnian War. She conceived the film to rekindle attention for the survivors, after twice visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina in her role as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. To ensure authenticity, she cast only actors from the former Yugoslavia—including stars Goran Kostić and Zana Marjanović—and incorporated their wartime experiences into her screenplay. Upon release, the film received mixed reviews; Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Jolie deserves significant credit for creating such a powerfully oppressive atmosphere and staging the ghastly events so credibly, even if it is these very strengths that will make people not want to watch what’s onscreen.”The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Jolie was named an honorary citizen of Sarajevo for raising awareness of the war.
After a three-and-a-half-year absence from the screen, Jolie starred in Maleficent (2014), a live-action re-imagining of Disney’s 1959 animation Sleeping Beauty. Critical reception was mixed, but Jolie’s performance in the titular role was singled out for praise; The Hollywood Reporter critic Sherri Linden found her to be the “heart and soul” of the film, adding that she “doesn’t chew the estimable scenery in Maleficent—she infuses it, wielding a magnetic and effortless power.” In its opening weekend, Maleficent earned nearly $70 million at the North American box office and over $100 million in other markets, marking Jolie’s appeal to audiences of all demographics in both action and fantasy films, genres usually dominated by male actors. The film went on to gross $757.8 million worldwide, becoming the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year and Jolie’s highest-grossing film ever.
Jolie next completed her second directorial venture, Unbroken (2014), about World War II hero Louis Zamperini (1917–2014), a former Olympic track star who survived a plane crash over sea and spent two years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. She also served as producer under her Jolie Pas banner. Unbroken is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s biography of the same name, the film was scripted by the Coen brothers and starred Jack O’Connell. After a positive early reception, Unbroken was considered a likely Best Picture and Best Director contender, but it ultimately received mixed reviews and little award recognition, though it was named one of the best films of the year by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. In a typical review, Variety’s Justin Chang noted the film’s “impeccable craftsmanship and sober restraint”, but deemed it “an extraordinary story told in dutiful, unexceptional terms.” Financially, Unbroken far outperformed industry expectations in its opening weekend, eventually earning over $163 million worldwide.
After Jolie joined the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in June 2007, she hosted a symposium on international law and justice at CFR headquarters and funded several CFR special reports, including “Intervention to Stop Genocide and Mass Atrocities.” In January 2011, she established the Jolie Legal Fellowship, a network of lawyers and attorneys who are sponsored to advocate the development of human rights in their countries. Its member attorneys, called Jolie Legal Fellows, have facilitated child protection efforts in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake and promoted the development of an inclusive democratic process in Libya following the 2011 revolution.
Jolie has fronted a campaign against sexual violence in military conflict zones by the UK government, which made the issue a priority of its 2013 G8 presidency. In May 2012, she launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) with Foreign Secretary William Hague, who was inspired to campaign on the issue by her Bosnian war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011). PSVI was established to complement wider UK government work by raising awareness and promoting international co-operation. Jolie spoke on the subject at the G8 foreign ministers meeting, where the attending nations adopted a historic declaration, and before the UN security council, which responded by adopting its broadest resolution on the issue to date. In June 2014, she co-chaired the four-day Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, the largest-ever meeting on the subject, which resulted in a protocol endorsed by 151 nations.
Jolie had a serious boyfriend for two years from the age of 14. Her mother allowed them to live together in her home, of which Jolie later said, “I was either going to be reckless on the streets with my boyfriend or he was going to be with me in my bedroom with my mom in the next room. She made the choice, and because of it, I continued to go to school every morning and explored my first relationship in a safe way.” She has compared the relationship to a marriage in its emotional intensity, and said that the breakup compelled her to dedicate herself to her acting career at the age of 16.
During filming of Hackers (1995), Jolie had a romance with British actor Jonny Lee Miller, her first lover since the relationship in her early teens. They were not in touch for many months after production ended, but eventually reconnected and married soon after in March 1996. She attended her wedding in black rubber pants and a white T-shirt, upon which she had written the groom’s name in her blood. Though the relationship ended for good the following year, Jolie remained on good terms with Miller, whom she called “a solid man and a solid friend”. Their divorce, initiated by Jolie in February 1999, was finalized shortly before she remarried the next year.
Prior to her marriage to Miller, Jolie began a relationship with model-actress Jenny Shimizu on the set of Foxfire (1996). She later said, “I would probably have married Jenny if I hadn’t married my husband. I fell in love with her the first second I saw her.” According to Shimizu, their relationship lasted several years and continued even while Jolie was romantically involved with other people. In 2003, when asked if she was bisexual, Jolie responded, “Of course. If I fell in love with a woman tomorrow, would I feel that it’s okay to want to kiss and touch her? If I fell in love with her? Absolutely! Yes!”
After a two-month courtship, Jolie married actor Billy Bob Thornton on May 5, 2000, in Las Vegas. They had met on the set of Pushing Tin (1999), but did not pursue a relationship at that time as Thornton was engaged to actress Laura Dern, while Jolie was reportedly dating actor Timothy Hutton, her co-star in Playing God (1997). As a result of their frequent public declarations of passion and gestures of love—most famously wearing one another’s blood in vials around their necks—their marriage became a favorite topic of the entertainment media. Jolie and Thornton announced the adoption of a child from Cambodia in March 2002, but abruptly separated three months later. Their divorce was finalized on May 27, 2003. When asked about the sudden dissolution of their marriage, Jolie stated, “It took me by surprise, too, because overnight, we totally changed. I think one day we had just nothing in common. And it’s scary but … I think it can happen when you get involved and you don’t know yourself yet.”
Jolie was involved in a well-publicized Hollywood scandal when she was accused of having caused the 2005 divorce of actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. She had fallen in love with Pitt during filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), but dismissed allegations of an affair, saying, “To be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive. I could not look at myself in the morning if I did that. I wouldn’t be attracted to a man who would cheat on his wife.” Jolie and Pitt did not publicly comment on the nature of their relationship until January 2006, when she confirmed that she was pregnant with his child.
During their twelve-year relationship, “Brangelina”—a portmanteau coined by the entertainment media—were the subject of worldwide media coverage. After the initial scandal subsided, they became one of Hollywood’s most glamorous couples. Their family grew to include six children, three of whom were adopted, before they announced their engagement in April 2012. Jolie and Pitt married on August 23, 2014, at their estate Château Miraval in Correns, France. She subsequently took the name “Jolie Pitt”. After two years of marriage, the couple separated in September 2016. In her divorce filing, Jolie requested physical custody of their children. On June 6, 2018, a new temporary custody agreement was established between Jolie and Pitt after the court’s order against Jolie.