Born June 4th, 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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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 will be keeping busy starring in movies
like Taking Lives, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,
Alexander, Shark Tale, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Love and Honor.