Wednesday Jun 4, 1975 to Present
U.S.Angelina Jolie is an American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. The recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award and three Golden Globe Awards, she has been named Hollywood's highest-paid actress multiple times.
After her parents' separation in 1976, Jolie and her brother lived with their mother, who had abandoned her acting ambitions to focus on raising her children. Jolie's mother raised her as a Catholic but did not require her to go to church.
Jolie first attended Beverly Hills High School, where she felt isolated among the children of some of the area's affluent families because her mother survived on a more modest income. She was teased by other students, who targeted her for being extremely thin and for wearing glasses and braces.
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."
Jolie was then transferred to Moreno High School, an alternative school, where she became a "punk outsider" wearing all-black clothing, going out moshing, and experimenting with knife play with her live-in boyfriend. At that time Jolie felt worthless and hated herself, as she looked like a muppet, having big eyes and big lips, along with her poverty.
At age 16, after the relationship with her punk boyfriend had ended, Jolie graduated from high school and rented her own apartment before returning to theater studies, though in 2004 she referred to this period with the observation, "I am still at heart—and always will be—just a punk kid with tattoos."
Jolie began her professional film career in 1993, when she played her first leading role in the direct-to-video science-fiction sequel Cyborg 2, as a near-human robot designed for corporate espionage and assassination. She was so disappointed with the film that she did not audition again for a year.
As a teenager, Jolie found it difficult to emotionally connect with other people, and as a result, she self-harmed, later commenting, "For some reason, the ritual of having cut me and feeling the pain, maybe feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me.". At the age of 19, Jolie tried to commit suicide, yet she failed.
Jolie also enrolled in a supporting role in the independent film Without Evidence (1995), she starred in her first Hollywood picture, Hackers (1995). The New York Times critic Janet Maslin wrote that Angelina's character Kate "stands out. That's because she scowls even more sourly than [her co-stars] and is that rare female hacker who sits intently at her keyboard in a see-through top.".
Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller 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.
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.
Jolie appeared in the road movie Mojave Moon (1996), of which The Hollywood Reporter said, "Jolie, an actress whom the camera truly adores, reveals a comic flair and the kind of blatant sexuality that makes it entirely credible that Danny Aiello's character would drop everything just for the chance of being with her."
Jolie's next work, as a frontierswoman in the CBS miniseries True Women, released on 18 May 1997, was even less successful; writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Robert Strauss dismissed her as "horrid, a fourth-rate Scarlett O'Hara" who relies on "gnashed teeth and overly pouted lips."
Jolie's career prospects began to improve after she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in TNT's George Wallace (1997), about the life of the segregationist Alabama Governor and presidential candidate George Wallace, played by Gary Sinise. Jolie portrayed Wallace's second wife, Cornelia, a performance Lee Winfrey of The Philadelphia Inquirer considered a highlight of the film. Jolie also received a nomination for an Emmy Award for her performance.
Jolie's first breakthrough came when she portrayed supermodel Gia Carangi in HBO's Gia (1998). Vanessa Vance of Reel.com retrospectively noted, "Jolie gained wide recognition for her role as the titular Gia, and it's easy to see why. Jolie is fierce in her portrayal—filling the part with nerve, charm, and desperation—and her role in this film is quite possibly the most beautiful train wreck ever filmed." For the second consecutive year, Jolie won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy Award. She also won her first Screen Actors Guild Award.
After Gia wrapped, she briefly gave up acting, because she felt that she had "nothing else to give." She separated from Miller and moved to New York, where she took night classes at New York University to study directing and screenwriting. Encouraged by her Golden Globe Award win for George Wallace and the positive critical reception of Gia, Jolie resumed her career.
Following the previously filmed gangster film Hell's Kitchen (1998), Jolie returned to the screen in Playing by Heart, released on 18 December 1998, part of an ensemble cast that included Sean Connery, Gillian Anderson, and Ryan Phillippe. For that movie, Jolie won the Breakthrough Performance Award from the National Board of Review.
Although the relationship between Jolie and Miller ended for good 18 months after their marriage, 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 after that, in 2000.
Jolie next took the supporting role of a sociopathic mental patient in Girl, Interrupted, released on 21 December 1999, an adaptation of Susanna Kaysen's memoir of the same name. Jolie won her third Golden Globe Award, her second Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2000.
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).
In 2000, Jolie appeared in her first summer blockbuster, Gone in 60 Seconds, released on 9 June 2000, which became her highest-grossing film to that point, earning $237.2 million internationally. She had a minor role as the mechanic ex-girlfriend of a car thief played by Nicolas Cage. Jolie later explained that the film had been a welcome relief after her emotionally demanding role in Girl, Interrupted.
Jolie first witnessed the effects of a humanitarian crisis while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) in war-torn Cambodia, an experience she later credited with having brought her a greater understanding of the world. Upon her return home, Jolie contacted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for information on international trouble spots. To learn more about the conditions in these areas, she began visiting refugee camps around the world.
To learn more about the conditions in the international trouble spots, Jolie began visiting refugee camps around the world. In February 2001, she went on her first field visit, an 18-day mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania; she later expressed her shock at what she had witnessed.
In 2001, Jolie returned to Cambodia for two weeks and met with Afghan refugees in Pakistan, where she donated $1 million in response to an international UNHCR emergency appeal, the largest donation UNHCR had ever received from a private individual. She covered all costs related to her missions and shared the same rudimentary working and living conditions as UNHCR field staff on all of her visits.
Jolie next starred opposite Antonio Banderas as his mail-order bride in Original Sin (2001), the first of a string of films that were poorly received by critics and audiences alike. The New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell questioned Jolie's decision to follow her Oscar-winning performance with "soft-core nonsense."
Although highly regarded for her acting abilities, Jolie had rarely found films that appealed to a wide audience, but 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider made her an international superstar. An adaptation of the popular Tomb Raider videogames, the film required her to learn an English accent and undergo extensive martial arts training to play the archaeologist-adventurer Lara Croft. Although the film generated mostly negative reviews, Jolie was generally praised for her physical performance. The film was an international hit, earning $274.7 million worldwide, and launched her global reputation as a female action star.
On March 10, 2002, Jolie adopted her first child, seven-month-old Maddox Chivan, from an orphanage in Battambang, Cambodia. After twice visiting Cambodia, while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and on a UNHCR field mission, Jolie returned in November 2001 with her husband, Billy Bob Thornton, where they met Maddox and subsequently applied to adopt him.
Jolie and Thornton abruptly separated in 2002, and 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."
In an effort to connect her Cambodian-born adopted son with his heritage, Jolie purchased a house in his country of birth in 2003. The traditional home sat on 39 hectares in the northwestern province Battambang, adjacent to Samlout national park in the Cardamom mountains, which had become infiltrated with poachers who threatened endangered species. She purchased the park's 60,000 hectares and turned the area into a wildlife reserve named for her son, the Maddox Jolie Project.
After filming Beyond Borders (2003) in Namibia, Jolie became patron of the Harnas Wildlife Foundation, a wildlife orphanage and medical center in the Kalahari desert. She first visited the Harnas farm during the production of the film, which features vultures rescued by the foundation.
Jolie's supporting role as Queen Olympias in Oliver Stone's Alexander, about the life of Alexander the Great, was met with mixed reception, particularly concerning her Slavic accent. Commercially, the film failed in North America, which Stone attributed to disapproval of the depiction of Alexander's bisexuality, but it succeeded internationally, grossing $167.3 million.
In 2005, Jolie returned to major box office success with the action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith, in which she starred opposite Brad Pitt as a bored married couple who find out that they are both secret assassins. With box office takings of $478.2 million worldwide, Mr. & Mrs. Smith was the seventh-highest grossing picture of the year and remained Jolie's highest-grossing live-action film for the next decade.
Jolie adopted a daughter, six-month-old Zahara Marley, from an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 6 July 2005. Jolie initially believed Zahara to be an AIDS orphan, based on official testimony from her grandmother, but her birth mother later came forward in the media. She explained that she had abandoned her family when Zahara became sick and said she thought Zahara was "very fortunate" to have been adopted by Jolie.
Jolie was inspired by a meeting with the founder of Millennium Promise, noted economist Jeffrey Sachs, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where she was an invited speaker in 2005 and 2006. Together they filmed a 2005 MTV special, The Diary of Angelina Jolie & Dr. Jeffrey Sachs in Africa, which followed them on a trip to a Millennium Village in western Kenya.
Jolie was involved in a well-publicized Hollywood scandal when she was accused of having caused the divorce of actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston in October 2005. She said she fell in love with Pitt during the filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), but she 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."
In an attempt to avoid the unprecedented media frenzy surrounding their relationship, Jolie and Pitt traveled to Namibia for the birth of their first biological child. On 27 May 2006, she gave birth to a daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, in Swakopmund.
On 15 March 2007, Jolie adopted a son, three-year-old Pax Thien, from an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. After visiting the orphanage with Pitt in November 2006, Jolie applied for adoption as a single parent, because Vietnam's adoption regulations do not allow unmarried couples to co-adopt.
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."
Jolie starred as Mariane Pearl in the documentary-style drama A Mighty Heart (2007). Based on Pearl's memoir of the same name, the film chronicles the kidnapping and murder of her husband, The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, in Pakistan. Jolie received nominations for a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Jolie has also advocated for children's education. Since its founding at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in September 2007, she has co-chaired the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, which provides policy and funding to education programs for children in conflict-affected regions.
By 2008, Jolie was considered the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, earning $15–$20 million per film. While other actresses had been forced to take salary cuts in recent years, Jolie's perceived box office appeal allowed her to command as much as $20 million-plus a percentage.
At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, Jolie confirmed that she was expecting twins. For the two weeks, she spent in a seaside hospital in Nice, France, reporters, and photographers camped outside on the promenade. She gave birth to a son, Knox Léon, and a daughter, Vivienne Marcheline, on July 12, 2008. The first pictures of Knox and Vivienne were jointly sold to People and Hello! for a reported $14 million—the most expensive celebrity photographs ever taken. All proceeds were donated to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
Jolie next took the lead role in Clint Eastwood's drama Changeling, released on 24 October 2008. Based in part on the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, the film centers on Christine Collins, who is reunited with her kidnapped son in 1928 Los Angeles, only to realize the boy is an imposter. Jolie received nominations for a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA Award, and an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Jolie's first film in two years was the 2010 thriller Salt, in which she starred as a CIA agent who goes on the run after she is accused of being a KGB sleeper agent. Originally written as a male character with Tom Cruise attached to star, agent Salt underwent a gender change after a Columbia Pictures executive suggested Jolie for the role.
Jolie starred opposite Johnny Depp in the thriller The Tourist (2010). The film was a critical failure, though Roger Ebert defended Jolie's performance, the film was a critical failure, stating that she "does her darndest" and "plays her femme fatale with flat-out, drop-dead sexuality.". She received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance, which gave rise to speculation that it had been given merely to ensure her high-profile presence at the awards ceremony.
After a 2011 repeat survey by Allure found that Jolie most represented the American beauty ideal, compared to model Christie Brinkley in 1991, writer Elizabeth Angell credited society with having "branched out beyond the Barbie-doll ideal and embraced something quite different".
Jolie made her feature directorial debut with In the Land of Blood and Honey, released on 23 December 2011. 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."
On 17 April 2012, after more than a decade of service as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Jolie was promoted to the rank of Special Envoy to High Commissioner António Guterres, the first to take on such a position within the organization. In her expanded role, she was given authority to represent Guterres and UNHCR at the diplomatic level, with a focus on major refugee crises.
In the months following her promotion, Jolie made her first visit as Special Envoy—her third overall—to Ecuador, where she met with Colombian refugees, and she accompanied Guterres on a week-long tour of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, to assess the situation of refugees from neighboring Syria.
After a three-and-a-half-year absence from the screen, Jolie starred in Maleficent, released in May 2014, a live-action reimagining of Disney's 1959 animation Sleeping Beauty. 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.
In June 2014, Jolie was appointed an Honorary Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG) for her services to the UK's foreign policy and campaigning to end sexual violence in war zones.