Angelina Jolie (pronounced /dʒoʊˈliː/ joh-lee, born Angelina Jolie Voight; June 4, 1975) is an American actress. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards. Jolie promotes humanitarian causes, and is noted for her work with refugees as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She has been cited as one of the world's most attractive people, as well as the world's "sexiest" and "most beautiful" woman, titles for which she has received substantial media attention.
Although she made her screen debut as a child with her father Jon Voight in the 1982 film Lookin' to Get Out, Jolie's acting career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993). Her first leading role in a major film was in the cyber-thriller Hackers (1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical television 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 achieved wider fame after her portrayal of video game heroine Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), and since then has established herself as one of the best-known and highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. She received further 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, and reinforced her reputation as a leading action star with the comic book adaptation Wanted (2008) and the action-thriller Salt (2010). Jolie has had her biggest commercial successes with the action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) and the animated film Kung Fu Panda (2008).
Divorced from actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie currently lives with actor Brad Pitt, in a relationship that has attracted worldwide media attention. Jolie and Pitt have three adopted children, Maddox, Pax, and Zahara, and three biological children, Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne.
Early life and family
Born in Los Angeles, California, Jolie is the daughter of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She is the sister of actor James Haven, niece of singer-songwriter Chip Taylor, and goddaughter of 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 French Canadian and Dutch ancestry, and is also said to be of Iroquoian descent, although Voight has claimed that Bertrand was "not seriously Iroquois", and that they merely said it to enhance her exotic background.
After her parents' separation in 1976, Jolie and her brother 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; she had not been influenced by her father. When she was eleven years old, the family moved back to Los Angeles. Jolie then decided she wanted to act and enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, where she trained for two years and appeared in several stage productions.
At the age of 14, she dropped out of her acting classes and aspired to become a funeral director. During this period, she wore black clothing, experimented with knife play, and went out moshing with her live-in boyfriend. Two years later, after the relationship had ended, she rented an apartment above a garage a few blocks from her mother's home. She returned to theatre studies and graduated from high school a year early, though in recent times she has referred to this period with the observation, "I am still at heart—and always will be—just a punk kid with tattoos".
She later recalled her time as a student at Beverly Hills High School as one of feeling isolated among the children of some of the area's affluent families; Jolie's mother survived on a more modest income, and Jolie often wore second-hand clothes. She was teased by other students, who targeted her for her distinctive features, for being extremely thin, and for wearing glasses and braces. Her self-esteem was further diminished when her initial attempts at modeling proved unsuccessful. She started to cut herself; later commenting, "I collected knives and always had certain things around. For some reason, the ritual of having cut myself and feeling the pain, maybe feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me."
Jolie was estranged from her father for many years. The two tried to reconcile and he appeared with her in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). In July 2002, Jolie filed a request to legally change her name to "Angelina Jolie", dropping Voight as her surname; the name change was made official on September 12, 2002. In August of the same year, Voight claimed that his daughter had "serious mental problems" on Access Hollywood. Jolie later indicated that she no longer wished to pursue a relationship with her father, saying, "My father and I don't speak. I don't hold any anger toward him. I don't believe that somebody's family becomes their blood. Because my son's adopted, and families are earned." She stated that she did not want to publicize her reasons for her estrangement from her father, but because she had adopted her son Maddox, she did not think it was healthy for her to associate with Voight. In February 2010, Jolie publicly reunited with her father when he visited her on the set of The Tourist in Venice.
Early work: 1993–1997
Jolie began working as a fashion model when she was 14 years old, modeling mainly in Los Angeles, New York and London. During that time she appeared in several music videos, namely Lenny Kravitz's "Stand by My Woman" (1991), Antonello Venditti's "Alta Marea" (1991), The Lemonheads's "It's About Time" (1993), and Meat Loaf's "Rock & Roll Dreams Come Through" (1993). At the age of 16, Jolie returned to theatre and played her first role as a German dominatrix. She began to learn from her father, as she noticed his method of observing people to become like them. Their relationship during this time was less strained, with Jolie realizing that they were both "drama queens".
Jolie appeared in five of her brother's student films, made while he attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts, but her professional film career began in 1993, when she played her first leading role in the low-budget, straight-to-video sci-fi sequel Cyborg 2, as Casella "Cash" Reese, a near-human robot, designed to seduce her way into a rival manufacturer's headquarters and then self-detonate. Jolie was so disappointed with the film that she didn't audition again for a year. Following a supporting role in the independent film Without Evidence, Jolie starred as Kate "Acid Burn" Libby in her first Hollywood picture, Hackers (1995). The New York Times wrote, "Kate (Angelina Jolie) 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. Despite her sullen posturing, which is all this role requires, Ms. Jolie has the sweetly cherubic looks of her father, Jon Voight." The movie failed to make a profit at the box-office, but developed a cult following after its video release.
She appeared as Gina Malacici in the 1996 comedy Love Is All There Is, a modern-day loose adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set among two rival Italian family restaurant owners in the Bronx, New York. In the road movie Mojave Moon (1996) she played a young woman, Eleanor Rigby, who falls for Danny Aiello's middle-aged character, while he develops feelings for her mother, played by Anne Archer. In 1996, Jolie also portrayed Margret "Legs" Sadovsky, one of five teenage girls who form an unlikely bond in the film Foxfire after they beat up a teacher who has sexually harassed them. The Los Angeles Times wrote about her performance, "It took a lot of hogwash to develop this character, but Jolie, Jon Voight's knockout daughter, has the presence to overcome the stereotype. Though the story is narrated by Maddy, Legs is the subject and the catalyst."
In 1997, Jolie starred with David Duchovny in the thriller Playing God, set in the Los Angeles underworld. The movie was not received well by critics; Roger Ebert noted that "Angelina Jolie finds a certain warmth in a kind of role that is usually hard and aggressive; she seems too nice to be [a criminal's] girlfriend, and maybe she is." She then appeared in the television film True Women, a historical romantic drama set in the American West, and based on the book by Janice Woods Windle. That year she also appeared as a stripper in the music video for "Anybody Seen My Baby?" by the Rolling Stones.
Jolie's career prospects began to improve after she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the biographical television film George Wallace (1997). She portrayed Cornelia Wallace, the second wife of Alabama Governor George Wallace, played by Gary Sinise. The film was very well-received by critics and won, among other awards, the Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film. Jolie also received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance.
In 1998, Jolie starred in HBO's Gia, portraying supermodel Gia Carangi. The film chronicled the destruction of Carangi's life and career as a result of her addiction to heroin, and her decline and death from AIDS. Vanessa Vance from Reel.com noted, "Angelina 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.
In accordance with Lee Strasberg's method acting, Jolie reportedly preferred to stay in character in between scenes during many of her early films, and as a result she had gained a reputation for being difficult to deal with. While shooting Gia, she told her then-husband Jonny Lee Miller that she would not be able to phone him: "I'd tell him: 'I'm alone; I'm dying; I'm gay; I'm not going to see you for weeks.'" After Gia wrapped, in 1997, Jolie announced that she had given up acting for good, because she felt that she had "nothing else to give". She separated from Miller and moved to New York, where she enrolled at New York University to study filmmaking and attended writing classes; she later described it as "just good for me to collect myself". After a period of being badly depressed, Jolie was pulled out of the depression when she won her Golden Globe Award for George Wallace. Encouraged further by the positive critical reception that met Gia, she resumed her career.
Jolie returned to film as Gloria McNeary in the 1998 gangster movie Hell's Kitchen, and later that year appeared in Playing by Heart, part of an ensemble cast that included Sean Connery, Gillian Anderson, Ryan Phillippe, and Jon Stewart. The film received predominantly positive reviews, and Jolie was praised in particular. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Jolie, working through an overwritten part, is a sensation as the desperate club crawler learning truths about what she's willing to gamble." Jolie won the Breakthrough Performance Award from the National Board of Review.
In 1999, she starred in Mike Newell's comedy-drama Pushing Tin, alongside John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett. The film received a mixed reception from critics and Jolie's character—Thornton's seductive wife—was particularly criticized. The Washington Post wrote, "Mary (Angelina Jolie), a completely ludicrous writer's creation of a free-spirited woman who weeps over hibiscus plants that die, wears lots of turquoise rings and gets real lonely when Russell spends entire nights away from home." She then co-starred with Denzel Washington in The Bone Collector (1999), an adaptation of a crime novel by Jeffery Deaver. Jolie played Amelia Donaghy, a police officer haunted by her cop father's suicide, who reluctantly helps Washington track down a serial killer. The movie grossed $151 million worldwide, but was a critical failure. The Detroit Free Press concluded, "Jolie, while always delicious to look at, is simply and woefully miscast."
Jolie next took the supporting role of the sociopathic Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted (1999), a film that tells the story of mental patient Susanna Kaysen, and which was adapted from Kaysen's memoir of the same name. While Winona Ryder played the main character in what was hoped to be a comeback for her, the film instead marked Jolie's final breakthrough in Hollywood. She won her third Golden Globe Award, her second Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Variety noted, "Jolie is excellent as the flamboyant, irresponsible girl who turns out to be far more instrumental than the doctors in Susanna's rehabilitation".
In 2000, Jolie appeared in her first summer blockbuster, Gone In 60 Seconds, in which she played Sarah "Sway" Wayland, ex-girlfriend of car-thief Nicolas Cage. The role was small, and the Washington Post criticized that "all she does in this movie is stand around, cooling down, modeling those fleshy, pulsating muscle-tubes that nest so provocatively around her teeth." She later explained that the film was a welcome relief after the emotionally heavy role of Lisa Rowe, and it became her highest grossing movie up until then, earning $237 million internationally.
International success: 2001–present
Although highly regarded for her acting abilities, Jolie's films to date had often not appealed to a wide audience, but Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) made her an international superstar. An adaptation of the popular Tomb Raider videogame, Jolie was required to learn a British accent and undergo extensive martial arts training to play the title role of Lara Croft. She was generally praised for her physical performance, but the movie generated mostly negative reviews. Slant Magazine commented, "Angelina Jolie was born to play Lara Croft but [director] Simon West makes her journey into a game of Frogger." The movie was an international success nonetheless, earning $275 million worldwide, and launched her global reputation as a female action star.
Jolie then starred opposite Antonio Banderas as his mail-order bride in Original Sin (2001), a thriller based on the novel Waltz into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich. The film was a major critical failure, with The New York Times noting, "The story plunges more precipitously than Ms. Jolie's neckline." In 2002, she starred in Life or Something Like It as an ambitious television reporter who is told that she will die in a week. The film was poorly received by critics, though Jolie's performance received positive reviews. CNN's Paul Clinton wrote, "Jolie is excellent in her role. Despite some of the ludicrous plot points in the middle of the film, this Academy Award-winning actress is exceedingly believable in her journey towards self-discovery and the true meaning of fulfilling life."
Jolie reprised her role as Lara Croft in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life in 2003. The sequel, while not as lucrative as the original, earned $156 million at the international box-office. Jolie appeared in the music video for Korn's "Did My Time", which was used to promote the film. Later that year, Jolie starred in Beyond Borders, a film about aid workers in Africa. Although reflecting Jolie's real-life interest in promoting humanitarian relief, the film was critically and financially unsuccessful. The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Jolie, as she did in her Oscar-winning role in Girl, Interrupted, can bring electricity and believability to roles that have a reality she can understand. She can also, witness the Lara Croft films, do acknowledged cartoons. But the limbo of a hybrid character, a badly written cardboard person in a fly-infested, blood-and-guts world, completely defeats her."
In 2004, Jolie starred alongside Ethan Hawke in the thriller Taking Lives. She portrayed Illeana Scott, an FBI profiler summoned to help Montreal law enforcement hunt down a serial killer. The movie received mixed reviews and The Hollywood Reporter concluded, "Angelina Jolie plays a role that definitely feels like something she has already done, but she does add an unmistakable dash of excitement and glamour." She also provided the voice of an angelfish named Lola in the animated DreamWorks movie Shark Tale (2004), and she had a brief appearance in Kerry Conran's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), a science fiction adventure film shot entirely with actors in front of a bluescreen. Also in 2004, Jolie played Olympias in Alexander, Oliver Stone's biographical film about the life of Alexander the Great. The film failed domestically, with Stone attributing its poor reception to disapproval of the depiction of Alexander's bisexuality, but it succeeded internationally, with revenue of $139 million outside the United States.
Jolie's next movie was the 2005 action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The film, directed by Doug Liman, tells the story of a bored married couple, John and Jane Smith, who find out that they are both secret assassins. Jolie starred opposite Brad Pitt. The film received mixed reviews, but was generally lauded for the chemistry between the two leads. The Star Tribune noted, "While the story feels haphazard, the movie gets by on gregarious charm, galloping energy and the stars' thermonuclear screen chemistry." The movie earned $478 million worldwide, making it one of the biggest hits of 2005.
She next appeared in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd (2006), a film about the early history of the CIA, as seen through the eyes of Edward Wilson, played by Matt Damon. Jolie played the supporting role of Margaret Russell, Wilson's neglected wife. According to the, "Jolie ages convincingly throughout, and is blithely unconcerned with how her brittle character is coming off in terms of audience sympathy."
In 2007, Jolie made her directorial debut with the documentary A Place in Time, which captures the life in 27 locations around the globe during a single week. The film was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and was intended to be distributed through the National Education Association, mainly in high schools. Jolie starred as Mariane Pearl in Michael Winterbottom's documentary-style drama A Mighty Heart (2007), about the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. The film is based on Mariane Pearl's memoir of the same name and had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter described Jolie's performance as "well-measured and moving", played "with respect and a firm grasp on a difficult accent." The film earned her a fourth Golden Globe Award and a third Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. Jolie also played Grendel's mother in Robert Zemeckis' animated epic Beowulf (2007), which was created through the motion capture technique.
Jolie co-starred alongside James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman in the 2008 action movie Wanted, an adaptation of a graphic novel by Mark Millar. The film received predominately favorable reviews and proved to be an international success, earning $342 million worldwide. She also provided the voice of Master Tigress in the DreamWorks animated movie Kung Fu Panda (2008). With revenue of $632 million internationally, it became her highest grossing film to date. That same year, Jolie portrayed Christine Collins in Clint Eastwood's drama Changeling (2008), which had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. It is based on the true story of a woman in 1928 Los Angeles who is reunited with her kidnapped son—only to realize he is an impostor. The Chicago Tribune noted, "Jolie really shines in the calm before the storm, the scenes [...] when one patronizing male authority figure after another belittles her at their peril." Jolie received her second Academy Award nomination, and also was nominated for a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Jolie next appeared as the eponymous character in the 2010 thriller Salt, her first film in two years. She starred alongside Liev Schreiber as CIA agent Evelyn Salt, who goes on the run after she is accused of being a KGB sleeper agent. Originally written as male, the character Salt underwent a gender change after a Colombia Pictures executive suggested Jolie for the role to director Phillip Noyce. Salt grossed $293 million worldwide and received generally favorable reviews, with Empire remarking that "when it comes to selling incredible, crazy, death-defying antics, Jolie has few peers in the action business."Later that year, she co-starred with Johnny Depp in The Tourist, directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Despite a mostly negative critical reception, the film grossed $268 million worldwide, and garnered Jolie a controversial nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises while filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia. She eventually turned to UNHCR for more information on international trouble spots. In order to learn more about the situation and the conditions in these areas, she began visiting refugee camps around the world. In February 2001, Jolie 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 the following months, she returned to Cambodia for two weeks and later met with Afghan refugees in Pakistan, where she donated $1 million for Afghan refugees in response to an international UNHCR emergency appeal. She insisted on covering 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 was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador on August 27, 2001 at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva.
Jolie has been on field missions around the world and met with refugees and internally displaced persons in more than 20 countries. Asked what she hoped to accomplish, she stated, "Awareness of the plight of these people. I think they should be commended for what they have survived, not looked down upon." In 2002, Jolie visited the Tham Hin refugee camp in Thailand and Colombian refugees in Ecuador. Jolie later went to various UNHCR facilities in Kosovo and paid a visit to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya with refugees mainly from Sudan. She also met with Angolan refugees while filming Beyond Borders in Namibia.
In 2003, Jolie embarked on a six-day mission to Tanzania where she traveled to western border camps hosting Congolese refugees, and she paid a week-long visit to Sri Lanka, meeting Tamil refugee orphans in Jaffna. She later concluded a four-day mission to Russia as she traveled to North Caucasus. Concurrently with the release of her movie Beyond Borders, she published Notes from My Travels, a collection of journal entries that chronicle her early field missions (2001-2002). During a private stay in Jordan in December 2003, she asked to visit Iraqi refugees in Jordan's eastern desert and later that month she went to Egypt to meet Sudanese refugees.
On her first U.N. trip within the United States, in 2004, Jolie went to Arizona, visiting detained asylum seekers at three facilities and the Southwest Key Program, a facility for unaccompanied children in Phoenix. She flew to Chad in June 2004, paying a visit to border sites and camps for refugees who had fled fighting in western Sudan's Darfur region. Four months later she returned to the region, this time going directly into West Darfur. Also in 2004, Jolie met with Afghan refugees in Thailand and on a private stay to Lebanon during the Christmas holidays, she visited UNHCR's regional office in Beirut, as well as some young refugees and cancer patients in the Lebanese capital.
In 2005, Jolie went to Pakistan to visit Afghani refugees; she also met with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. She returned to Pakistan with Brad Pitt during the Thanksgiving weekend in November to see the impact of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. In 2006, Jolie and Pitt flew to Haiti and visited a school supported by Yéle Haïti, a charity founded by Haitian-born hip hop musician Wyclef Jean. While filming A Mighty Heart in India, Jolie met with Afghan and Burmese refugees in New Delhi. She spent Christmas Day 2006 with Colombian refugees in San José, Costa Rica where she handed out presents.
In 2007, Jolie returned to Chad for a two-day mission to assess the deteriorating security situation for refugees from Darfur; Jolie and Pitt subsequently donated $1 million to three relief organizations in Chad and Darfur. Later that year, Jolie made her first visit to Syria and went to Iraq, where she met with Iraqi refugees as well as multi-national forces and U.S. troops. In 2008, she returned to Iraq and made her first trip to Afghanistan, visiting returnee families in Kabul and Nangarhar province. In 2009, Jolie met with Burmese refugees in northern Thailand and made her third visit to Iraq. She later went to Dadaab, Kenya to visit the world's largest refugee settlement, which houses mainly refugees from Somalia, and returned to Syria with Brad Pitt to meet with Iraqi refugees.
In February 2010, following a $1 million donation to relief efforts combating the ravages of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Jolie visited Haiti and the Dominican Republic to discuss the future of relief efforts. In April, Jolie travelled to Bosnia with Brad Pitt to visit displaced victims of the Bosnian War; she returned four months later to meet with Presidency members Haris Silajdžić and Željko Komšić. In June, she visited Colombian refugees in Equador, reuniting with a Colombian mother she had met there in 2002, and returned to Haiti to meet with U.N. and Haitian officials, including President René Préval. In September, she went to Pakistan and donated $100,000 to the United Nations for the Pakistan flood relief operations.
Over time, Jolie became more involved in promoting humanitarian causes on a political level. She has regularly attended World Refugee Day in Washington, D.C., and she was an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2005 and 2006. Jolie also began lobbying humanitarian interests in the U.S. capital, where she met with members of Congress at least 20 times from 2003. She explained in Forbes: "As much as I would love to never have to visit Washington, that's the way to move the ball."
In 2005, Jolie took part at a National Press Club luncheon, where she announced the founding of the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children, an organization that provides free legal-aid to asylum-seeking children with no legal representation, which Jolie personally funded with a donation of $500,000 for its first two years. Jolie also pushed for several bills to aid refugees and vulnerable children in the Third World. In addition to her political involvement, Jolie began using her public profile to promote humanitarian causes through the mass media. She filmed a 2005 MTV special, The Diary Of Angelina Jolie & Dr. Jeffrey Sachs in Africa, portraying her and noted economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs on a trip to a remote group of villages in Western Kenya. In 2006, Jolie announced the founding of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which made initial donations to Global Action for Children and Doctors Without Borders of $1 million each. Jolie also co-chairs the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, founded at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2006, which helps fund education programs for children affected by conflict. In 2007, Jolie became a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Jolie has received wide recognition for her humanitarian work. In 2003, she was the first recipient of the newly created Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association, and in 2005, she was awarded the Global Humanitarian Award by the UNA-USA. Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni awarded Jolie Cambodian citizenship for her conservation work in the country on August 12, 2005; she pledged $5 million to set up a wildlife sanctuary in the north-western province of Battambang and owns property there. In 2007, Jolie received the Freedom Award by the International Rescue Committee.
On March 28, 1996, Jolie married British actor Jonny Lee Miller, her co-star in the film Hackers (1995). She attended her wedding in black rubber pants and a white shirt, upon which she had written the groom's name in her blood. Jolie and Miller separated in September 1997 and subsequently divorced on February 3, 1999. They remained on good terms and Jolie later explained, "It comes down to timing. I think he's the greatest husband a girl could ask for. I'll always love him, we were simply too young."
While on a break from Miller prior to their wedding, Jolie was involved in a brief relationship with her Foxfire (1996) co-star Jenny Shimizu. She later stated, "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." In 2003, 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!"
Jolie married her Pushing Tin (1999) co-star Billy Bob Thornton on May 5, 2000. 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 relationship became a favorite topic of the entertainment media. Jolie and Thornton separated in June 2002—three months after Jolie's adoption of a Cambodian baby—and divorced on May 27, 2003. 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 early 2005, Jolie was involved in a well-publicized Hollywood scandal when she was accused of being the reason for the divorce of actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. She and Pitt were alleged to have started an affair in 2004 while filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). She denied this on several occasions, but admitted that they "fell in love" on the set. In an interview in 2005, she explained, "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."
While Jolie and Pitt never publicly commented on the nature of their relationship, speculations continued throughout 2005. The first intimate paparazzi photos emerged in April, one month after Aniston had filed for divorce; they showed Pitt, Jolie and her son Maddox at a beach in Kenya. During the summer Jolie and Pitt were seen together with increasing frequency and most of the entertainment media considered them a couple, dubbing them "Brangelina". On January 11, 2006, Jolie confirmed to People that she was pregnant with Pitt's child and thereby acknowledged their relationship for the first time in public. In February 2010, Jolie and Pitt sued British tabloid News of the World for reporting that they were separating; the privacy claim was settled the following July for an undisclosed amount, which was subsequently donated to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
On March 10, 2002, Jolie adopted her first child, seven-month-old Maddox Chivan, from Cambodia. He was born on August 5, 2001 as Rath Vibol, and he initially lived in an orphanage in Battambang. Jolie decided to apply for adoption after she had visited Cambodia twice, while filming Tomb Raider in 2000 and on a UNHCR field trip in 2001. Although Jolie and then-husband Billy Bob Thornton announced the adoption together, Jolie in fact adopted Maddox as a single parent, and she received sole custody of her son after their divorce. Like Jolie's other children, Maddox has gained considerable celebrity status and appears regularly in the tabloid media.
Jolie adopted six-month-old Zahara Marley from Ethiopia on July 6, 2005. She was born on January 8, 2005 as Yemsrach, and was later given the legal name Tena Adam at an orphanage in Addis Ababa. Shortly after they returned to the United States, Zahara was hospitalized for dehydration and malnutrition. In 2007, media outlets reported that Zahara's biological mother, who was originally reported to be deceased, was in fact alive and wanted her daughter back, but she later denied these reports, saying she thought Zahara was "very fortunate" to be adopted by Jolie.
Brad Pitt was reportedly present when Jolie signed the adoption papers and collected her daughter; later Jolie indicated that she and Pitt made the decision to adopt Zahara together. In December 2005, it was announced that Pitt was seeking to legally adopt Maddox and Zahara, and on January 19, 2006, a California judge granted Jolie's request to change the children's surnames from "Jolie" to "Jolie-Pitt". The adoptions were finalized "not long before" the birth of the couple's first biological child.
Jolie gave birth to daughter Shiloh Nouvel in Swakopmund, Namibia, by a scheduled caesarean section, on May 27, 2006. Pitt confirmed that their newborn daughter would have a Namibian passport. The couple decided to sell the first pictures of Shiloh through the distributor Getty Images themselves, rather than allowing paparazzi to make these valuable photographs. People paid more than $4.1 million for the North American rights, while British magazine Hello! obtained the international rights for roughly $3.5 million. All profits were donated to an undisclosed charity. In July, Madame Tussauds in New York unveiled a wax figure of two-month-old Shiloh; it marked the first time an infant was recreated in wax by Madame Tussauds.
On March 15, 2007, Jolie adopted three-year-old Pax Thien from Vietnam. He was born on November 29, 2003 and abandoned at birth at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, where he was named Pham Quang Sang. Since Vietnam does not allow adoption by unmarried couples, Jolie adopted Pax as a single parent. In April 2007, Jolie filed a request to legally change her son's surname from "Jolie" to "Jolie-Pitt", which was approved on May 31, 2007. She revealed that his first name, Pax, was suggested by her mother before her death. Pitt adopted Pax in the United States on February 21, 2008.
At the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008, Jolie confirmed that she was expecting twins. She gave birth to son Knox Léon and daughter Vivienne Marcheline by caesarean section in Nice, France on July 12, 2008. The rights for the first images of Knox and Vivienne were jointly sold to People and Hello! for $14 million—the most expensive celebrity pictures ever taken. The money was donated to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
In the media
Jolie appeared in the media from an early age due to her famous father, Jon Voight. At the age of seven, she had a small part in Lookin' to Get Out, a movie co-written by and starring her father, and in 1986 and 1988 she attended the Academy Awards with him. However, when she started her acting career, Jolie decided not to use "Voight" as a stage name, because she wished to establish her own identity as an actress.
Jolie, who does not employ a publicist or an agent, integrated her "wild child" image into her public persona in the first years of her career. She quickly became a tabloid favorite due to her outspokenness in interviews, openly discussing her love life and her interest in BDSM, and once claiming to be "most likely to sleep with a female fan". She spoke about the time, in 1997, when she hired a hitman to kill her (he gave her a month to reconsider), and the three days, just before her marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, that she was sectioned at UCLA's psychiatric ward. After accepting an award at the 1999 Golden Globe Awards, Jolie jumped into the pool outside still wearing her hand-beaded couture gown, and during her acceptance speech at the 2000 Academy Awards, she declared, "I'm so in love with my brother right now", which, combined with her affectionate behavior towards him that night, sparked speculation in the tabloid media of an incestuous relationship with her brother James Haven. She has denied those rumors vehemently, and Jolie and Haven later explained in interviews that after their parents' divorce they relied on one another and because of that they hold on to each other as a means of emotional support. In the early to mid 2000s, Jolie created headlines with her change from "wild child" into an advocate for global humanitarian problems. As she took on the role of UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, she started to use her celebrity status to highlight humanitarian causes worldwide.
Following Jolie's much-publicized marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, her relationship with Brad Pitt, which began in 2005, became one of the most reported celebrity stories worldwide. After Jolie confirmed her pregnancy in early 2006, the unprecedented media hype surrounding them "reached the point of insanity", as described by Reuters in their story "The Brangelina fever". Trying to avoid the media attention, the couple went to Namibia for the birth of daughter Shiloh, to whom The Washington Post referred as "the most anticipated baby since Jesus Christ". Two years later, Jolie's second pregnancy again fueled a media frenzy. For the two weeks she spent in a seaside hospital in Nice, reporters and photographers camped outside on the promenade to report on the birth of twins Knox and Vivienne.
Jolie has attracted notable media attention for her physical appearance—in particular her full lips, being her most distinctive feature. She was named the "Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire in 2004, and she topped the magazine's "100 Sexiest Movie Stars of All Time" list in 2007. In 2005, she was named the "Most Beautiful Woman of the Year" by the British edition of Harper's Bazaar. That same year, she topped the "100 Sexiest Women" list in the American, Filipino and Portuguese editions of FHM; she was named runner-up in the Danish and Romanian editions in 2001, the German edition in 2002 and 2007, the American edition in 2004 and 2006, and the French, South African and Spanish editions in 2005; she was ranked No. 3 in the Romanian edition in 2004, the Australian and British editions in 2005, the German edition in 2005 and 2006, and the French edition in 2008. In 2006, she was named the world's most beautiful woman in the "100 Most Beautiful People" issue of People; she was listed for the first time in 1998 and has been featured every year since 2004. In 2007, she was voted the greatest sex symbol of all time in the British Channel 4 television program The 100 Greatest Sex Symbols. That year she also topped the "100 Sexiest Movie Stars Ever" list in Empire; she was ranked No. 3 in 2002 and No. 2 in 2004 and 2009. She was named the "Most Beautiful Woman in the World" by Vanity Fair in 2009.
Jolie's numerous tattoos have been the subject of much media attention and have often been addressed by interviewers. She has stated that, while she is not opposed to film nudity, her tattoos have forced filmmakers to become more creative when planning nude or love scenes.Jolie has fourteen known tattoos, among which the Latin proverb "quod me nutrit me destruit" (what nourishes me destroys me), the Tennessee Williams quote "A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages", the Arabic phrase "العزيمة" (strength of will), the title of a song by The Clash, "Know Your Rights", and a twelve-inch-by-eight-inch tiger on her back. Several of Jolie's tattoos reference her loved ones, namely a Buddhist Sanskrit prayer of protection for her son Maddox, six sets of geographical coordinates on her upper left arm indicating the birthplaces of her children, a lowercase "h" for her brother, James Haven, an uppercase "M" for her late mother, Marcheline, and on her right thigh the phrase "Whiskey Bravo", which represents her partner Brad Pitt's initials in the aviation alphabet, as Jolie and Pitt are both licensed pilots. Over time, she has covered or lasered several of her tattoos, including the name of her second husband, "Billy Bob", the Chinese characters "死" (death) and "勇" (courage), and a small blue window on her lower back; she explained that she removed the window, because, while she used to spend all of her time looking out through windows wishing to be outside, she now lives there all of the time.
Today, Jolie is one of the best known celebrities around the world. According to the Q Score, in 2000, subsequent to her Oscar win, 31% of respondents in the United States said Jolie was familiar to them; by 2006 she was familiar to 81% of Americans. In a 2006 global industry survey by ACNielsen in 42 international markets, Jolie, together with Brad Pitt, was found to be the favorite celebrity endorser for brands and products worldwide. The Hollywood Reporter named Jolie the highest-paid actress of 2008, earning $15 million per film. She topped Forbes' annual "Celebrity 100" list in 2009; she had previously been ranked No. 13 in 2004, No. 14 in 2007, and No. 3 in 2008. Jolie was among the "Time 100", a list of the 100 most influential people in the world as assembled by Time, in 2006 and 2008. She was named one of the "50 People Who Matter 2010" by the New Statesman.