Angelina Jolie, Daughter of actress Marcheline Bertrand and actor Jon Voight. She is the sister of actor James Haven and the niece of singer-songwriter Chip Taylor. Her godparents were actors Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell.
On her father’s side she has German and Slovak ancestry, and on her mother’s side, French-Canadian, Dutch and German.
After the separation of her parents in 1976, Jolie and her brother lived with her mother who left acting to dedicate herself to raising her children.
When she was six years old, she and her mother and her partner, filmmaker Bill Day, moved to the Palisades in Orangetown, Rockland County, New York. They returned to Los Angeles five years later.
During her time as a student she participated in a theater group, where she met other future stars such as Ed Harris and Holly Hunter.
Following this experience, she enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Institute, where she trained for two years and appeared in various stage productions. She also attended Beverly Hills High School, where she said she felt isolated among the children of some of the more affluent families because her mother survived on a modest income.
She was teased for how thin she was, for wearing glasses and braces. She transferred her to Moreno High School, an alternative school, where she converted to punk.
She dropped out of her acting classes and her aspirations were to become a funeral director, so she studied embalming. At sixteen, she graduated from high school and rented her own apartment, before returning to acting studies.
She by then suffered from insomnia, an eating disorder and began experimenting with drugs. In her twenties, she said she had used “just about everything possible,” particularly heroin. She suffered from bouts of depression and on two occasions she planned to commit suicide (at nineteen and at twenty-two, when she tried to hire a hitman to kill her). At the age of twenty-four, she experienced a nervous breakdown and spent 72 hours in the psychiatric ward at UCLA Medical Center.
Two years later, after the adoption of her first child, she found stability in her life.
Jolie had a dysfunctional relationship with her father, which began when Voight left the family. They reconciled when they appeared together in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), but the relationship deteriorated again.
She petitioned a court to legally remove her last name “Voight” in favor of her middle name, which she had long used as her stage name; she was granted on September 12, 2002. They did not speak for more than six years, although they began to relate somewhat later after the death of her mother from ovarian cancer on January 27, 2007.
Angelina Jolie appeared at age seven in the 1982 film Lookin’ to Get Out, co-written by her father. In 1993, she starred in the movie Cyborg 2. The movie didn’t get good reviews and that made her very unmotivated.
She worked as a model and appeared in music videos for Lemonheads, Rolling Stones or Lenny Kravitz.
During 1995, she appeared in the movie Hackers which earned her great acclaim especially from The New York Times. In 1998 she appeared in the movie Hell’s Kitchen, and also in Playing by Heart, alongside Sean Connery. She starred in Out of Control, alongside John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchett. She later worked with Denzel Washington on The Bone Collector.
She played Lisa Rowe in 1999’s Girl, Interrupted, based on the life of “Susanna Kaysen,” which was played by actress Winona Ryder. Jolie won an Oscar for best supporting actress.
She later participated in 60 seconds, as the ex-girlfriend of a car thief played by Nicolas Cage.
In 2001, she played Tomb Raider heroine Lara Croft, a role that gave her already significant career a major boost and made her an international star. In this adaptation of the video game “Tomb Raider”, she had to undergo martial arts classes.
During that year she starred with Spanish actor Antonio Banderas in the film Pecado original, based on the novel by Cornell Woolrich. In 2002 she worked in Seven days and a life, and in 2003 she returns to play “Lara Croft”, in the film titled Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
She subsequently performed Loving Dangerously. Together with Ethan Hawke, she starred in the film The Lives of Others, in 2004. In that same year, she voiced “Lola”, a fish from the Dreamworks film Shark Tale. She later appeared in Oliver Stone’s Alexander the Great as “Olympia.”