Angelina Jolie is an Oscar-winning actress who has become admired by taking on the title role in the “Lara Croft” series of blockbuster movies. Off-screen, Jolie has become prominently involved in international charity projects, specially those involving refugees. She often appears on many “most beautiful women” lists, and she has a personal life that is avidly enclosed by the tabloid press.
In her earliest years, Angelina began fascinating the acting craft from her parents – her father is the Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight and her mother is Marcheline Bertrand, who had studied with Lee Strasberg. At age 11, Angelina began study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. She undertook some film studies at New York University and later joined the famous Met Theatre Group in Los Angeles. At age 16, she took up a career in modeling and appear in some music videos. Her exotic good looks may get from her mixed ancestry which is Czech, French-Canadian, Iroquois and English.
In the mid-1990s, Jolie appeared in a variety of small films where she got good notices, including Hackers (1995) and Foxfire (1996). Her critical acclaim amplified when she played strong roles in the made-for-TV movies True Women (1997) (TV), and in George Wallace (1997) (TV) which won her a Golden Globe award and an Emmy nomination. Jolie’s acclaim bigger even further when she played the lead role in the HBO production Gia (1998) (TV). This was the true life story of supermodel Gia Carangi, a sensitive wild child who was both brazen and needy and who had a hard time handling professional success and the deaths of people who were close to her. Carangi became concerned with drugs and because of her needle-using habits she became, at the tender age of 26, one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS. Jolie’s performance in Gia (1998) (TV) again garnered a Golden Globe award and another Emmy nomination, and she in addition earned a SAG Award.
Angelina got a major break in 1999 when she won a leading role in the winning feature The Bone Collector (1999), starring alongside Denzel Washington. In that same year, Jolie gave a tour de force performance in Girl, Interrupted (1999) playing with Winona Ryder. The movie was a true story of women who exhausted time in a psychiatric hospital. Jolie’s role was reminiscent of Jack Nicholson’s character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), the role which won Nicholson his first Oscar. Unlike “Cuckoo”, “Girl” was a small film that established mixed reviews and barely made money at the box office. But when it came time to give out awards, Jolie won the triple crown — “Girl” propelled her to win the Golden Globe, the SAG Award and the Academy Award for best leading actress in a sustaining role.
With her new-found prominence, Jolie began to get in-depth notice from the press. Numerous aspects of her controversial personal life became news at her wedding to her Hackers (1995) co-star Jonny Lee Miller, she had display her husband’s name on the back of her shirt painted in her own blood. Jolie and Miller divorced and in 2000 she married her approaching Tin (1999) co-star Billy Bob Thornton. Jolie had become the fifth wife of a man 20 years her senior. During her marriage to Thornton, the spouses each wore a vial of the other’s blood about their necks. That marriage came distant in 2002 and ended in divorce. In addition, Jolie was alienated from her famous father, Jon Voight.
In 2000, Jolie was asked to star in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) at first, she expressed disinterest, but then decided that the necessary training for the athletic role was intriguing. The Croft character was haggard from a popular video game. Lara Croft was a female cross between Indiana Jones and James Bond when the film was released, critics were unimpressed with the final product, but critical acclaim wasn’t the point of the movie. The public paid $275 million for theater tickets to see a buffed up Jolie portray the carefree Lara Croft. Jolie’s father Jon Voight appeared in “Croft”, and during filming there was a short rapprochement between father and daughter.
One of the Croft movie’s filming location was Cambodia. While there, Jolie witnessed the natural beauty, culture and scarcity of that country. She considered this an eye opening experience, and so began the caring chapter of her life. Jolie began visiting refugee camps around the world and came to be formally chosen as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Some of her experiences were written and available in her popular book “Notes from My Travels” whose profits go to UNHCR.
Jolie has stated that she now plans to spend most of her time in caring efforts, to be financed by her actress salary. She devotes one third of her income to savings, one third to living fixed cost and one third to charity. In 2002, Angelina adopt a Cambodian refugee boy named Maddox and in 2005 adopted an Ethiopian refugee girl named Zahara. Jolie’s dramatic quality film Beyond Borders (2003) parallels some of her real life humanitarian experiences although, despite the addition of a romance between two westerners, many of the movie’s images were too depressingly realistic — the film was not popular in the middle of critics or at the box office.
In 2004, Jolie began film Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) with Brad Pitt. The film became a major box office victory. There were rumors that Pitt and Jolie had an matter while filming “Smith”. Jolie insisted that because her mother had been hurt by adultery, she herself could never contribute in an affair with a married man, therefore there had been no affair with Pitt at that time. Nonetheless, Pitt alienated from his wife Jennifer Aniston in January 2005 and, in the months that followed, he was often seen in public with Jolie, apparently as a couple. Pitt’s divorce was finalized later in 2005.