Los Angeles, California
June 4, 1975
Angelina Jolie was born to actors John Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She lived with her mother as her parents separated soon after she was born. She was unpopular in high school and lacked self-esteem but tried acting and modeling with some success.
Her film breakthrough came with the TV movie, Gia. With a Golden Globe award for it she started getting better parts in Hollywood movies. The following year she won an Academy Award for her role in Girl, Interrupted. International fame came after she embodied the role of video game hero Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.
During the filming of Tomb Raider in Cambodia, Jolie became acutely aware of issues like poverty and land mines. She went to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to find out more about humanitarian needs in the world. With that knowledge she began traveling to those hot spots, donating her time and money to help refugees. The UNHCR was so impressed they asked her to be a Goodwill Ambassador in 2001. She has since traveled extensively across the world talking directly to the people who are suffering. Jolie donates a third of her income to charities around the world – $4 million in 2007. With her experience and public image she has started speaking to politicians around the world as well. In 2003, she was given the Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association.
Jolie has adopted three children from Third World countries to accompany her own. With the birth of Shiloh, she and husband, Brad Pitt, donated the money paid to them for the first baby photos to a charity. This was repeated with the birth of their twins in 2008.