The Biography of Angelina Jolie

Paparazzi photographers and television reporters at celebrity event
••• Andrew Hobbs/ Stone/ Getty Images

Angelina Jolie, actress and Hollywood icon was named 2009’s most powerful celebrity in the world by Forbes magazine. But Jolie is not just a celebrity. She is a working mother, humanitarian, and a successful business woman. This profile focuses on the humanitarian work and business endeavors of Angelina Jolie.

Birth Place and Family Life

Angelina Jolie Voight was born in Los Angeles, California on June 4, 1975. Her parents are actor Jon Voight and French actress Marcheline Bertrand who passed away in 2007 after a long battle with cancer.​


Jonny Lee Miller (1996 – 1999); Billy Bob Thornton (2000 – 2003); domestic partner Brad Pitt (2005-present).


Jolie and Pitt have six children, Maddox Chivan (adopted from Cambodia in 2002); Zahara (adopted from Africa in 2005; and Pax Thien (adopted from Vietnam in 2007).

The couple also has three biological children, Shiloh (born May 27, 2006) and twins Knox, and Vivienne (born July 12, 2008).

Jolie's Education

Jolie studied at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in her early teens and later attended New York University where she studied filmmaking and writing. In her teens, she studied embalming with the goal of becoming a funeral director.

Humanitarian Awards

  • 2001 – Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency for her advocacy and work in obtaining aid for refugees in in many countries including Cambodia, Darfur, and Jordan.
  • 2005 – Global Humanitarian Action Award (United Nation Association of the USA) for her role as an ongoing activist for refugee rights.

Video: Angelina Jolie, UN Refugee Spokesperson (2002) (National Geographic Channel).

Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation

In 2003, Ms. Angelina Jolie founded the Maddox Jolie Project (renamed in 2007 to the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation (MJP). The organization was formed to further conservation efforts of Cambodia’s endangered Cardamom Mountains’ northern territory.

Current operations funded by MJP include reforestation, community protected area, park management, and integrated rural development (UN Millennium Development Goals).

Jolie sold joint rights for the first images of her twins, Knox and Vivienne, to People and Hello! for $14 million. She used the entire sum to help fund the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation.

Angelina Jolie's Early Career Days

As a teenager, Jolie originally dreamed of becoming a funeral director. Instead, she turned to acting and modeling at the age of 14. She also appeared in several rock videos and in five of her brother’s student videos.

In 2007, Jolie directed A Place in Time. The documentary features life in a week in 27 locations around the world. The project will be distributed through the National Education Association, mainly in high schools.

Angelina Jolie’s Business Endeavors

According to Forbes, Jolie earned $27 million in 2008. Jolie donates millions each year to charitable causes.

Jolie was named the world’s most influential celebrity in Forbes "2009 Celebrity 100" list released June 3, 2009 (in 2007 she was number seven, and in 2008 she was number three).

In 2004, Jolie invested in an exclusive nightclub in London, “Penthouse.”

In 2008 she began negotiations with Coty for her own perfume. In 2007 she filed (and later dropped) a lawsuit against Israeli/French perfume maker Symine Salimpour for naming a scent Shiloh (Jolie accused her of naming after her 14-month-old daughter).

A-List Angelina

In May 2007, Jolie (again) made People magazines, "100 Most Beautiful People" list. The article focused on her "beautiful" humanitarian work with refugees, AIDS orphans, and the Darfur genocide rather than just her physical beauty.

Books by Angelina Jolie

Notes from My Travels: Visits with Refugees in Africa, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Ecuador is a memoir of her visits to Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Cambodia, and Ecuador.

Mini-Trivia About Angelina Jolie:

  • Jolie has a pilot’s license, which she got in order to "impress" her son, Maddox.
  • As a teenager, Jolie wanted to become a funeral director and even took embalming classes.
  • Jolie has 13 tattoos and has had three covered up (including one of Billy Bob, a window, and a spider tattoo).

List of Angelina Jolie’s Films

Jolie's movies include: Lookin’ to Get Out (1982); George Wallace (1997); Cyborg 2 (1993); Love is All there Is (1996); Mojave Moon (1996); Firefox (1996); Playing God (1997); True Woman (1997); Gia (1998); Hell’s Kitchen (1998); Playing by Heart (1998); The Gone Collector (1998); Girl, Interrupted (1999); Original Sin (2001); Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001); Life or Something Like It (2002); Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003); Beyond Borders (2003); Shark Tales (2004); Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004); The Fever (2004 TV); Alexander (2004); Taking Lives (2004); Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005); Gone in Sixty Seconds (2006); The Good Shepherd (2006); A Mighty Heart (2007); Beowolf (2007); Wanted (2008); Changeling (2008); Kung Fu Panda (2008); Wanted (2008).

 Salt (2010).

Cinematic Awards:

  • Golden Globe Awards: George Wallace (1998); Gia (1999); Girl Interrupted (2000)
  • National Board of Review Award: Playing by Heart (1998)
  • Screen Actors Guild Award: Gia (1999); Girl Interrupted (2000)
  • Academy Award: Girl Interrupted (2000)
  • People’s Choice Award: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)


The Celebrity 100 - Angelina Jolie #1. June 3, 2009.
Biography of Angelina Jolie. A&E Television Networks.
Katy Marquardt. The Angelina Jolie Stock Index, Decoded. August 19, 2008. Supermodels Are Outperforming the Dow. August 18, 2008.
Fred Fuld. Angelina Jolie Stock Update. January 24, 2008.