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Angelina Jolie attends the opening night of "The Outsiders" at The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on April 11, 2024 in New York City.© Getty Images

Angelina Jolie turns 49 — inside her private world: six children, three divorces and star-studded career

Inside Angelina Jolie's tumultuous life, from marrying Brad Pitt to her humanitarian work

Bryony Gooch
US Writer
June 4, 2024
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An Oscar-winning actress whose reputation as a humanitarian precedes her, Angelina Jolie is turning 49 and she's already lived a crazier lifetime than many people can imagine. 

From her troubled teenage years as the daughter of actor Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, to her meteoric rise to fame and eventually having her own big family of six children - Angelina shows no sign of stopping.

WATCH: Angelina Jolie Opens Up About Children & Personal Transition

As the star turns 49, HELLO! looks back at her successes to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Star-studded family

Angelina Jolie was born June 4, 1975 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, to actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand - their second child, following the birth of James Haven. The year after their daughter was born, Jon and Marcheline separated and the latter put her career on hold to raise her children.

LOS ANGELES - JUNE 4:  Actor Jon Voight holds his new born baby Angelina Jolie Voight (only 4 hours old) on June 4, 1975 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)© Donaldson Collection
Jon Voight holds his new born baby Angelina Jolie when she was only four hours old

But Angelina has made it clear that she was inspired to act from watching films with her mother, as opposed to looking at her father's successful career, as he won an Oscar for Coming Home, and received critical acclaim for his roles in Midnight Cowboy and Deliverance.

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 01, 1978: Jon Voight holding his daughter Angelina Jolie at a party for KISS at Firoucci in Los Angeles, Calfornia. Photos by Brad Elterman/FilmMagic)© Brad Elterman
Jon with Angelina in 1978

In fact, the actress had a strained relationship with her father early on despite receiving her acting debut aged seven in his film Lookin' to Get Out. She famously doesn't go by Voight, after she legally petitioned to be Angelina Jolie.

Troubled teens

After spending her early years in Palisades, New York, Marcheline moved the family back to Los Angeles where Angelina attended Beverly Hills High School where she struggled. When she transferred to Moreno High School, she rebelled as a "punk outsider". She wore all-black, would go out moshing, and had a live-in boyfriend for two years when she was 14 years old.

Angelina Jolie with her brother James Haven attend the Seventh on Sale event to help raise money for AIDS on November 30, 1990 in New York...Article title: 'Eye Scoop' (Photo by Fairchild Archive/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images)© WWD
Angelina, 15, with her brother James at the Seventh on Sale event to help raise money for AIDS

"My mother is so caring and nurturing, and the choices she made for me were not irresponsible," she told Cosmopolitan in 2003. 

"When I was 14, I was either going to be reckless on the streets with my boyfriend or he was going to be with me in my bedroom with my mom in the next room because I was going to have a boyfriend." 

LOS ANGELES - 1991: Actress Angelina Jolie poses for a portrait in 1991 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images) © Harry Langdon
Teenage Angelina Jolie in 1991

She continued: "She made the choice, and because of it, I continued to go to school every morning and explored my first relationship in a safe way. So in some strange way, she really did the right thing. It kept me out of trouble."

Mental health

It was as a teenager that Angelina first struggled with her mental health, experiencing insomnia and an eating disorder, and using drugs. Her mental health issues got so severe that she made two plans to take her own life at the age of 19, and then at 22 when she attempted to hire a hitman to do the job.

Angelina Jolie and her son Maddox attend the World Premiere of "Shark Tale" in 2004, two years after his adoption© Getty Images
Angelina Jolie and her son Maddox attend the World Premiere of "Shark Tale" in 2004, two years after his adoption

"He was a decent enough person and asked if I could think about it and call him again in two months," she said. "Something changed in my life and I figured I’d stick it out."

When she adopted her first child Maddox, Angelina turned a corner: "I knew once I committed to Maddox, I would never be self-destructive again."

Career success

Following a brief stint in her father's film aged seven, Angelina would later start her career in low budget film Cyborg 2 in 1992, then take a lead role in Hackers in 1995 where she met soon-to-be first husband Jonny Lee Miller

Angelina Jolie stands behind Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the film 'Hackers', 1995. (Photo by United Artists/Getty Images)© Archive Photos
Her breakout role in Hackers saw her meet first husband Jonny Lee Miller

The couple tied the knot in 1996, and famously Angelina showed up to the wedding in rubber pants and a white t-shirt with Jonny's name written on it in blood.

Although they divorced in 1999, it seems Jonny only has kind words about his ex-wife: "She was cool as a cucumber, fearless that woman. And so, we did tandem jumps and I’m not going to lie, I found it terrifying but I did it anyway".

Angelina Jolie sits with Clea DuVall (left) and another girl in a scene from the film 'Girl, Interrupted', 1999. (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)© Archive Photos
Angelina won the Oscar for her role in Girl, Interrupted

In 1999, Angelina won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress when she played diagnosed sociopath Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted. 

While filming Pushing Tin, the actress connected with actor Billy Bob Thornton, then-linked to Laura Dern. Thornton left the Jurassic Park star to marry Angelina in 2000, and they were together for three years.

Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton during "Gone in 60 Seconds" Los Angeles Premiere at National Theater in Westwood, California, United States.© Getty Images
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton during "Gone in 60 Seconds" Los Angeles Premiere at National Theater in Westwood, California, United States.

She became a household name when she filled the role of Lara Croft in action adventure franchise Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001, which saw her reunite with father Jon Voight.

Hollywood screen goddess, Angelina Jolie and star of 2001 movie, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" directed by Simon West. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)© Sunset Boulevard
Angelina's name-making role as Lara Croft

Her box office success saw her star in Mr & Mrs Smith alongside her would-be third husband Brad Pitt. She would go on to voice characters in Shark Tale, Kung Fu Panda, and Beowulf. 

With a knack for thrillers, she starred in Changeling, Salt, and The Tourist too. But her biggest commercial success would be as Maleficent in 2014, which grossed over $758 million worldwide.

Work as a director

As well as acting, Angelina has shown her flair for directing. Her directorial debut was the documentary, A Place In Time, which looked at the daily lives of people in more than two dozen countries around the world during the course of a week.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 14:  Actor Jack O'Connell accepts the New Hollywood Award for 'Unbroken' from actress Angelina Jolie onstage during the 18th Annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Palladium on November 14, 2014 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)© Kevin Winter
Angelina directed Skins star Jack O'Connell in Unbroken

She would direct, produce and write In the Land of Blood and Honey in 2011, a war drama, and she said of the experience: "What surprised me about directing is how much I loved it and how happy I am to be on the set. I love coming to work in the morning." 

She would continue: "I don't love being in the hair and makeup chair. I don't [love] being in costume. To me the strangest thing is that I've just spent the majority of my life in one aspect of this business, and because I was fortunate enough to become successful I never questioned whether I felt at home and found out later in life that I'm much happier directing."

Angelina Jolie at the 84th Academy Awards in 2012© Getty
Angelina Jolie at the 84th Academy Awards in 2012

Since then she has directed Unbroken, By The Sea, and First They Killed My Father.

Humanitarian work

Angelina has been honored for her humanitarian efforts, advocating for causes to do with conservation, education and women's rights Fearlessly, she has gone on a number of field missions to refugee camps and war zones worldwide. 

JABEL SHAROON, PAKISTAN - NOVEMBER 26:  In this handout photo supplied by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie listens as a local woman in this village 6,000 feet above sea level in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, tells a UNHCR worker about her preparations for the coming winter, which includes salvaging materials from the remains of houses after the earthquake, November 26, 2005 in Jabel Sharoon, Pakistan. (Photo by J Redden/UNHCR via Getty Images)© Handout
Known for her humanitarian interests, Angelina has worked closely with the UNHCR

When she became a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina said: "I will continue to do everything in my power in the years to come to support refugees and other displaced people. After 20 years working within the UN system I feel it is time for me to work differently, engaging directly with refugees and local organizations, and supporting their advocacy for solutions".

Marriage to Brad Pitt

After meeting on the set of Mr & Mrs Smith in 2005, Angelina fell in love with co-star Brad Pitt. During press conferences, their chemistry sizzled yet both denied any relationship as Brad was married to Friends star Jennifer Aniston.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie leaving dinner in a motorbike after a surprise visit to Cambodia © Getty
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie leaving dinner in a motorbike after a surprise visit to Cambodia

In fact, Angelina said: "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."

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie arrive at the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.© Getty Images
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie arrive at the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

The couple would then confirm the nature of their relationship in January 2006, when they were expecting their first child, Shiloh, together. That same year, Brad adopted Angelina's children Maddox and Zahara.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2008, whilst expecting twins© Getty
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2008, whilst expecting twins

They tied the knot on August 14, 2014 at their winery, Château Miraval in France. But two years later, they separated - and Angelina filed for divorce on September 19, 2016. They were declared legally single on April 12, 2019.

An aerial view taken in Le Val, southeastern France shows the Chateau Miraval, a vineyard estate previously owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie © MICHEL GANGNE
An aerial view taken in Le Val, southeastern France shows the Chateau Miraval, a vineyard estate previously owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

When Brad sued his ex-wife for her share of the winery, she counter-sued him, alleging that he physically and verbally abused her and their children on a plane in 2016, reportedly leading to their divorce. A number of his children have since renounced his surname.

Six children

Angelina is the mother to six children - three adopted internationally, three biological. She first adopted Maddox in Cambodia in 2002, when she herself was just 26 years old.

She told Vogue: "I was 26 when I became a mother. My entire life changed. Having children saved me — and taught me to be in this world differently."

She would go on to adopt Zahara in 2005 in Ethiopia, give birth to daughter Shiloh in Namibia in 2006, and adopt Pax in 2007. In 2008, she gave birth to twins Knox and Vivienne in Nice. 

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