Angelina’s father is Academy Award winner actor Jon Voight. Born December 29, 1938, he married actress Marcheline Bertrand December 12, 1971 and had two children, Angelina Jolie and James Haven. He separated from Marcheline in 1976, and they divorced in 1978. He has won an Academy Award for his performance in Coming Home and received nominations for Midnight Cowboy, Runaway Train and Ali.
Angelina and her father have had a very rocky relationship over the years, much of it fed through the media. In a 2002 interview with Access Hollywood Jon said that Angelina needed help, that he had tried to get her help and that he had failed. In response, Jolie issued a statement saying that it was “unhealthy” to be around her father, especially now that she had a son. “I know nothing about him. I know nothing about his motivation, what he is, who he is or what he’s about. I have close relationships with my mother and brother. I have very good friends, and I’m very blessed. But some relationships didn’t work out. Some people don’t have everything. They don’t have both parents”, says Angelina. She legally dropped “Voight” as her legal last name in 2002, a little over a month after Voight gave his infamous interview to Access Hollywood.
Angelina says that had hoped that filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, in which her father had a bit part, would be an opportunity for them to get close – but it was more of a goodbye. “In ways it was a hello and goodbye. It was something that was very therapeutic and that they both needed”, says Angelina.
Angelina and Jon Voight began talking again when Marcheline Bertrand was fighting for her life with ovarian cancer. In 2010 Angelina and Jon publically reconciled their relationship. Voight told People magazine that he uses Skype to keep in touch with his daughter and grandchildren. In 2011, Jon joined Angelina at the premiere of In The Land of Blood and Honey. The following year, Voight went with the Jolie-Pitt family to Europe, where Brad was filming World War Z.
In 2013, Jon Voight gushed about his daughter: “Angie is remarkable, and very brave. What she has been going through recently, dealing with her family history of cancer, and what she has been carrying all these years—wondering if this thing would happen to her—it’s very difficult on a child. I am trying to be of help by giving her information and looking things up. She has given a real voice to the issue, and she has taken advice and gone in the direction that she has gone. ”
Angelina’s mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, was born May 9, 1950. She studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute during the early years of Angelina’s life and apparently received the best parenting advice whilst studying there. While Angelina was growing up, whenever something was going wrong or she was emotional, Marcheline would look her and say: “What are you thinking? What are you feeling?” As a result, Angelina grew up very aware of her emotions.
Bertrand and Jon Voight separated in 1976, publicly citing Voight’s adultery. She filed for divorce in 1978, which was finalized in 1980. Marcheline raised Angelina and James primarily on her own and the three of them had an extremely tight bond. Angelina has often referred to her mother as her ‘best friend’. When Angelina was 14 years old, her boyfriend was allowed to live at the house so her mother could keep an eye on her. “She drove me to every audition, and she would wait in the car for hours, always make me feel really good… She wasn’t really the best critic, since she never really had anything unkind to say, but she did give me love and confidence”, spoke Angelina of her mother.
After a nearly eight-year battle with ovarian cancer and breast cancer, Marcheline Bertrand died at the age of 56 on January 27, 2007, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in the company of her children. “We often speak of ‘Mommy’s mommy,’ and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us”, Jolie wrote in her New York Times column.
“There is no longevity on my mother’s side of the family,” Angelina told Esquire in 2010. “My grandmother also died young, so my mother always thought it could happen to her. But she lived to see her grandchildren, lived to see both me and my brother in a nice place. She was a real mother that way. She waited till everyone was okay. Then she closed her eyes.”
Angelina’s directorial project By the Sea was inspired by her mother’s life. “This film, at its core, is about grief and that grief comes from the loss of my mother”, Angelina said.
“There are no words to express what an amazing woman and mother she was. She was our best friend”, Angelina and her brother, James Haven, told People after their mother’s death.
Angelina’s brother James Haven was born May 11, 1973. In 1995 James graduated from the University of Southern California, where he won a prestigious George Lucas Award for a student film in which Angelina featured.
James Haven is a producer and a director. He has also tried his hand at acting, citing his father, John Voight, as an influence. However, “Sadly, as far as being supportive of my acting, I’ve never felt it. I hope one day I can get that response from him”, says James. He has already had bit parts in three of Angelina’s films and been an executive producer on Trudell, which also had Marcheline Bertrand and Angelina as executive producers.
Since 2006, James Haven has been the executive board director of Artivist, a festival in Los Angeles that highlights films addressing human rights, animal rights, and environmental issues.
Referring to James as “he’s my Jamie”, Angelina and James have had a very strong bond since a young age. James is very supportive of Angelina with everything she does and will defend her when the media blows things out of proportion, saying: “She doesn’t carry knives around with her. It’s not like you get into a fight with Angelina and she’s going to pull a blade.”
Both siblings have never shied away from expressing their love of each other and how much each means to the other. “I don’t know if it’s being a part of a divorced family or what … but he has always been my strongest support”, says Angelina. The devotion towards each other caused a media uproar when the pair kissed the Oscars but Jamie, like Angelina, says: “I’ve heard what people are saying, and it’s a very weird thing. They’re going into a realm where it’s something that’s almost ugly rather than something that can be beautiful. We love each other, if that’s unusual these days, that’s sad.”
James, who is still very close to his sister, is reportedly a full time nanny to the children following Brad and Angelina’s divorce. James, whom the children call ‘Uncle James’, has accompanied Angelina to several film sets to look after the kids. He is oftentimes seen attending film premieres and events with Angelina.
On March 10, 2002, Angelina adopted her first child, seven-month-old Maddox Chivan, from an orphanage in Battambang, Cambodia. He was born in a local village as Rath Vibol on August 5, 2001. Maddox was the last baby Angelina saw that day and when she picked him up he didn’t cry at all: he just looked up at her smiling and it was then that Angelina knew he was the one.
Angelina and Billy Bob Thornton announced the adoption together, but she adopted Maddox alone. Angelina and Billy Bob separated shortly after, and she received full custody rights. On January 19, 2006, Brad Pitt formally adopted Maddox and his surname was changed to Jolie-Pitt.
It appears that Maddox is following the footsteps of his mother: he is acting as an executive producer credit on Jolie’s new film First They Killed My Father. And according to Angelina, Maddox was very persuasive in using his ties to Cambodia in getting the project off the ground. “He was the one who just called it and said he was ready and that he wanted to work on it, which he did”, Jolie told The Guardian. “He read the script, helped with notes, and was in the production meetings.”
Angelina Jolie adopted a daughter, six-month-old Zahara Marley, from an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 6, 2005. Zahara was born as Yemsrach on January 8, 2005, in Awasa. It was originally believed that Zahara was an orphan of AIDS but after further tests this turned out to be false.
On January 19, 2006, Brad Pitt, Angelina’s partner, formally adopted Zahara and her surname was changed to Jolie-Pitt.
Angelina has revealed that it is the sound of Zahara’s laugh that makes her the happiest. “She is one of those people who laughs with her whole body. Completely open and full of joy.”
Born on May 27, 2006, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt is the first biological child of Angelina and Brad Pitt. Shiloh was born via a c-section at the Cottage Medi-Clinic Hospital in Swakopmund, Namibia.
Angelina and Brad sold the first pictures of Shiloh through Getty Images with the aim of benefiting charity, rather than allowing paparazzi to make these valuable photographs. People and Hello! purchased the rights to the images, with all proceeds donated to UNICEF.
It has been reported that Shiloh, who was assigned female at birth, has asked to be identified as male since young age. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt said of the then 2-year old Shiloh: “[Shiloh] only wants to be called John. John or Peter. So it’s a Peter Pan thing. So we’ve got to call her John. ‘Shi, do you want…’ – ‘John. I’m John.’ And then I’ll say, ‘John, would you like some orange juice?’ And she goes, ‘No!’ So, you know, it’s just that kind of stuff that’s cute to parents and it’s probably really obnoxious to other people.”
“Shiloh, we feel, has Montenegro style,” Angelina told Vanity Fair in 2010 about Shiloh’s choice of clothing. “It’s how people dress there. She likes tracksuits, she likes [regular] suits. So it’s a suit with a tie and a jacket and slacks, or a tracksuit. She likes to dress like a boy. She wants to be a boy. So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.”
On March 15, 2007, Angelina adopted a son, three-year-old Pax Thien, from an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He was born as Pham Quang Sang on November 29, 2003, in Ho Chi Minh City. Jolie adopted Pax as a single parent because Vietnam’s adoption regulations do not allow unmarried couples to co-adopt. Brad Pitt subsequently adopted Pax on February 21, 2008.
Angelina has told Vanity Fair that Pax is interested in music and deejaying.
Angelina Jolie got pregnant during the filming of Changeling. At the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008, Jolie confirmed that she was expecting twins. On July 12, 2008, the Jolie-Pitt family welcomed Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline into the world. Wanting to keep the twins’ names close to the Jolie family tradition, Vivienne’s middle name was a tribute to Angelina’s mother, while Knox shared his second name with her great-great grandfather.
Angelina said: “Wanting a big family is one of the things that brought Brad and I together.” Pitt added: “When Ange and I were told we were having twins we burst into hysterics… We didn’t see this one coming.”
The first pictures of Knox and Vivienne were sold to People and Hello! for $14 million — the most expensive celebrity photos ever taken. The proceeds were donated to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
Vivienne had a small part as young Aurora in the Disney film Maleficent, where she starred alongside Angelina.