Angelina Jolie has gone through a remarkable transformation from her wild child teens and early 20s to becoming a mother of six and a successful humanitarian. She has traded drugs and attention-grabbing antics for humanitarian work, and even replaced ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton’s blood-filled necklace with Brad Pitt’s $250,000 engagement ring. In celebration of her 40th birthday, we take a look back at Angelina’s journey towards settling down with her husband and children while forging a highly successful career.
Angelina Jolie, who celebrates her 40th birthday today, has undergone an incredible metamorphosis from a reckless young woman to a responsible and giving movie icon with six children to care for.
Angelina, the girl in this photo taken back in 1986, was a determined child with big dreams. She posedaongside her brother and grandmother, but her focus was on following in the footsteps of her famous father, Jon Voight, who was an actor. At only 10 years old, Angelina knew she wanted to act and was not afraid to dream big and work hard towards her goals.
In her early years, Angelina Jolie had the privilege of appearing in one of her father’s movies, Lookin’ to Get Out, which was released in 1982. Born to actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand on June 4, 1975, in Los Angeles, Angelina displayed an early talent for acting. However, during her teenage years, she faced challenges in securing acting jobs as she was deemed “too dark” due to her gothic-style black hair, though she had not yet gotten any tattoos at the time. Furthermore, she struggled with self-harm during this period. Angelina’s rebellious nature became more noticeable as a teenager when she and her boyfriend lived together in her family home like a married couple for two years before they split up, with Angelina wanting her independence. While Angelina did manage to secure regular acting work by the mid to late 90s, she continued to make news for reasons beyond her acting projects.
Creating a stir: Back in 1996, Angelina made headlines when she starred in a movie alongside her then-partner Jenny Schimizu (pictured on the right). Jenny had revealed that they enjoyed visiting strip clubs together.
Receiving accolades: The actress was honored with her initial award, a Golden Globe recognizing her outstanding performance as the leading actress in a mini series for her portrayal in the movie Gia back in 1999.
Rather than celebrating her achievement, the topic of conversation for many was Angelina’s impromptu dive into a pool while fully dressed following the award ceremony. To add to the fun, she even pulled a reporter in with her.
Angelina Jolie’s career continued to thrive as she achieved success in various movie roles, including her part in the 1999 film Girl, Interrupted, alongside co-star Winona Ryder. In 1996, Angelina appeared in Foxfire with then-girlfriend Jenny Schimizu, who later revealed that she took Angelina to strip clubs and ‘dominatrix joints’, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Although her scandalous behavior sometimes overshadowed her accomplishments, Angelina kept winning awards due to her undeniable talent. In 1999, she won a Golden Globe for best actress in a mini-series for her role in Gia; however, at the after-party held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, she made an unforgettable scene by jumping into the pool while still dressed in her designer gown and pulling a reporter in with her. In March 2000, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted, yet, once again, it was her antics that grabbed headlines. Angelina kissed her brother James Haven on the lips while celebrating her win, and even declared in her acceptance speech that she was ‘so in love’ with him. This sparked jokes about incest that outshone the fact that she had won an Oscar.
Sibling affection: Angelina Jolie, who won an Oscar for her performance in Girl, Interrupted, made headlines once again when she shifted the focus away from her accolade by sharing an intimate kiss with her brother James Haven (located to her right).
The attractive celebrity fully accepted her image as a sex symbol, seen clinging onto her spouse Billy Bob Thornton (who is situated on the right) when he disclosed to a journalist in the year 2000 that they had recently engaged in sexual activity inside their luxurious limousine.
Awesome girl: In 2001, she hit it big at the box office with her portrayal of the lead character in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Angelina Jolie, who gained notoriety for her wild behavior, became a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations. Her husband, Billy Bob Thornton, made headlines when he revealed to a reporter that they had sex in the limo on their way to the MTV Movie Awards. They also wore vials of each other’s bloodaound their necks. However, the actress started to change her ways after the success of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001. She toned down her behavior and began to evaluate what was meaningful in her life. Her shift from uncontrollable starlet to humanitarian took shape when she was named a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN in August 2001. She went on missions, visiting impoverished areas, refugee camps, and suffering women and children worldwide. Angelina was struck by the vast disparity of wealth and resources in the world during her travels.
A young mom once thought she would never have a child, but in 2002 at the age of 26, she adopted her first son Maddox. This was a significant moment for her.
Angie and Brad’s on-screen romance bloomed in the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” back in 2005, before they eventually became a couple off-screen.
The man is already in a committed relationship: Despite denying any physical relationship with Brad prior to his divorce from Jennifer Aniston, Angelina was labeled as a home-wrecker. Witnessing the suffering she saw during her trip to Cambodia in 2000 deeply impacted her and led to a life-changing decision. Angelina expressed in an interview with Elle that she believed she would never have children. However, in March 2002, at the age of 26, she adopted a seven-month-old baby boy from Cambodia named Maddox. Although Angelina’s humanitarian work increased and motherhood brought a sense of stability, her reputation was tarnished by a tabloid scandal that erupted in 2005. During the filming of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Angelina and her co-star Brad Pitt found themselves falling in love, resulting in the breakdown of Brad’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston. Despite insisting their relationship did not become physical until after Brad separated from Jennifer, Angelina was still branded a homewrecker by the media. In a later interview with Vogue magazine, Angelina acknowledged that it wasn’t until the end of the shoot that they realized their relationship meant more than they had allowed themselves to believe.
As their family expanded, Angelina and Brad decided to adopt more children and give them a loving home. Among their adopted children were Zahara, who can be seen at the back left, and Pax, who is sitting at the front right of the photograph.
The family expanded in 2008 when the couple was blessed with the arrival of twins, Knox (at the bottom) and Vivienne (at the top). These two joined their older siblings Maddox, Zahara, Shiloh (their biological daughter), and Pax, creating a big loving brood.
Angelina Jolie became the highest-paid actress in Hollywood in 2008, earning a staggering $15 to $20 million per film. Despite criticism for a series of photos with her partner Brad Pitt in W Magazine, where Jennifer Aniston accused her of being insensitive, Angelina moved forward andaopted her second daughter, Zahara, from Ethiopia in July 2005. Brad later adopted Zahara as well. In May 2006, their first biological child, Shiloh, was born, followed by an adoption of a boy named Pax from Vietnam in March 2007. Angelina’s days of wild behavior were long gone, and she had become known not only for her impeccable fashion sense but also as the mother of a multiracial brood, which she expanded again in July 2008 with the birth of twins Knox and Vivienne. Despite her focus on motherhood, Angelina’s stardom continued to rise, with films like Gone in 60 Seconds, A Mighty Heart, and Changeling contributing to her status as the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Expanding her credentials: In 2011, the celebrity ventured into directing and even took on the roles of writer and producer for the movie titled In the Land of Blood and Honey.
Contributing to the betterment of the world: She persisted in her efforts to engage in humanitarian work. In addition to her various travels to the Middle East, she made a trip to Pakistan in 2010 where she met with Syrian refugees (as seen in the photo).
Angelina Jolie made headlines with her leg-out pose at the 2012 Oscars, but she was determined to be taken more seriously in her career. She directed and produced her first film, In the Land of Blood and Honey, which received mixed reviews but earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Despite her busy travel schedule, visiting war-torn countries and meeting with refugees, Angelina still managed to stun on the red carpet, particularly at the 2012 Oscars in her iconic Atelier Versace gown. Finally, after seven years together, Angelina and Brad Pitt got engaged in 2012, with Brad reportedly designing her $250,000 ring himself.
After seven years of being open about their relationship, the couple finally announced their engagement in 2012 and are now ready to tie the knot.
Angelina Jolie made headlines when she opted to have a preventative double mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing breast cancer. In May 2014, she wrote an op-ed for the New York Times where she revealed that she has the BRCA1 gene, which puts her at a higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Since undergoing the surgery, her likelihood of getting breast cancer has decreased significantly. Her decision to share her story sparked the ‘Angelina Jolie effect,’ which encouraged more women to learn about their BRCA status. After having additional surgery to remove her ovaries and Fallopian tubes, Angelina married Brad Pitt in a private ceremony in August 2014. Her personal health battle may have saved other women’s lives and opened up discussions about breast cancer screening.
Angelina remained a strong advocate for the welfare of Syrian refugees during her visit to Jordan in 2013, striving to make a positive impact.
Spreading knowledge: In January of 2015, she made a trip to Iraq to connect with the individuals who were forced to leave their homes due to religious discrimination.
Angelina was absolutely stunning during the Maleficent premiere back in 2014, and it’s no wonder since the movie became her most successful Disney film to date. She definitely made some serious cash from that venture!
Angelina Jolie is more than just a stunning actress. She has used her fame to bring attention to important issues, such as the Syrian refugee crisis. In fact, on April 24, 2015, she made a powerful speech at the United Nations Security Council Meeting to advocate for more assistance for Syrian refugees. Additionally, Angelina recently wed Brad Pitt in a custom gown by Atelier Versace designed by Luigi Massi. The veil was particularly special as it featured embroidered drawings by her children. Although she took a three-and-a-half year break from acting, Angelina’s return to Hollywood in 2014 with Disney’s Maleficent was a massive success, and it became her highest-grossing film ever. Even when not appearing on the big screen, Angelina still garners attention for her A-list marriage, captivating family, and inspiring humanitarian work. She truly deserves recognition as one of the most philanthropic actresses of our time, which is impressive considering she has also been recognized as the world’s most beautiful woman by Vogue, People, and Vanity Fair. On her 40th birthday, we celebrate all that Angelina has accomplished and contributed to society.