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Young Angelina Jolie: A Look Back At The Iconic Actress’s Early Career

Angelina Jolie is an Oscar-winning actress, humanitarian, and mother of six, and she has been considered a Hollywood icon even long before she was one half of the legendary Brangelina couple. The world fell in love with a young Angelina Jolie from the moment she first burst onto the scene, and she still remains one of the most iconic names in Hollywood today.

Some of her best-known movies include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Maleficent, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which led her to meet and marry Brad Pitt, and the movie Girl, Interrupted, which won her a ‘Best Supporting Actress’ Oscar. Let’s take a look at some young Angelina Jolie moments, including her early life and early career, as well as some of the memorable moments in her personal and professional life.

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Angelina Jolie kissing Academy Award for Girl Interrupted

Early Life And Family Background

Angelina was used to life in the spotlight thanks to her famous father, actor Jon Voight, and her mother, the late actress Marcia Lynne “Marcheline” Bertrand, who passed away back in 2007 after battling breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Angelina was destined for a life in Hollywood, not just because of her famous parents in the industry, but also because of the work she put in. She studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute for two years and then enrolled at Beverly Hills High School. She then studied drama at New York University, and as well as acting in theatre productions, also modeled and appeared in music videos, which doesn’t surprise us given her natural beauty and how much the camera always appeared to love her.

Angelina Jolie 64th Cannes Film Festival

Breakthrough Roles

Angelina has had quite a few iconic roles over the years, but let’s take a look at a few of her breakthrough roles…


Angelina starred as a teenage hacker in the science fiction thriller Hackers, which was released in 1995 and actually turned out to be a cult film despite performing poorly at the box office.

George Wallace

In 1997, Angelina had a supporting role in the made-for-television film George Wallace, for which she received a Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Supporting Actress – Television Film.’


In 1998, she made what many would describe as her breakthrough in HBO’s television film Gia,

playing the role of fashion model Gia Carangi. The role was extra-special as Angelina won the Golden Globe for ‘Best Actress – Television Film.’


Girl, Interrupted

And then of course came the biggest movie of her career, as she won a ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ Academy Award for her role in psychological drama Girl, Interrupted. Angelina played the role of sociopath Lisa Rowe, one of the main antagonists in the movie, who was one of the mental patients in the psyche ward.

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Angelina starred in the heist film opposite Nicholas Cage in 2000, and it proved to be her highest-grossing film at that point.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Angelina gained worldwide recognition when she played the role of archaeologist Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001, a movie which was based on the Tomb Raider video games. Angelina reprised the role of Lara Croft in the sequel Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life in 2003.

Angelina Jolie marriage Jonny Lee Miller Billy Bob Thornton

Personal Life and Controversies

Angelina has made headlines for her personal life – some of it being very controversial – even more than she has for her professional life. And a lot of it is due to her relationships and marriages.


Angelina married Hackers co-star Jonny Lee Miller in 1995, although their marriage only lasted four years, and the couple divorced in 1999. The following year, Jolie married Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton, but again, it only lasted for a few years and they called it quits in 2003.

In 2004, Angelina met Brad Pitt, who was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time, while filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Brad and Jen’s divorce, which happened shortly after, led the media to believe that Angelina had a huge part to play in their divorce. But despite the controversy surrounding how they met and whether or not Brad and Angelina had an affair while he was still married to the Friends star, Brad and Angelina – dubbed Brangelina by the tabloids – became one of the most sought-after Hollywood couples of all time.

They officially tied the knot in August 2014 and shocked the world with the news of their separation in September 2016; and they have since been embroiled in many controversial legal battles, including legal battles over their Château Miraval winery in the South of France. Angelina also accused the Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

actor of domestic abuse, which he vehemently denies.


Angelina Jolie Zahara Shiloh 16th Rome Film Fest 2021

Adopted And Biological Children

Theactress adopted her son, Maddox, from Cambodia in 2002, and three years later, she adopted a daughter named Zahara. In 2005, Pitt filed paperwork to adopt both Maddox and Zahara, and in 2007, Angelina adopted a three-year-old boy from a Vietnamese orphanage and named him Pax Thien.

Brad and Angelina’s biological daughter, Shiloh, was born in Namibia in 2006 – they reportedly travelled to Namibia to avoid the paparazzi – while their twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline (named after Angelina’s late mom) were born in 2008 in southern France. The rights for the very first images of the twins were reportedly sold to People and Hello! for an eye-watering $14M, making them the most expensive celebrity pictures ever!

Angelina Jolie addressed Syrian refugees in Jordan September 2016

Humanitarian Work

Angelina was made a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency in 2001 and received the Global Humanitarian Action Award from the United Nations Association of the USA for her activism on behalf of refugee rights. She has worked hard to obtain aid for refugees in Cambodia, Darfur and Jordan, among others, and has been on more than 60 field assignments during her 21 years with UNHCR.

After years of dedicated service to UNHCR, Angelina Jolie was appointed Special Envoy in April 2012, but quit in 2022, saying that she will still remain a humanitarian activist and still wanted to keep working with refugees outside of the global body. In a statement announcing her departure, she said: “After 20 years working within the U.N. system, I feel it is time for me to work differently, engaging directly with refugees and local organizations, and supporting their advocacy for solutions.” She added: “I will continue to do everything in my power in the years to come to support refugees and other displaced people.”

Angelina Jolie brother James Haven Golden Globes

Tabloid Controversies

Angelina made headlines when she said she loved her brother James Haven and even kissed him on the red carpet at the 2000 Oscars. She also made headlines when she was with Billy Bob Thornton, as they walked the red carpet with vials of each other’s blood around their necks. Of course, Brangelina’s divorce (and the many legal battles surrounding it!) is highly controversial too.

Angelina Jolie world premiere Maleficent Mistress of Evil

Legacy And Influence

Angelina has become a very influential figure in American entertainment history and pop culture. She has won many acting awards and been named one of the most beautiful women in the world by many outlets over the years, while of course her personal life continues to grab headlines too. There will only ever be one Angelina Jolie, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for her on a personal and professional level.


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