When Angelina Jolie was bombarded with praise for her role in A Mighty Heart in June 2007, America suddenly remembered: Oh, yeah. She's an actress, too, isn't she?
She's appeared in films regularly since 1999, but since 2004 she's been best-known as a humanitarian baby-collector who trots the globe in search of orphaned children to adopt. She became so strongly associated with that, in fact, that the public forgot she'd also been a home-wrecker, breaking up Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston when she and Pitt worked together on Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
And before THAT, she was best-known for being a semi-creepy bisexual Goth chick who had a thing for blood, and who said she was in love with her brother at the Oscars. She was a nutcase, in other words. Men were turned on by her while simultaneously being terrified of her. And now she's the acting equivalent of Bono, a professional do-gooder and a responsible citizen of the world.
Jolie, daughter of actor Jon Voight, grew up resenting her father for their family's breakup. The rift lasted decades, temporarily lifting when the two appeared together in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, then reappearing immediately thereafter. She has said that her parents' divorce was devastating to her and her brother, and she's never recovered. Perhaps it explains some of her more unusual behavior.
She first started working regularly in the movies in 1999, with five films that year alone. One of them was Girl, Interrupted, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. (The role: an off-kilter, suicidal girl in a mental institution. Some would say it wasn't much of a stretch.) Her star seemed to be on the rise.
The early 2000s brought plenty of films, yet not a single major hit. The first Tomb Raider movie grossed only $ 131 million; all of her other movies were outright flops: Original Sin, Life or Something Like It, Beyond Borders, Taking Lives... any of those ring a bell? It wasn't until Mr. & Mrs. Smith was released in 2005 that Jolie headlined a legitimate box-office smash, but her beauty, sex appeal, and notoriety kept earning her high-profile roles anyway.
Meanwhile, her personal life was ever-changing. Having already married and divorced actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, she shacked up with Pitt in 2005. They were soon expanding the family both through adoption and good ol'-fashioned pregnancy, in addition to taking active part in humanitarian causes.
This was quite a change from Jolie's earlier bad girl days, when she wore a vial of Thornton's blood around her neck, and appeared at her first wedding clad in black leather with her groom's name written in blood across her back.
The new Jolie -- the mature, humanitarian Jolie -- is for real, though. Born in 1975, she was still young when she married Miller and Thornton, and she had a strange upbringing. She went through her bizarre, rebelli ous phase in the public eye, settled down, and now is happy to be a working mother. She's not the same person she was 10 years ago; she's better.
Nasanji Parker is a successful celebrity gossip columnist and avid celebrity and supermodel memorabilia collector. His musings at http://www.supermodelcalendars.com are must reads for supermodel and celebrity gossip fanatics.
Find amazing Angelina posters and calendars and more great celebrity items at SuperModelCalenders.com.
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