Entertainment

Angelina Jolie Family History: Including The Actress’ Turbulent Relationship With Her Father Jon Voight


Actress Angelina Jolie has been in the headlines this week for a number of statements she has made about her personal life and career.

She told the Wall Street Journal: “Because I grew up around Hollywood, I was never very impressed with it. I never bought into it as significant or important.”

“I grew up in quite a shallow place. Of all the places in the world, Hollywood is not a healthy place. So you seek authenticity.”

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Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie said if she could do it all again, she wouldn’t be an actress. (Getty)

She added that if she could do it again, she wouldn’t be an actress – especially in today’s Hollywood climate.

“I wouldn’t be an actress today,” she said, “When I was starting out, it wasn’t as much of an expectation to be as public, to share so much… I’ve just been around so long, and there’s been everything said.” 

So if she didn’t particularly want to be in Hollywood in the first place, how did she end up there?

Well, it’s all because of her famous father.

That’s right, Angelina Jolie comes from a family of celebrities. But you wouldn’t know who her famous parents are – at least, not right away.

Who are Angelina Jolie’s mother and father?

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Angelina Jolie's parents Marcheline Bertrand and Jon Voight in 1977.
Angelina Jolie’s parents Marcheline Bertrand and Jon Voight in 1977. (Getty)

In 1975, Angelina Jolie was born Angelina Jolie Voight to – you guessed it – actor Jon Voight and his wife, actress Marcheline Bertrand. She was their second and final child, following her older brother James Haven, who is also an actor. She is also niece of singer-songwriter Chip Taylor and geologist and volcanologist Barry Voight, her father’s brothers. Her godparents are actors Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell.

Their family broke apart just one year after her birth, after her father had an affair. Jolie and Haven were raised by their mother, who gave up her own acting career so that both of her children could become actors.

Jolie debuted at age seven in a film produced by her father, Lookin’ to Get Out (1982), which also saw Bertrand in a cameo. Bertrand also starred in Ironside (1971), The Man Who Loved Women (1983) before her retirement.

Angelina Jolie’s relationship with her father, Jon Voight

Jolie’s relationship with her father was tumultuous growing up, with much of it playing out in front of the press. She told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2003, “[My father] was around occasionally for holidays or birthdays, and we had bits of time… There are pictures of me with him because his bits of time with me tended to be in front of the press.”

Jolie reunited with her father both on and off screen when they were cast in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), also as father and daughter.

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The pair starred as father and daughter in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. (Ron Galella Collection via Getty)

But it was short-lived, with both Jolie and Haven legally changing their names to remove their surname “Voight” from their legal names in 2002.

This also followed an interview Voight had given to Entertainment Weekly, where he said his daughter and son-in-law at the time, Billy Bob Thornton, had “serious problems”.

He shared he was “brokenhearted…because I’ve been trying to reach my daughter and get her help, and I have failed and I’m sorry. Really I haven’t come forward and addressed the serious mental problems she has spoken about so candidly to the press over the years, but I’ve tried behind the scenes in every way.”

The actor added of Thornton: “I never had the feeling that they were going to make it because of both of their serious problems, and they’ve both been very public about them, so I never really held out any hope.”

Jolie also commented for the article, saying, “I don’t want to make public the reasons for my bad relationship with my father.

“I will only say that, like every child, [brother] Jamie and I would have loved to have had a warm and loving relationship with our dad,

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Their relationship has gone up and down over the years. (Corbis via Getty Images)

“After all these years, I have determined that it is not healthy for me to be around my father, especially now that I am responsible for my own child.”

It was one month after this she legally changed her name to her stage name.

In 2007, Voight shared that their loyalty towards their mother resulted in the bad relationship Jolie and Haven had with him.

“I find it very heartbreaking that my children want to paint a bad portrait of me,” Voight admitted.

“I feel that it comes from their inability to let go of years of programmed anger from their mother who understandably felt quite hurt when we divorced.”

Reconciliation after mother Marcheline Bertrand’s death

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Jolie and Voight together at the premiere of her film “In the Land of Blood and Honey” in 2011. (WireImage)

It all changed in 2007, with the pair reconciling after Jolie’s mother and Voight’s ex-wife Bertrand passed away from ovarian and breast cancer at the age of 56.

Jolie and her children still miss her to this day, sharing in a 2017 interview with Elle France

“She would have thrived as a grandmother… I know how much she would have contributed to their lives and I am sad they will miss out on that. I would give anything for her to be with me at this time. I’ve needed her.”

Jolie had by then adopted and birthed four of her children – Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt, 22, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, 18, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, 17, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, 20.

Twins Knox Léon Jolie-Pitt, 15, and Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, 15, came along shortly after, with daughter Vivienne getting her grandmother’s name as a middle name in tribute.

Jolie spoke about the 2007 reconciliation with her father five years on in a January 2012 edition of Marie Claire, sharing that he has “met the kids and they’ve met him, and I think that’s important that they can do that.”

“We’re in each other’s lives, but we don’t, as a rule, discuss the past,” she said, as per E! News.

It seems that the father-daughter pair were doing alright during her infamous split from long-time partner, actor Brad Pitt, in 2016. Voight was a source of support during those difficult time, especially around his grandchildren.

“He’s been very good at understanding they needed their grandfather at this time. I had to do a therapy meeting last night and he was just around,” the Salt star told Vanity Fair in 2017.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's children through the years

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s children through the years

“He knows kind of the rule – don’t make them play with you. Just be a cool grandpa who’s creative, and hang out and tell stories and read a book in the library.”

The bond was still strong in 2020, when Voight opened up about his daughter’s role as a mother at a pre-Golden Globes gala.

“She loves her kids, she’s always involved with them, always concerned for them,” he said as per People. 

Unfortunately, the peace treaty wasn’t to last, with Voight – a staunch Trump supporter – recently criticising his daughter’s support of Palestine amid the current Israel-Palestine war.

Jolie, former Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and a prolific philanthropist, posted her support for Palestine amid Israel’s “deliberate bombing of a trapped population who have nowhere to flee,” on Instagram.

“Gaza has been an open-air prison for nearly two decades and is fast becoming a mass grave. 40 per cent of those killed are innocent children. Whole families are being murdered. While the world watches and with the active support of many governments, millions of Palestinian civilians – children, women, families – are being collectively punished and dehumanised, all while being deprived food, medicine and humanitarian aid against international law,” she wrote.

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Angelina Jolie was a former Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (PA/AAP)

“By refusing to demand a humanitarian ceasefire and blocking the UN Security Council from imposing one on both parties, world leaders are complicit in these crimes.”

Voight responded, saying in a video, “I am very disappointed that my daughter, like so many, has no understanding of God’s honor, God’s truths…The Israeli army must protect thy soil, thy people. This is war. It’s not going to be what the left thinks; it can’t be civil now.”

Leaving Hollywood

Jolie now says that she will “move when I can” away from the US, possibly to Cambodia where she has a home and would like to spend more time – as soon as her lengthy custody battle with Pitt over their kids has been sorted out, which has hindered her “ability to live and travel as freely.”

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