The daughter of an Oscar-winner, actress Angelina Jolie rose to stardom in the 1990s notably after she gave a star-making performance in the 1998 television film Gia based on the short, tragic life of model Gia Marie Carangi, which won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. She is also known for her exotic looks, her tumultuous off-screen life and her humanitarian work with refugees.
Born on June 4, 1975 to actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, Jolie seemed destined for a career in the arts - like her older brother by two years, director James Haven (Voight). At the age of 11 she begun studying acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. During her time there she staged numerous productions although she was also flirting with the idea of becoming a funeral director.
As an acclaimed actress the offers for more challenging roles came flooding in. In 1999 she co-starred with Billy Bob Thornton (her second husband) in the comedy Pushing Tin and in the same year she tackled a headline role in The Bone Collector alongside Denzel Washington. Jolie finally rounded out the year by landing the much sought after co-starring role of the disturbed Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted. Based on author Susanna Kaysen's best-selling memoir of her own two-year stay in a psychiatric hospital, Jolie's stellar performance as the sociopathic inmate netted her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Jolie sealed her international fame by playing the video game heroine Lara Croft in Tomb Raider in 2001. The film also marked her first adult collaboration with her father, Jon Voight, who played her character's father in the film. Several of her subsequent films, such as Life or Something Like It, Alexander and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow were box-office disappointments, although Jolie herself usually received good reviews.