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She was born Angelina Jolie Voight in Los Angeles, on June 4th, 1975 – her name meaning Pretty Little Angel. Her parents, Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, divorced when she was one year old. Therefore, she lived with her mother on the east coast. Living there, Jolie was a happy child. She had a normal childhood. At the age of 11, her mother moved the family back to Los Angeles. They had already moved often, making the Jolie feel constantly uprooted. “I always dreamed,Ð²Ð‚Ñœ she says “of having an attic of things that I could go back up and look at.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Tiscali) As a student at Beverly Hills High School, she was not alone in her cinematic ambitions. But she certainly felt alone in the midst of all the good-looking, pampered children, children who teased her gruesomely for wearing braces and glasses and being so painfully skinny. Unlike the other parents, Marcheline was not rich – so Angelina also had to seek her clothes at thrift stores like Aardvark.
Now, Jolie has become one of the most fascinating women in Hollywood. Daring to be different, perhaps to the point of being bizarre, Jolie never loses sight of her important role as a concerned global citizen and active UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. JolieÐ²Ð‚â„¢s involvement with UNHCR began with a mission to Sierra Leone, a small African country that has been devastated by years of brutal civil war. Seeing firsthand the enormous challenges that refugees face was a life-altering experience for Angelina, who decided to use her fame to aid their cause. In 2001, she was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. As a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Uses her status as a superstar to generate media coverage about the plight of refugees and the conditions under which they live. She has traveled widely to remote refugee camps and receiving centers in countries including Tanzania, Namibia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Ecuador. For her efforts, Angelina has been honored with the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program Humanitarian Award. Ð²Ð‚ÑšShe does this in a very low-key was,Ð²Ð‚Ñœ said UNHCR spokesman Peter Kessler. Ð²Ð‚ÑšShe goes out to see for her self, to get up close and very personal. She does not travel with film crews, and I think that is real testimony to her dedication to the cause.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ(CNN)
Another important role Angelina Jolie takes upon is a mother to children. Maddox, Zahara, and Pax. Ð²Ð‚ÑšThey are the greatest little people I ever met, and they give me so much joy.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ Jolie said. (ABC News) all three of the children are adopted from third world countries. Maddox from Cambodia, Zahara from Ethiopia and Pax from Vietnam. Americans have been adopting from around the globe for many years. The highest adoption numbers in 2004 came from China, Russia and Guatemala. EthiopiaÐ²Ð‚â„¢s adoption rate is much lower due to a lack of awareness, but that seems to be changing. Since Jolie adopted Zahara, international adoption agencies in the United States say inquiries about Ethiopian babies have doubled. By adopting children, Jolie, once again uses her status in Hollywood to bring awareness to the children in need to be saved. Jolie hopes more people follow in her footsteps and discover the rewards of saving a child who might not otherwise live to see a first birthday. (Imdb)
Jolie is known as much for her humanitarian work and adoptions as for her movies roles. In her earliest years, Angelina began absorbing the acting craft from her parents at home. At age 11, Angelina began studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute located in Los Angeles, California. She undertook some film studies at New York University and later joined the renowned Met Theatre Group in Los Angeles. At age 16, she took up a career in modeling and appeared in music videos for Rolling Stones, Lemonheads, Meatloaf, and Lenny Kravitz. Angelina got a major break in 1999 when she won a leading role in the successful feature The Bone Collector, starring alongside Denzel Washington. In the same year, Jolie also gave a forceful performance in Girl, Interrupted playing opposite Winona Ryder. The movie was a true story of a woman who spent time in a psychiatric hospital. She won her first Oscar for this role as best leading actress. This is a major accomplishment for anyone, especially Jolie. She has been nominated for many other movies and won other awards, but her Oscar is really what put her on the map and really made her career take off.
For her age, I would say that Angelina Jolie is going above and beyond with everything she is doing. It is very rare to find such an amazing actress, with a heart of gold. Jolie is putting her life before others, bringing attention to those who need it, all while amazing us with the brilliance of her acting career.
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