Birthday special: 10 interesting facts about Angelina Jolie

From struggling with drug addiction to being an inspiration for many with her humanitarian work, Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has come a long way. On her 41st birthday today, we bring you 10 interesting facts you may not have known about the actress.

Angelina Jolie. Pic/Santa BantaAngelina Jolie. Pic/Santa Banta

1. Angelina Jolie made her big screen debut at the age of five alongside her father, Jon Voight, in ‘Lookin' to Get Out’ (1982).

Angelina Jolie in ‘Lookin’ to Get Out’. Pic/YouTubeAngelina Jolie in ‘Lookin’ to Get Out’. Pic/YouTube

2. Angelina dropped out of acting classes as she wanted to become a funeral director!

3. Angelina has appeared in several music videos, the popular ones being Lenny Kravitz's ‘Stand By My Woman’ (1991), The Lemonheads' ‘It's About Time’ (1993), Meat Loaf's ‘Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through’ (1993) and Rolling Stones' ‘Anybody Seen My Baby?’ (1997).

Angelina Jolie in a still from Rolling Stones' ‘Anybody Seen My Baby?’ music video. Pic/YouTubeAngelina Jolie in a still from Rolling Stones' ‘Anybody Seen My Baby?’ music video. Pic/YouTube

4. In 1995, Angelina Jolie landed her first major Hollywood film break with a role in ‘Hackers’ alongside British actor Jonny Lee Miller. The two soon fell in love and got married in 1996. At her wedding to Miller, she was dressed in black pants, and a white T-shirt, on which she had written her to-be husband’s name in her blood.

Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller in ‘Hackers’. Pic/YouTubeAngelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller in ‘Hackers’. Pic/YouTube

5. While being married to her second husband, American actor Billy Bob Thornton, they carried each other’s blood in vials around their necks as a gesture of love.

Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton. Pic/YouTubeAngelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton. Pic/YouTube

6. Angelina struggled with depression, drug addiction and self-harm tendencies. It was only after adopting seven-month-old Maddox from an orphanage in Cambodia on March 10, 2002 that she found stability in life. She is now raising six children with her third husband Brad Pitt, three of whom are adopted - Maddox, Zahara, Pax - and three are biological - Shiloh, and twins Knox and Vivienne.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with their children. Pic/AFP
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with their children. Pic/AFP

7. Angelina Jolie has had 17 tattoos inked on her body. Among them are the Latin proverb ‘quod me nutrit me destruit’ (what nourishes me destroys me), the Tennessee Williams quote ‘A prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages’ and geographical coordinates indicating the birthplaces of her children. Over the years, she has covered many of her tattoos, including the name of her second husband ‘Billy Bob’.

Angelina Jolie’s tattoos. Pic/AFP
Few of Angelina Jolie’s tattoos. Pic/AFP

8. Angelina Jolie began taking flying lessons in 2004 and she now holds a private pilot licence.

9. Angelina Jolie has directed a documentary titled ‘A Place In Time’ (2007). She made her feature directorial debut with ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’ (2011) and went on to direct ‘Unbroken’ (2014).

10. Angelina has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and three Golden Globe Awards for 'Gia' (1998) and 'Girl, Interrupted' (1999). Forbes named her Hollywood's highest-paid actress in 2009, 2011 and 2013, with estimated annual earnings of 27 million dollars, 30 million dollars, and 33 million dollars respectively.

Cancer preventive surgeries

Three years ago, Angelina revealed the heartbreaking news that she had to undergo a double mastectomy as a preventive measure after she learnt she had 87% risk of developing breast cancer due to a defective BRCA1 gene. In March last year, the actress announced she had her ovaries removed with a preventive oophorectomy as she had a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer due to genetic anomaly.

Recognition for Humanitarian Work

Angelina Jolie was named a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador in Geneva on August 27, 2001. After more than a decade of service as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, on April 17, 2012, she was promoted to the rank of Special Envoy to High Commissioner António Guterres. She has received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and an honorary damehood of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG), among other honours. She promotes various causes including education and women's rights.

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