Angelina Jolie is an American film actor and a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency. She has been cited as one of the world's most beautiful women and her off-screen life is widely reported. Jolie has received three Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and an Academy Award.
"I don't believe in guilt, I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person. And don't judge people in your life. I think you should live completely free."
- Angelina Jolie
Jolie began working as a fashion model when she was 14 years old. She was signed with Finesse Model Management and modeled in both the United States and Europe, working mainly in Los Angeles, New York and London. At that time she also appeared in numerous music videos, including those of Meat Loaf ("Rock & Roll Dreams Come Through"), Antonello Venditti ("Alta Marea"), Lenny Kravitz ("Stand by My Woman"), and The Lemonheads ("It's About Time"). At the age of 16, Jolie returned to theatre and played her first role as a German dominatrix. She began to learn from her father, as she noticed his method of observing people to become like them. Their relationship during this time was less strained, with Jolie realizing that they were both "drama queens"
In 1997, Jolie starred with David Duchovny in the thriller Playing God, a film portraying a surgeon who is stripped of his medical license and is lured deep into the criminal world where he meets Jolie's character, Claire. The movie was not received well by critics and Roger Ebert noted that "Angelina Jolie finds a certain warmth in a kind of role that is usually hard and aggressive; she seems too nice to be [a criminal's] girlfriend, and maybe she is." She then appeared in the TV movie True Women, a historical romantic drama set in the American West, and based on the book by Janice Woods Windle. That year she also appeared in the music video for "Anybody Seen My Baby?" by the Rolling Stones.
Jolie's career prospects began to improve after her performance as Cornelia Wallace in the 1997 biographical film George Wallace for which she won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy. The film was praised by critics and, among other awards, received the Golden Globe for Best Miniseries/Motion Picture made for TV. She played the second wife of the segregationist Governor of Alabama who was shot and paralyzed while running for President. The film starred Gary Sinise and was directed by John Frankenheimer.
In 1998, Jolie starred in HBO's Gia, portraying supermodel Gia Carangi. The film depicted a world of sex, drugs and emotional drama, and chronicled the destruction of Carangi's life and career as a result of her drug addiction, and her decline and death from AIDS. Vanessa Vance from Reel.com noted, "Angelina Jolie gained wide recognition for her role as the titular Gia, and it's easy to see why. Jolie is fierce in her portrayal—filling the part with nerve, charm, and desperation—and her role in this film is quite possibly the most beautiful train wreck ever filmed." For the second consecutive year, Jolie won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy. She also won her first Screen Actors Guild Award. In accordance with Lee Strasberg's method acting Jolie reportedly preferred to stay in character in between scenes during many of her early films, and as a result had gained a reputation for being difficult to deal with. While shooting Gia, she told her then-husband Jonny Lee Miller that she would not be able to phone him: "I'd tell him: 'I'm alone; I'm dying; I'm gay; I'm not going to see you for weeks.'"
Following Gia, Jolie moved to New York and stopped acting for a short period of time, because she felt that she had "nothing else to give". She enrolled at New York University to study filmmaking and attended writing classes. She described it as "just good for me to collect myself" on Inside the Actors Studio
Although highly regarded for her acting abilities, Jolie's films to date had often not appealed to a wide audience, but Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) made her an international superstar. An adaptation of the popular Tomb Raider videogame, Jolie was required to master a British accent and undergo extensive martial arts training to play the title role of Lara Croft. She was generally praised for her physical performance, but the movie generated mostly negative reviews. Slant Magazine commented, "Angelina Jolie was born to play Lara Croft but [director] Simon West makes her journey into a game of Frogger." The movie was a huge international success nonetheless, earning $275 million worldwide, and launched her global reputation as a female action star
Jolie's numerous tattoos have been the subject of much media attention and have often been addressed by interviewers. Jolie stated that, while she is not opposed to film nudity, the large number of tattoos on her body has forced filmmakers to become more creative when planning nude or love scenes. Make-up has been used to cover up the tattoos in many of her productions. Jolie currently has 13 known tattoos, among them the Tennessee Williams quote "A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages", which she got together with her mother, the Arabic language phrase "العزيمة" (strength of will), the Latin proverb "quod me nutrit me destruit" (what nourishes me destroys me), and a Yantra prayer written in the ancient Khmer script for her son Maddox.] She also has six sets of geographical coordinates on her upper left arm indicating the birthplaces of her children. Over time she covered or lasered several of her tattoos, including "Billy Bob", the name of her former husband Billy Bob Thornton, a Chinese character for death (死), and a window on her lower back; she explained that she removed the window, because, while she used to spend all of her time looking out through windows wishing to be outside, she now lives there all of the time
Consistently ranked at the top of all the "sexiest women" lists, Angelina Jolie simply oozes sex appeal. Whether she's a blond, a brunette or she has "Billy Bob" tattooed across her arm, Angelina Jolie always looks hot, even when she's not trying.
Her facial features are flawless, her breasts are perfect and her body is well-proportioned. As far as we know, Angelina Jolie hasn't mauled herself via plastic surgery just yet. She is the epitome of beauty whether she's wearing a headscarf in an African refugee camp or she's donning a designer gown on the red carpet.
And those lips...
In 2006, she was named the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by People magazine. Then, in February 2007, she was voted the greatest sex symbol of all-time in the British Channel 4 television show The 100 Greatest Sex Symbols. Angelina Jolie was also No. 9 on AskMen.com Top 99 Most Desirable Women in '07.
"We cannot close ourselves off to information and ignore the fact that millions of people are out there suffering. I honestly want to help. I don't believe I feel differently from other people. I think we all want justice and equality, a chance for a life with meaning. All of us would like to believe that if we were in a bad situation someone would help us."
—Jolie on her motives for joining UNHCR in 2001