What to Know About Angelina Jolie's Famous Parents

Angelina Jolie might be one of the most famous actors in the world, but some of her younger fans might not know that the star is actually a nepo baby. The 48-year-old activist's dad is actor Jon Voight, 84, and her mom was the actor Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 at 56. Jolie's parents were married from 1971 to 1980 and also welcomed her brother, James Haven. They separated when Jolie was 1.

After Voight and Bertrand split, Jolie and Haven lived primarily with their mom, who raised both kids in both New York and California. Though Jolie was close with her mom, she has had a more tense and difficult relationship with her dad, and there have been times when she and Voight have been publicly estranged.

"I grew up with my mom and my brother. [My father] was around occasionally for holidays or birthdays, and we had bits of time," Jolie told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2003 of their relationship. "There are pictures of me with him because his bits of time with me tended to be in front of the press." However, she's since said that they have a better relationship and he's been a good grandfather to her six kids.

Jolie actually reflected on her nepo baby status, in a way, in a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone. When asked about following her dad into the industry, she said, "I think it's probably healthy not to put too much thought into that. It's an interesting thing, because I think we speak to each other a lot through our work." She said that she thought when he watched her in films he understood her better, the same way she felt like she understood him better after watching him on screen.

Read on for what to know about Jolie's parents and her relationships with them.

Angelina Jolie's Mom: Marcheline Bertrand
Getty | Steve Granitz

Angelina Jolie's Mom: Marcheline Bertrand

Jolie's mom, Bertrand, was born in Illinois in 1950. Her onscreen appearances included the TV series "Ironside" and the film "The Man Who Loved Women." She eventually turned her eye toward producing and charitable causes. In 1999, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and eventually breast cancer as well, and she died in 2007. Because of that, Jolie has been a strong advocate for breast and ovarian cancer awareness.

In 2013, she revealed in a New York Times op-ed that she has the BRCA1 gene, which "sharply" increases your odds of developing breast or ovarian cancer. She wrote at the time, "My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was."

She continued, "We often speak of 'Mommy's mommy,' and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me." After discovering she had the gene, Jolie got a preventive double mastectomy.

Earlier this year, Jolie shared a message for World Ovarian Cancer Day, remembering her mom. "Tomorrow would have been my mother's 73rd birthday. She passed away 15 years ago, after a long struggle with breast and ovarian cancer. In June, I will be a month away from the age when she was diagnosed," Jolie wrote. "My mom loved Hendrix. And would always sign her letters Kiss the Sky. It took on new meaning after she passed. Sending my love to those who have also lost loved ones and strength to those who are fighting at this very moment for their lives and the lives of those they love."

Jolie also reflected on her mom in a 2017 interview with Elle France. "She would have thrived as a grandmother," she said, per People. "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. I talk to her often in my mind and try to think what she might say and how she might guide me."

Angelina Jolie's Dad: Jon Voight
Getty | Evan Agostini

Angelina Jolie's Dad: Jon Voight

Jolie's dad, Voight, was born in Yonkers, NY, in 1938. He began to pursue acting after graduating from college and first received critical acclaim for his role in 1969's "Midnight Cowboy." He won an Oscar for his role in 1978's "Coming Home," and his screen credits also include "Heat," "Mission: Impossible," and "Ali." More recently, he appeared on Showtime's series "Ray Donovan." He also appeared in "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" as the father of Jolie's Lara. When Jolie won her own Oscar for best supporting actress in 2000, she thanked her dad in her speech, saying, "Dad, you're a great actor but you're a better father."

But Jolie and Voight's difficulties have often been made public. In 2002, when Jolie split from then-husband Billy Bob Thornton, Voight slammed Jolie in the press. He said he was "brokenhearted . . . because I've been trying to reach my daughter and get her help, and I have failed and I'm sorry," per Entertainment Weekly. "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."

Jolie said in a statement at the time, "I don't want to make public the reasons for my bad relationship with my father. I will only say that, like every child, [my brother] and I would have loved to have had a warm and loving relationship with our dad. 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." She reportedly did not speak to her father until her mother died in 2007.

But eventually, it seems, Jolie started to mend fences with her dad. She told Parade in 2010 that they had started speaking again. She spoke a bit about their reconciliation in the January 2012 issue of Marie Claire, saying, "He's met the kids and they've met him, and I think that's important that they can do that," per E! News. "We're in each other's lives, but we don't, as a rule, discuss the past," she said, adding that she was the one who called him when her mom passed, which was the first time they'd spoken in six years.

In 2017, Jolie told Vanity Fair about her dad's skills as a grandparent, saying, "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. 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."

Back in 2020, Voight also praised Jolie's parenting skills. "She loves her kids, she's always involved with them, always concerned for them," he told reporters at a pre-Golden Globes gala, per People. He added that the biggest thing he's learned about being a grandfather is "every child is unique." He explained, "They all have something special, and what you want to do is provide them with the tools to express that."

Voight is also a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump.