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Angelina Jolie as Actress

Angelina Jolie as Actress

12 February 2009

Angelina Jolie has enjoyed a long and successful career as an actress. She has won numerous awards for her work, including a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in 1999's Girl, Interrupted and three Golden Globe awards. She has been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her latest film, Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood.

The daughter of thespians Marcheline Bertrand and Jon Voight, acting was in Jolie's blood. She trained while still a teenager at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, where she was seen in several stage productions. She later joined the renowned Met Theatre Group in Los Angeles.

She began appearing in films and TV production in the mid-1990s, winning a first Golden Globe for her role as the wife of the controversial lead character in the 1997 small screen production of George Wallace. She won a second Golden Globe the following year with her title role in Gia, a TV drama about supermodel Gia Carangi and her struggle with success, drugs and the AIDS that eventually killed her. She also won a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy nomination for Gia.

An early film from this time was Playing God and prior to that she starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame's four-hour mini series, True Women, based on Janice Woods Windle's best-selling historical novel. Jolie also starred in Annette Haywood-Carter's acclaimed Foxfire and Iain Softley's Hackers.

She played a rookie police officer opposite Denzel Washington's veteran detective in The Bone Collector, a thriller directed by Phillip Noyce. She also co-starred in Mike Newell's Pushing Tin, while Playing by Heart earned her The National Board of Review's award for Breakthrough Performance.

But her real breakthrough performance came in 1999 with Jolie's mesmerizing portrayal of a mental patient in Girl, Interrupted, which netted her the acting holy grail of a Golden Globe, Oscar and Screen Actors Guild Award. The film, based on a true story by Susanna Kayson, was directed by James Mangold and co-starred Winona Ryder.

Jolie followed this in 2001 with the phenomenally successful Tomb Raider, which was partly shot in Cambodia and helped her become a Hollywood superstar. In 2003, she filmed a sequel - Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life.

The start of the new millennium was a busy period for Jolie, who appeared with Nicolas Cage and Robert Duvall as car thieves committing their final heist in the smash hit, Gone in 60 Seconds (2000). She was seen opposite Antonio Banderas in Original Sin (2001) and was also in the romantic comedy, Life or Something Like It (2002).

In 2004, Jolie starred in the thriller, Taking Lives, with Ethan Hawke, a year after portraying a United Nations relief worker in the provocative drama, Beyond Borders. In 2005, the actress co-starred with Brad Pitt in an amusing remake, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. She also appeared in Oliver Stone's ancient Greece epic, Alexander, and action/ adventure Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow with Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow. She lent her voice to animated feature Shark Tale. One of her co-stars was Jack Black and the two teamed up again in 2008 for another animated film, the hugely popular Kung Fu Panda.

In 2006, she appeared in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd, a film about the early history of the CIA as seen through the eyes of Edward Wilson, played by Matt Damon. She played Margaret Russell, Wilson's neglected wife. The following year, Jolie made her directorial debut with the documentary A Place in Time, which captures life in 27 locations around the globe during a single week.

In the same year, Jolie starred as Mariane Pearl in Michael Winterbottom's documentary-style drama, A Mighty Heart, about the 2002 kidnap and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. The film earned her fifth Golden Globe nomination and her third Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. She also played Grendel's mother in Robert Zemeckis' animated epic, Beowulf.

Her most recent films are Wanted, an adaptation of a graphic novel by Mark Millar, Kung Fu Panda and Changeling, which is inspired by events that occurred in Los Angeles during the 1920s. It tells the story of a woman driven to confront a corrupt LA Police Department after a boy believed to be her abducted son is not the boy she gave birth to.

11 February 2009