The Ups And Downs Of Angelina Jolie's Relationship With Her Dad, Jon Voight

Father and daughter Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie have had a tumultuous relationship. Jolie's parents divorced when she was an infant, and although Voight financially supported his ex-wife and two children, Jolie never felt very close to her father. Still, she pursued the life of a professional actor, eventually reaching and even surpassing the fame achieved by her Oscar-winning father.

Having long been one of Hollywood's most famously contentious father/daughter relationships, Jolie and Voight have attempted to put their differences aside in recent years, reconciling for the sake of their family.


  • Jolie Was Just A Year Old When Her Parents Separated After Voight's Affair
    Photo: Alan Light / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Jolie Was Just A Year Old When Her Parents Separated After Voight's Affair

    Jon Voight married his second wife, Marcheline Bertrand, in 1971. In 1973, Bertrand gave birth to Angelina Jolie's older brother, James Haven, then gave birth to Jolie in 1975.

    The coupling didn’t last, however. Voight and Bertrand separated in 1976 when Jolie was only a year old, then divorced two years later. This has been attributed to extramarital affairs on Voight's part. "I had an ­affair and there was a divorce," he ­admitted.

  • Jolie's First Film Role Was At Age 7 With Her Dad In 'Lookin' to Get Out'

    Jolie started her film career early in life. At age 7, she played Voight's daughter in Hal Ashby's 1982 comedy Lookin' to Get Out. Her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, had a small part in the film as well.

    When Jolie turned 16, she gave up her dreams of becoming an embalmer in a funeral home and decided to commit to acting professionally.

    It wasn't until 2001 that Voight and Jolie would act alongside each other again, playing father and daughter in the blockbuster hit Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

  • In Her 2000 Oscar Speech, Jolie Called Voight ‘A Great Actor But… A Better Father’

    In 2000, Jolie won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Girl, Interrupted.

    During her speech, she gave her dad a very public shoutout:

    Dad, you're a great actor but you're a better father.

    In a CBS interview later that year, Jolie clarified her thoughts: "He told me that that was one of the... biggest compliments somebody could give him, that it was so important to be a great father," she said. "And so it was a really special night for everybody in my family."

  • In 2001, They Starred As Father And Daughter In ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’

    Playing father and daughter in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was a high point for Jolie and Voight's relationship. After working on the film, they even attended the premiere together.

    The production was also a major touchstone for Jolie's life, both on- and off-screen. She told Rolling Stone in 1999 that getting in great shape for the movie helped keep her away from self-destructive habits like smoking and drinking.

    And it was during filming in Cambodia that Jolie first became inspired to explore more humanitarian efforts, having witnessed the refugee crisis in the country firsthand.

  • Voight Announced Jolie And Billy Bob Thornton’s Adoption Of Son Maddox Before It Had Been Finalized

    In 2001, when Jolie and then-husband Billy Bob Thornton were attempting to adopt their future son, Maddox, from Cambodia, there were some unexpected challenges. For starters, Cambodia had stopped all adoptions due to concerns of child trafficking. Secondly, Voight accidentally let the cat out of the bag at a pre-Oscar party, further jeopardizing the process.

    Luckily, Maddox's adoption was eventually approved. "I prefer to stay on the right side of the law," Angelina said, as reported in The Daily Mail. "I would never take a child away from a place where adoption is illegal."

  • In 2002, After Voight Said Jolie Needed Mental Help, The Two Did Not Speak For Five Years

    In an Access Hollywood interview in 2002, Voight expressed concern for the state of his daughter's mental health. He begged her handlers to "see that she gets help for unspecified 'mental problems'" after her divorce from Billy Bob Thornton, and confessed that Jolie showed signs of mental health issues in her early childhood.

    Jolie's response hinted at deeper problems between herself and her father:

    I don't want to make public the reasons for my bad relationship with my father. I will only say that, like every child, [brother] Jamie 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.

    The two weren't in contact for five years. "My father and I don't speak," Jolie told Premiere in 2004. "I don't hold any anger toward him. I don't believe that somebody's family becomes their blood. Because my son's adopted, and families are earned. When I had the final argument/disappointment with my father - we've had many off and on - I had thought we were breaking ground, and I realized we simply weren't."