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

Updated September 23, 2021 21.6k views14 items

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.

  • 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."

  • Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

    Jolie Never Used The Last Name ‘Voight' And Eventually Had It Legally Removed

    Growing up as the daughter of a famous Hollywood actor had its advantages and disadvantages for Jolie. On the one hand, it may have been easier for her to break in, but would she have to work in her dad's shadow?

    "I did not want to be Voight, as an actress, because people would react to the name," Jolie told The Sun in 2011. "Dad always used to apologize, when I was young, for the fact that articles described me as 'Jon Voight's daughter.'"

    In 2002, after her father's interview with Access Hollywood, Jolie legally dropped Voight's last name. "I didn't feel that close to my father. I felt more of my mother's daughter when I was a child. So that was one part of it," Jolie said on The Hollywood Reporter podcast Awards Chatter. "The second part of it was I did want to have my own identity and didn't want to walk into a room as Jon's daughter. I wanted to see if I could get the job on my own, and not be hired for a name."

  • Voight Was Prevented From Speaking To Jolie At A Hollywood Party

    In 2002, in the wake of Voight’s Access Hollywood interview, the veteran actor attempted to greet his daughter at Paramount's 90th Anniversary Party but was stopped by Jolie's manager. Voight said in an interview with E! News Live, "I ran to give her a hug, and one of her representatives stepped in my way and said, 'Get back.' She's been staying away from me because she knows I've been trying to reach her to get help."

    Jolie's manager told a different version of the story, saying that he intercepted Voight after he "aggressively, physically grabbed her against her will."