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Marcheline Bertrand Was Angelina Jolie's Mother Who Passed Away in 2007 — Get to Know Her

Edduin Carvajal
Apr 17, 2021
05:00 A.M.
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Angelina Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, gave up her acting career to raise her children. She passed away in 2007 after battling cancer for almost eight years.


While some people believed Marcheline Bertrand was French because of her name, Angelina Jolie once pointed out that she actually grew up in a bowling alley her parents owned in Chicago.

Bertrand's paternal grandparents were French-Canadian – thus her name – while her maternal family was of Dutch and Polish descent. In 1971, when Bertrand was 21 years old, she appeared in the TV show “Ironside.”

Angelina Jolie on May 8, 2014 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images



It was also in 1971 that she married Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight. Bertrand and Voight’s first child, James Haven, was born in May 1973, while Angelina Jolie joined the family in June 1975.

When Jolie was only six months old, Voight left the family, so Bertrand gave up on her acting career to raise her two children. She filed for divorce in 1978, and it became final in 1980.

Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, on March 25, 2001 | Photo: Getty Images


Anna Strasberg, Bertrand’s close friend, once pointed out that she didn’t even think of it as “putting aside” or “sacrificing” her career, as Jolie and Haven always came first.

Although Bertrand was never poor, she struggled to support her family. Some people thought that they had money because of Voight’s career, but they didn’t.

Marcheline Bertrand and Jon Voight in Los Angeles, California on March 26, 1976 | Photo: Getty Images


Jolie once said that those challenging times made her share an “us against the world” mentality with her mother. They used to be very close to each other, as Bertrand would often babysit the actress’s children.

Apart from that, Marcheline Bertrand was proud of having Iroquois heritage, so she would volunteer with an American Indian arts education group and worked hard to help the children embody the identity of their people.

Marcheline Bertrand, Angelina Jolie's mother, in Los Angeles, California circa July 2001 | Photo: Getty Images



Unfortunately, Marcheline Bertrand was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the late 1990s. On January 27, 2007, after trying to get better for seven-and-a-half years, she passed away.

According to People, Bertrand was at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, when she died. Her children and Brad Pitt, Jolie’s then-partner, were by her side.

Jolie carries a “faulty” gene called BRCA1.

Angelina Jolie on January 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images


Following Bertrand’s passing, Jolie and her brother remarked that no words could express what an “amazing woman and mother” Bertrand was, adding that she was their best friend. Jolie’s godmother Jacqueline Bisset said:

“She worked incredibly hard to raise both Jamie and Angelina and dedicated herself to their happiness. She had a kind of enlightened spirit.”


In January 2010, Angelina Jolie’s mother made headlines again for leaving Maddox, 19, Zahara, 16, and Shiloh, 14, $100,000 each in a trust fund. They can only withdraw the money after turning 25.

The rest of Jolie’s children, including Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, did not receive anything because they had not been adopted or born by the last time Bertrand’s will was updated (2006).

Angelina Jolie on September 14, 2017 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images



In 2017, Jolie opened up about her mother again, revealing that she would have thrived as a grandmother and could have contributed a lot to her grandkids’ lives.

Jolie also said she is sad her children will miss out on their grandma. The “Maleficent” star confessed she talks to Marcheline Bertrand often in her mind and tries to think what she might say and how she might guide her.


She and her children also speak of Bertrand regularly. When they were younger, Jolie tried explaining to them the illness that killed her, and the kids would ask if the same could happen to Jolie, but she tells them not to worry.

It is important to point out that the actress’s aunt, Debbie Martin, passed away from breast cancer in 2013. Jolie carries a “faulty” gene called BRCA1, which increases her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Angelina Jolie on October 09, 2019 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images


For that reason, after learning she had an 87% risk of contracting the disease, she underwent a preventative double mastectomy. Currently, Jolie is 45 years old and is involved in a custody battle with her ex-partner Brad Pitt.

This March, Maddox testified against his dad after Marcheline Bertrand’s daughter accused Pitt of domestic violence. The legal battle between the exes seems far from over.


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