The transformation of Angelina Jolie
Born to actor Jon Voight -- winner of the Best Actor Oscar for Hal Ashby's Coming Home -- and actress Marcheline Bertrand, Angelina Jolie had acting virtually thrust upon her.
She followed in her mother's footsteps and joined the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute when just eleven, and by the time she was 16, embarked on a modelling career, even popping up in some music videos.
Jolie's distinctive features -- thanks to her exotically mixed British, French-Canadian and Czech ancestry -- set her apart from the rest of the youngsters around, and she was instantly noticed even in ensemble films, like Hackers.Download gorgeous wallpapers & themes
Image: A scene from Hackers, Tom Raider, Angelina with Maddox
Stunning the world
Jolie was instantly recognised as a strong actress, a fact highlighted with television features like George Wallace, a made-for-TV movie that won her a Golden Globe award.
Then came Gia, a movie about the wildly erratic life and times of supermodel Gia Carangi, and Jolie picked up another Globe.
By now Hollywood was taking notice. In 1999, when just 24, Jolie stunned the world with a smashing performance in Girl, Interrupted.
Winona Ryder was the film's lead but it was Jolie's junkie character that stole the spotlight earning the actress yet another Globe, as well as a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Image: Trailer of Gia
Failed marriages and babies galore!
Angelina Jolie combined hardcore acting skills and that impossible pout with a fascinatingly erratic personal life, the triple whammy ensuring she stayed constantly in the news.
Reports of sexual violence, sadomasochism and even incest hovered around Angelina, with the actress seemingly revelling in the media glare.
Jolie first married actor Jonny Lee Miller, and after that ended in a messy split, married actor Billy Bob Thornton, becoming the fifth wife of a man twenty years older.
That ended in 2002, and Jolie eventually found love with Brad Pitt, the couple merrily travelling the world and adopting babies.
The Jolie way
Angelina's biggest commercial success came with the Lara Croft franchise.
Taking the bestselling video game to the screen wasn't an exciting prospect for Jolie as an actress, but she rose to the physical challenge of the part, working out constantly and wearing padding to more accurately resemble the iconic game character.
Since then Jolie has balanced commercial endeavours with arthouse projects, her filmography oscillating wildly between styles and genres, leaving nothing out as directors as varied as Clint Eastwood, Oliver Stone and Steven Soderbergh all went the Jolie way.
Image: Trailer of Tomb Raider
Jolie is that rare creature, a full-blown action heroine who is also a very powerful actress.
And as if that isn't enough, she's sexy. And beautiful. And seems to be getting better with each film. Wow.
Jolie continues to rule. Hats off.
Image: Trailer of Salt