Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt divorce: How two of the world's most famous actors became 'Brangelina'

The couple's divorce follows a two-year marriage and 11-year relationship

Olivia Blair
Wednesday 21 September 2016 18:02 BST
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (Getty)

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s relationship was one marked by speculation, fascination and hysteria from the get go.

Inevitably their divorce, which was announced yesterday, has resulted in the same kind of reaction. From George Clooney’s bewilderment captured on camera to Adele dedicating her entire Madison Square Gardens concert to the couple, news of their split has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry and media.

As the narrative of their break-up continues to take shape, both individuals have come on a long way from their pre-Mr and Mrs Smith days. Jolie, a woman formerly characterised in the press by her love life, is now an internationally-respected UN ambassador, humanitarian, campaigner and director, while Pitt went from being a Hollywood heartthrob to family man and serious actor, director and producer. Together, they became a brand dotingly dubbed ‘Brangelina’ by a burgeoning fandom, cementing themselves as pop culture royalty.

But who were they before 'Brangelina'?

Angelina Jolie

Jolie was born into a family of Hollywood actors, the daughter of John Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She made her Hollywood debut in films like Cyborg 2 and Hackers before winning an Academy Award in 1998 for her role in the hit nineties film Girl, Interrupted.

Jolie married her Hackers co-star Johnny Lee Miller in 1996 before divorcing three years later. Jolie, who has spoken openly about her bisexuality also dated the model Jenny Shimizu before marrying Miller. In 1997 she said: “I probably would have married Jenny Shimizu if I hadn’t married my husband. I fell in love with her the first second I saw her."

Angelina Joie and Billy Bob Thornton in 2000 (Getty)

Her most famous role came several years later when she was thrust into mainstream cinema as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. This coincided with the beginning of her now infamous relationship with Billy Bob Thornton. The couple quickly became the source of media fascination thanks to their unconventional public displays of affection including lockets containing each other's blood which they hung around their necks.

The couple, who had a twenty year age gap, married in 2000 but divorced two years later. Jolie’s trademark “Billy Bob” tattoo on the top of her left arm is now been tactfully covered up.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: A timeline of their relationship

Brad Pitt

Pitt entered the public arena in the cult 90s film Thelma and Louise in 1991 garnering instant sex symbol status and widespread recognition. Prior to this, Pitt had a short-lived romance with the British singer Sinitta of X-Factor and Simon Cowell fame in the late 1980s.

He found critical success throughout the nineties with roles in films including12 Monkeys, Seven and Fight Club.

Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow (Getty)

Pitt had a series of high-profile relationships before dating Jolie including Juliette Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow to whom he was engaged to from 1994 to 1997. Last year, the Sliding Doors actress said the 52-year-old was “too good for her” and blamed the demise of their relationship on her being too young.

Pitt later married fellow nineties star Jennifer Aniston. Their five-year marriage was adored by fans and the actor’s appearance as Monica’s former fat friend in the Friends further fuelled the idealistic image of their relationship.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston in 2004 (Getty)

All this came to an abrupt end in January 2005 when the couple announced their divorce, and speculation soon ensued around the fact it overlapped with Pitt and Jolie starring in Mr and Mrs Smith. Both parties firmly denied any suggestions of infidelity. The couple first confirmed their relationship in 2006 when Jolie announced her pregnancy with daughter Shiloh. The couple have six children Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11 who are adopted and then biologically children Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne who are eight.

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