Angelina Jolie is one of the most famous actresses of any generation, but what you might not know is that she has a very famous father who’s also an actor – Jon Voight. Voight, 83, has been an in-demand actor since the 1960s and won an Academy Award for his role as a paraplegic Vietnam veteran for 1978’s Coming Home.
In 1971, he married the actress Marcheline Bertrand, and while they divorced in 1978 the marriage did provide the couple with two children: James Haven, and Angelina Jolie. Jolie, of course, went on to be a famous actress herself but as a child, she reportedly kept her distance from her father, as the divorce happened when Jolie was just a year old.
The Rift Between Angelina Jolie and Jon Voight
In 1986, Voight attended the Academy Awards with Jolie but by the 2000s they were estranged. While we’ll probably never know what went on in the Voight/Jolie household, it was Voight who took the feud public. Voight went on Access Hollywood in 2002 and said that Jolie was in desperate need of help and that she had “mental problems.”
Jolie talked openly about her father and his infidelities over the years, and some speculated that this was the reason he went on Access Hollywood. Susan Margaret, whose daughter was a childhood friend of Jolie’s, told Express that Voight was not a great father.
“Jon Voight was a terrible father to her back then. He cheated on her mother. Marcheline was broken-hearted. She told me Jon had emotionally abused her. She said he had a thing for a Hollywood starlet. Angelina had a difficult time growing up with what was going on. She has a lot of hostility toward her dad.”
Jolie had just divorced the actor Billy Bob Thornton, and Voight said he blamed himself for not helping her and that he wanted to see the grandchild Jolie adopted with Thornton. He didn’t stop there. He went on to say that Jolie showed signs of mental issues as an infant. Didn’t realize he was an infant psychiatrist but okay.
He claimed he was ”brokenhearted…because I’ve been trying to reach my daughter and get her help, and I have failed and I’m sorry. Really I haven’t come forward and addressed the serious mental problems she has spoken about so candidly to the press over the years, but I’ve tried behind the scenes in every way.”
He said during the making of the movie Girl, Interrupted Jolie told him, “You can’t help me! You can’t help my pain!” They made up for a while during the filming of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider but were soon at odds again when Voight claimed Jolie’s manager wouldn’t let him see her at a Hollywood party.
Jolie’s manager gave a different story, saying that Voight ”aggressively, physically grabbed her against her will.” Jolie was compelled to respond to the Access Hollywood incident.
”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 Reconciliation Between Angelina Jolie and Jon Voight
The pair didn’t speak from 2002 to 2007, but it was Angelina’s (then) new husband Brad Pitt that helped the two mend their fences. Jolie and her father were seen together in public in 2010 for the first time.
“I really had a wonderful time,” Voight told People at the time. “I loved being there with my daughter and also with Brad and those children, who are quite spectacular.” Pitt had reportedly helped the meeting happen, and Jolie spoke about her new relationship with her father in 2017 with Vanity Fair.
“He’s been very good at understanding they needed their grandfather at this time. I had to do a therapy meeting last night and he was just around. He knows kind of the rule — don’t make them play with you. Just be a cool grandpa who’s creative, and hang out and tell stories and read a book in the library.”
The pair have been reconciled ever since. Last year, Voight told CBS News that his daughter was “really remarkable.” He also gushed over her directing abilities.
“She’s got her own thing, man. She’s got her own way of dealing with things, you know? She’s very clear.”