The mother of actress Angelina Jolie died of cancer on Saturday. Marcheline Bertrand lost her seven-and-a-half-year fight with cancer yesterday afternoon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, said a statement by Angelina Jolie that was released by her manager.
Though no age was given for Marcheline Bertrand, online resources list the former actress as being born on May 9, 1950, which would have made her 56 years old at the time of her death.
Angelina Jolie, her boyfriend, Brad Pitt, and her older brother, James Haven, were at the hospital yesterday, according to the statement.
Marcheline played bit parts in movies such as Lookin’ to Get Out in 1982, and single episodes of TV’s Ironside and Love, Peace, Brotherhood and Murder back in 1971.
Betrand was born in Chicago, and later studied under Lee Strasberg, the well-known acting coach. However, Marcheline’s acting career was halted for a time being after tying the knot with actor Jon Voight in 1971.
The couple birthed two children — Angelina and James — before their bitter split in 1976. When her parents’ divorce became final two years later in 1978, Angelina was still only a toddler – with her reported birth date falling on June 4, 1975.
Bertrand then reared Angelina and her brother largely on her own. In previous interviews, Jolie has confirmed that her desire to act came from her mother, not her Oscar-winning father.
According to the New York Post’s popular Page Six column, Allan Mezo, a former boyfriend of Marcheline Bertrand, said Jolie continually called Marcheline “her best friend.”
Merchandize broker Mezo dated Marcheline and helped raise Angelina – whom he affectionately dubbed “Angie,” – soon after Jon and Marcheline split up.
Voight and Angelina have had a much-publicized rocky relationship, causing the father-daughter duo to be estranged for years, despite a brief reconciliation when the two starred together in Tomb Raider.
Jon has claimed his daughter has had “serious emotional problems.” And Jolie was quoted in Premiere Magazine as saying, “My father and I don’t speak. 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.”
Jon Voight was mocked in news reports after he called his granddaughter, Angelina and Brad Pitt’s adopted daughter, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, by the wrong name, saying “Shakira” instead of “Zahara.”
There was no immediate comment from Voight as of this news report.
A private funeral is in the works, and in lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the Women’s Cancer Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai.