Jolie’s dad, Voight, was born in Yonkers, NY, in 1938. He began to pursue acting after graduating from college and first received critical acclaim for his role in 1969’s “Midnight Cowboy.” He won an Oscar for his role in 1978’s “Coming Home,” and his screen credits also include “Heat,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Ali.” More recently, he appeared on Showtime’s series “Ray Donovan.” He also appeared in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” as the father of Jolie’s Lara. When Jolie won her own Oscar for best supporting actress in 2000, she thanked her dad in her speech, saying, “Dad, you’re a great actor but you’re a better father.”
But Jolie and Voight’s difficulties have often been made public. In 2002, when Jolie split from then-husband Billy Bob Thornton, Voight slammed Jolie in the press. He said he was “brokenhearted . . . because I’ve been trying to reach my daughter and get her help, and I have failed and I’m sorry,” per Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
Jolie said in a statement at the time, “I don’t want to make public the reasons for my bad relationship with my father. I will only say that, like every child, [my brother] 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.” She reportedly did not speak to her father until her mother died in 2007.
But eventually, it seems, Jolie started to mend fences with her dad. She told Parade in 2010 that they had started speaking again. She spoke a bit about their reconciliation in the January 2012 issue of Marie Claire, saying, “He’s met the kids and they’ve met him, and I think that’s important that they can do that,” per E! News. “We’re in each other’s lives, but we don’t, as a rule, discuss the past,” she said, adding that she was the one who called him when her mom passed, which was the first time they’d spoken in six years.
In 2017, Jolie told Vanity Fair about her dad’s skills as a grandparent, saying, “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.”
Back in 2020, Voight also praised Jolie’s parenting skills. “She loves her kids, she’s always involved with them, always concerned for them,” he told reporters at a pre-Golden Globes gala, per People. He added that the biggest thing he’s learned about being a grandfather is “every child is unique.” He explained, “They all have something special, and what you want to do is provide them with the tools to express that.”
Voight is also a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump.