On her father's side, Jolie is of German and Slovak descent, and on her mother's side, she is of primarily French Canadian, Dutch, and German ancestry. Like her mother, Jolie has stated that she is part Iroquois, although her only known indigenous ancestors were 17th-century Hurons.
She was born on June 4, 1975, in Los Angeles, California. Jolie is the daughter of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She is the sister of actor James Haven, and the niece of singer-songwriter Chip Taylor and geologist and volcanologist Barry Voight. Her godparents are actors Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell.
After her parents' separation in 1976, Jolie and her brother lived with their mother, who had abandoned her acting ambitions to focus on raising her children. As a child, she often watched films with her mother and it was this, rather than her father's successful career, that inspired her interest in acting, though at age five she had a bit part in Voight's Lookin' to Get Out (1982). When Jolie was six years old, Bertrand and her live-in partner, filmmaker Bill Day, moved the family to Palisades, New York; they returned to Los Angeles five years later.
Jolie has had a lifelong dysfunctional relationship with her father, which began when Voight left the family when his daughter was less than a year old. She has said that from then on their time together was sporadic and usually carried out in front of the press. They reconciled when they appeared together in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), but their relationship again deteriorated. Jolie petitioned the court to legally remove her surname "Voight" in favor of her middle name, which she had long used as a stage name; the name change was granted on September 12, 2002. Voight then went public with their estrangement during an appearance on Access Hollywood, in which he claimed Jolie had "serious mental problems." At that point, her mother and brother also broke off contact with Voight. They did not speak for six-and-a-half years, but began rebuilding their relationship in the wake of Bertrand's death from ovarian cancer on January 27, 2007, before going public with their reconciliation three years later.