The news was a surprise, for however hard Jolie tries to keep her private life just that, the actress and her fiancé Brad Pitt are often front page fodder.
From her scandalous beginning with Pitt to her most current medical confession, see how Angelina Jolie went from wild child indie actress to celebrated humanitarian and arguably the most famous woman in the word.
Angelina Jolie was born in 1975 in Los Angeles to actor parents, Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. She was raised primarily by her mother, who quit her career to raise Jolie and her brother, essentially as a single mother.
Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father Jon Voight in “Lookin’ to Get Out” in 1982.
“Lookin’ to Get Out”
But her film career truly began a decade later with the low-budget production “Cyborg 2” in 1993.
Her first leading role in a major film was in the cyber-thriller “Hackers” in 1995. She met actor Jonny Lee Miller on-set and the two later married in 1996. The couple were divorced by 1999.
After “Hackers,” Jolie went on to win critical acclaim for portraying 1970s drug addicted model “Gia” in HBO’s 1998 TV movie.
By 1999, she was holding an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Girl, Interrupted.”
That same year, she starred alongside Billy Bob Thornton in “Pushing Tin.” After a two-month courtship, the couple married in 2000 in Las Vegas. They famously wore one another’s blood in vials around their necks.
In 2001, Jolie scored the lead role in the “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” franchise and became one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
Paramount Pictures/”Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”
Jolie has said that she first became aware of worldwide humanitarian crises while filming “Tomb Raider” in Cambodia and began visiting refugee camps around the world. She was soon named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.
Jolie and Thornton announced the adoption of a son from Cambodia in 2002, but were divorced by 2003. Jolie has primary custody of son Maddox, who she adopted in 2002 at age 3 from an orphanage in Cambodia.
Jolie resumed her action star career in 2005 with “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” the set on which she met her now fiancé Brad Pitt.
“Mr. and Mrs. Smith”
Jolie and Pitt became involved in a well-publicized Hollywood scandal when the two had an alleged affair while Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston.
The two didn’t confirm their relationship until 2006, when Jolie told People that she was pregnant with Pitt’s child.
The couple now have six children together — three biological and three adopted.
In 2011, Jolie made her directorial debut with the wartime drama “In the Land of Blood and Honey” — a love story set during the Bosnian War.
After more than a decade of service as a Goodwill Ambassador, Jolie was promoted to the rank of Special Envoy of High Commissioner António Guterres in 2012 and represents the organization at the diplomatic level. She has since won a slew of humanitarian awards.
She has been named Forbes’ “Highest paid Actress” multiple times, with estimated annual earnings ranging from $27 to $30 million.
After seven years and six children together, “Brangelina” finally announced their engagement in 2012.
On Tuesday, Jolie wrote an op-ed in the NY Times revealing she had undergone a secret, preventative double mastectomy.
On Wednesday, she revealed she would also have surgery to remove her ovaries.