What to know about Angelina Jolie’s six children Maddox, Zahara, Pax, Shiloh, Vivienne, and Knox, whom she shares with ex-husband Brad Pitt.
After over a decade together, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt split in 2016, ushering in contentious divorce proceedings and custody battles for their six children Maddox, 20, Zahara, 16, Pax, 17, Shiloh, 15, Vivienne, 13, and Knox, 13. While public interest in the famous kids has always been high, the siblings have been even more so thrust into the spotlight as their parents work things out in the court. At present, the former couple share joint custody of their minor children, a decision Angelina, 46, has been working to overturn in order to receive sole custody.
It has been messy, but it’s clear the children are the actress’ top priority. For this year’s March issue of British Vogue, Angelina offered a rare glimpse into her life with her children through a series of intimate at-home photos amid COVID-19. The actress chatted about life in quarantine with the kids in the interview: “I was never very good at sitting still,” she admitted. “Even though I wanted to have many children and be a mom, I always imagined it kind of like Jane Goodall.“
“Traveling in the middle of the jungle somewhere,” she continued. “I didn’t imagine it in that true, traditional sense. I feel like I’m lacking in all the skills to be a traditional stay-at-home mom. I’m managing through it because the children are quite resilient, and they’re helping me, but I’m not good at it at all.” Adding that she and the kids are “a team,” the Academy Award winner said, “They’re pretty capable.” Learn more about the “resilient” and “capable” Jolie-Pitt siblings below.
At 20, Maddox is Angelina’s oldest child. One of three of the actress’ adopted children, Angelina adopted Maddox from a Cambodian orphanage in 2002 when he was 7 months old. The actress was still married to Billy Bob Thornton at the time, but she adopted Maddox on her own. He currently attends Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea remotely in light of the pandemic. Angelina told a South Korean outlet last April that Maddox will return to campus once the pandemic gets better.
“He’ll be back as soon as things settle,” she said. “He’s using the time to focus on his Korean and Russian studies. We are all so happy, as a family, that we will have the opportunity to get to know South Korea even better through Maddox, and with him, during his studies.” The eldest Jolie-Pitt has worked in Hollywood. He served as a producer on his mother’s First They Killed My Father, a biographical war film about the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, and an assistant on By the Sea, the 2015 romance drama that starred Angelina and Brad.
At 16, Zahara is one of Angelina’s adopted children. She adopted her daughter from Ethiopia in 2005 at 6 months old. Zahara has helped inspire her famous parents’ charity work. The Jolie-Pitt Foundation created the the Zahara Program and the Zahara Children’s Center, launched to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis and provide further research on the disease, in Ethiopia. (The foundation similarly created the Maddox Chivan Children’s Centre in their son’s name to help with families affected by HIV/AIDS in Phnom Penh.) Like her brother, Zahara has forayed into Hollywood, having starred alongside her mom in Kung Fu Panda 3 as the voice of Meng Meng.
During a TIME 100 interview with activist Vanessa Nakate in July 2020 amid discussions of Black Lives Matter, Angelina revealed she has learned a lot from Zahara. “My daughter is from Ethiopia, one of my children,” she said. “And I have learned so much from her. She is my family, but she is an extraordinary African woman and her connection to her country, her continent, is very — it’s her own and it’s something I only stand back in awe of.”
At 17, Pax is one of Angelina’s adopted children. She adopted her son from Vietnam in 2007 at 3 years old. In an interview with Vogue India last June, the actress reflected on adopting her son from the country when she had adopted Maddox from Cambodia, two places that have been at war. When asked if it were a conscious decision, Angelina said, “I did think about that. I did originally think not to adopt from Vietnam because Mad was Cambodian and the two countries have a complex history,” she said. “Then I was reading a book on human rights and found myself staring at an image of a Vietnamese fighter held captive by Americans. I thought of my own country and our involvement in south-east Asia. I thought of focusing on a future where we were all family.”
“I am very blessed to have been allowed to be their mom,” Angelina continued. “I am grateful every day.” Like his siblings, Pax has worked in a few of his mom’s films, starring in Kung Fu Panda 3 as Yoo and working in camera and electrical in First They Killed My Father.
At 15, Shiloh is Angelina and Brad’s biological firstborn. The teen was born in Swakopmund, Namibia and has dual citizenship in the African country and the United States. In an interview with Vanity Fair in June 2010, Angelina opened up about her daughter’s personality. “Shiloh’s hysterically funny, one of the goofiest, most playful people you’ll ever meet,” she said, adding that she was most like Shiloh as a kid. “Goofy and verbal, the early signs of a performer,” she said. “I used to get dressed up in costumes and jump around. But at some point, I got closed off, darker. I don’t remember anything happening. I think you just get hit with the realities of certain things in life, think too much, start to realize the world isn’t as you wished it would be, so you deepen.”
The teen has an interest for the arts, as she was spotted heading to dance class in Los Angeles last month. Like her siblings, Shiloh has appeared in her mother’s films, including Kung Fu Panda 3 as the voice of Shuai Shuai.
At 13, Vivienne is Angelina and Brad’s youngest daughter and twin of son Knox, also 13. Like her siblings, she has starred opposite her mom in her films, including Maleficent as a young Princess Aurora. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2014, Angelina explained that they cast her daughter in the role because she was the only child that was not afraid of her in her costume. “We think it’s fun for our kids to have cameos and join us on set, but not to be actors. That’s not our goal for Brad and I at all,” she explained. “But the other 3- and 4-year-old [performers] wouldn’t come near me. It had to be a child that liked me and wasn’t afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv.”
Speaking with BBC Radio 4 in 2016, Angelina also revealed that Viv had a strong interest in learning Arabic. The actress said that all six of her children were learning new languages. “I asked them what languages they wanted to learn and [Shiloh]’s learning Khmer, which is the Cambodian language, Pax is focusing on Vietnamese, Mad has taken to German and Russian, [Zahara]’s speaking French,” she said. “Vivienne really wanted to learn Arabic and Knox is learning sign language.”
At 13, Knox is Angelina and Brad’s youngest and twin of Vivienne. Both siblings were born in Nice, France. In her interview with Vanity Fair, Angelina offered this tidbit about the twins’ personalities: “Knox and Viv are classic boy and girl,” she said. “She’s really female. And he’s really a little dude.” Like his siblings, Knox has starred in his mom’s films, having voiced the character of Ku Ku in Kung Fu Panda 3. As it turns out, Knox and his twin Vivienne have a bit of an entrepreneurial flare, as they were spotted selling organic dog treats with their famous mom at a park in Los Angeles in 2019 to raise funds for Hope For Paws, an organization that rescues homeless dogs.