She was the mother of one of the biggest movie stars in the world and the ex-wife of an Oscar-winning actor, but the late Marcheline Bertrand preferred to stay out of the spotlight. More than 6 years after her early 2007 death at age 56, however, Bertrand was lovingly remembered by daughter Angelina Jolie in a widely-read New York Times Op-Ed piece — in which Jolie, 37, recalled Bertrand's nearly decade-long battle with ovarian cancer, and how it motivated her to undergo a preventative double mastectomy.
In January 2006, just one year before her passing, Us Weekly had the privilege of speaking briefly with Bertrand over some very happy news: Jolie's then just-announced pregnancy with Shiloh, her first biological child with partner Brad Pitt.
"I'm very, very happy for her," Bertrand told Us. "It is a wonderful thing." (Now 7, Shiloh was born in Namibia, Africa in May of that year.)
At the time, Bertrand told Us she was "doing very well," but, unlike her famous daughter or ex-husband Jon Voight, she called herself "the quiet one in the family — I never say anything!" (Bertrand and actor Voight, 74, also shared son James Haven, now 40.)
The former actress was also a huge fan of Jolie's love Pitt, now 49. "I love him," she gushed. "He is wonderful . . . I am very, very happy and very excited for them."
Jolie gave birth to twins Vivienne and Knox in Nice, France in July 2008. She and Pitt are also parents to adopted kids Maddox, 11, Pax, 9, and Zahara 9.
Wrote Jolie in her Times essay of her beloved mom: "She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was. We often speak of 'Mommy's mommy,' and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us."
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