Marcheline Bertrand

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Marcheline Bertrand
Bertrand in 2001
Marcia Lynne Bertrand

(1950-05-09)May 9, 1950
Blue Island, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJanuary 27, 2007(2007-01-27) (aged 56)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, producer
Years active1971–2007
(m. 1971; div. 1980)
Partner(s)Bill Day (1978–1980, 1982–1989)
John Trudell (?–2007)
ChildrenJames Haven
Angelina Jolie

Marcia Lynne "Marcheline" Bertrand[1] (May 9, 1950 – January 27, 2007) was an American actress and humanitarian. She was the former wife of actor Jon Voight, and the mother of actors Angelina Jolie and James Haven.

Bertrand co-founded the All Tribes Foundation, to provide cultural and economic benefits to Native Americans, and the Give Love Give Life organization, to raise public awareness of women's cancers. She died of ovarian cancer at the age of 56.

Early life[edit]

Born at St. Francis Hospital in Blue Island, Illinois, Bertrand was brought up in the nearby small town of Riverdale.[2] Her parents were Lois June (née Gouwens; 1928–1973) and Rolland F. Bertrand (1923–1985).[1] She had two younger siblings: a sister, Debbie (1952-2013), and a brother, Raleigh.[3] In 1965, Bertrand's family moved from the Chicago area to Beverly Hills, California, where she attended Beverly Hills High School from sophomore year through graduation.[4]

Bertrand's father was of French-Canadian descent, and her mother was of Dutch and German ancestry, with ancestors who had immigrated to the United States in the mid-19th century.[1] Bertrand claimed to be of Iroquois ancestry through her father's line,[5][6] although her only known Native American ancestor is a Huron woman born in 1649 in present-day Quebec.[1] According to her daughter, Bertrand was often wrongly identified as a French actress because of her name; she said, "My mom is as far from French Parisian as you can get. She grew up in a bowling alley that my grandparents owned."[6]

Film career[edit]

During her early years as an actress, Bertrand studied with Lee Strasberg.[7] In 1971, she played Connie in the episode "Love, Peace, Brotherhood and Murder" on the fourth season of the television show Ironside. A decade later, she appeared in a minor role in 1982's Lookin' to Get Out, a film co-written by and starring her former husband, Jon Voight. The following year, Bertrand played her final film role in the 1983 comedy The Man Who Loved Women, a remake of the 1977 French film of the same name.

Bertrand then turned her attention toward producing. In 1983, she founded Woods Road Productions with her then-partner, Bill Day. In 2005, Bertrand was the executive producer of the documentary Trudell, which chronicles the life and work of her partner, John Trudell, a Santee Sioux musician and activist. Trudell was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, and it won the Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival.[8]

Humanitarian work[edit]

Bertrand and her partner, John Trudell, founded the All Tribes Foundation, to support the cultural and economic survival of Native peoples.[9] By 2007, the foundation had issued over $800,000 in grants to reservation-based programs that strengthen tribal ways of life and safeguard a future for Native communities.[9]

On International Women's Day in 2003, Bertrand and Trudell produced a benefit concert for Afghan women refugees in conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.[9]

Bertrand, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1999,[10] also founded the Give Love Give Life organization with Trudell; their objective was to raise public consciousness about ovarian and other gynecological cancers through music.[11] The first Give Love Give Life concert was held in February 2004 at The Roxy in West Hollywood.[11] Bertrand and Trudell worked to organize strategic support in the music and film community for Johanna's Law, legislation to fund national outreach and education about the signs and symptoms of gynecological cancers, which was signed into law on January 12, 2007.[11] To benefit the Women's Cancer Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a second Give Love Give Life concert was held at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles in February 2007, a month after Bertrand died from cancer.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Bertrand married actor Jon Voight on December 12, 1971.[1] Following a miscarriage in 1972,[2] they had two children, James Haven (born May 11, 1973) and Angelina Jolie (born June 4, 1975). Both children became actors. Bertrand and Voight separated in 1976, publicly citing Voight's adultery.[7][12] Bertrand filed for divorce in 1978,[10] which was finalized in 1980.[12]

Following her legal separation from Voight, Bertrand began a relationship with documentary filmmaker Bill Day.[13] They lived together for eleven years but never married.[14] During her later life, Bertrand was in a relationship with activist and musician John Trudell.[15]

At the time of her death, Bertrand had three grandchildren by her daughter.[10] Another granddaughter, who was born the following year, was given the middle name "Marcheline" in her honor.[16]

Bertrand was Roman Catholic.[17]


Toward the end of her life, Bertrand preferred her privacy and did not grant interviews.[10] After a nearly eight-year battle with ovarian and breast cancer, she died aged 56 on January 27, 2007, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in the company of her children.[18][10][19] Bertrand's mother and sister also died of cancer.[19][20] Her daughter explained, "My grandmother also died young; so, my mother always thought it could happen to her."[21]


Title Year Role Notes
Ironside 1971 Connie TV series
Episode: "Love, Peace, Brotherhood and Murder"
Lookin' to Get Out 1982 Girl in Jeep
The Man Who Loved Women 1983 Girl (final film role)
Trudell 2005 N/A Documentary
Executive producer


  1. ^ a b c d e Reitwiesner, William Addams. "Ancestry of Angelina Jolie". Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Will (2011-02-09). "Ancestry of Angelina Jolie". Retrieved 2011-04-24.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Social Security Death Index". Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  4. ^ Watchtower Yearbook. Beverly Hills High School. 1966–1968.
  5. ^ Nudd, Tim (2007-11-02). "Hillary, Meet Your New Cousins: Angelina and Madonna". People. Time, Inc. ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  6. ^ a b Sessums, Kevin (November 2004). "Wild at Heart". Allure. Condé Nast Publications. ISSN 1054-7711. Archived from the original on 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
  7. ^ a b Armstrong, Lois (1978-06-26). "Down but Not Out". People. Time, Inc. ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  8. ^ "Native American Film Festival Planned". Jamestown Community College. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  9. ^ a b c "February 22 Concert for Ovarian Cancer Research and Education To Honor Marcheline Bertrand, Give Love Give Life Creator and Producer". Archived from the original on November 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  10. ^ a b c d e Green, Mary (2007-02-12). "Angelina's Heartbreak". People. Time, Inc. ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  11. ^ a b c d "History of Give Love Give Life". Archived from the original on 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  12. ^ a b Tauber, Michelle (2010-03-15). "Angelina Jolie & Dad Jon Voight Ending Their Feud". People. Time, Inc. ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  13. ^ Jerome, Jim (1983-04-11). "For Single Father Jon Voight, Table for Five Is a Story Close to His Own Painful Experience". People. Time, Inc. ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  14. ^ Clark, Blanche (2010-08-17). "The Real JOLIE". Herald Sun. News Limited. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  15. ^ Donnelly, Michael (2007-12-03). "Remembering How to be Human: John Trudell and the Music of Urgency". CounterPunch. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
  16. ^ "Angelina Jolie's Mom Leaves Three Grandkids $100,000 Each". Us Weekly. Wenner Media LLC. 2010-01-05. ISSN 1529-7497. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  17. ^ Cohen, Rich. "A Woman in Full". Vanities. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  18. ^ Green, Mary (2007-01-28). "Angelina Jolie's Mother Dies". People. Time, Inc. ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  19. ^ a b Funk, Kristi (May 14, 2013). "A Patient's Journey: Angelina Jolie". Pink Lotus Breast Center. Archived from the original on 2017-07-30. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  20. ^ "Angelina Jolie's aunt dies of breast cancer". The Guardian. Associated Press. May 27, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  21. ^ Junod, Tom (2007-07-20). "Angelina Jolie Dies For Our Sins". Esquire. Hearst Communications, Inc. ISSN 0014-0791. Retrieved 2011-04-22.

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