On this day in 2008, a girl named Vivienne Marcheline and a boy named Knox Leon are born to actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at Fondation Lenval hospital in Nice, France. The twins’ arrival made headlines around the world, as their celebrity parents had been a source of media fascination since their romantic relationship became public in 2005. In addition to the twins, the high-profile couple, nicknamed “Brangelina” by the media, have two sons–Maddox, adopted from Cambodia, and Pax, adopted from Vietnam; a daughter, Zahara, adopted from Ethiopia; and a biological daughter, Shiloh, who was born in Namibia. Jolie and Pitt appeared on the August 18, 2008, cover of People magazine with the twins. The couple was paid a reported $14 million (which they donated to charity) for the cover image and a 19-page photo spread inside the magazine.
Jolie, born June 4, 1975, is the daughter of actor Jon Voight, with whom she appeared, at age seven, in the movie Lookin’ To Get Out (1982). Jolie won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted (1999) and became world-famous for her starring role in the blockbuster action hit Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). She also appeared in such films as The Good Shepherd (2006) and A Mighty Heart (2006). From 1996 to 1999, the multi-tattooed actress was married to British actor Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting), with whom she co-starred in the 1995 film Hackers. Jolie had a well-publicized second marriage to actor Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade) that lasted from 2000 to 2003. The two reportedly wore vials of each other’s blood around their necks.
Pitt, who was born December 18, 1963, rose to fame in the early 1990s with roles in such films as Thelma & Louise (1991), A River Runs Through It (1992) and Kalifornia (1993). He went on to build a long list of starring credits in a number of acclaimed films, including Fight Club (1999), Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and Babel (2006). In 2000, Pitt married actress Jennifer Aniston (most famous for her role on the long-running TV sitcom Friends) in a lavish ceremony in Malibu, California. The couple divorced in 2005 and Pitt became romantically involved with Jolie, his co-star in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), a film about a pair of married assassins. As soon as news of their relationship broke, “Brangelina” received extensive media coverage as they traveled around the world making movies, raising their ever-expanding brood and involving themselves in a variety of humanitarian causes.