Angelina Jolie will play her own mother in a biopic of the late actress Marcheline Bertrand, who died from ovarian cancer in 2007.
Angelina Jolie, 37, who last week revealed she had undergone a voluntary double mastectomy, will star in the film produced by Plan B, the production company set up by devoted partner Brad Pitt.
Like her daughter, Marcheline Bertrand devoted herself to humanitarian causes, including helping women Afghan refugees and launching the Give Love Give Life organization to help fight gynaecological cancers.
When Marcheline Bertrand died from ovarian cancer aged just 56, it came as a huge loss to the talented actress, who has much in common with her mother.
But just a few years later, those similarities took on a more sinister tone when Angelina discovered she had inherited the faulty BRCA1 gene.
Doctors told the mother-of-six that she had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer and a 50% chance of ovarian cancer as a result of the gene.
Angelina Jolie then elected to undergo a double mastectomy, a decision Brad Pitt described as “heroic”.
He said: “Having witnessed this decision first hand, I find Angie’s choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic.
“I thank our medical team for their care and focus.
“All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children.
“This is a happy day for our family.”
Angelina Jolie has announced she also now plans to have a hysterectomy and oophorectomy, where the ovaries are removed to further decrease her chances of developing cancer.
She said: “I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer was higher than my risk of ovarian cancer and the surgery is much more complex.”
The procedure would rule out any further children for her and 49-year-old Brad Pitt. They already have three biological children: daughter Shiloh and four-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.
They are also parents to their adopted children Maddox, 11, Pax, 9 and 8-year-old Zahara.
Marcheline Bertrand, who was raised in Illinois by a French-Canadian father, married Midnight Cowboy star Jon Voight when she was a 21-year-old actress.
After the births of son James in 1973 and Angelina in 1975, she quit her acting career.
However, she and Jon Voight split in 1976 due to his infidelity.
Angelina Jolie grew up to be a wild teenager, and her mother was no disciplinarian, permitting the 14-year-old Angelina to bring her boyfriend to live in their home.
Marcheline Bertrand was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1999, the same year as Angelina Jolie’s Hollywood breakthrough in the film Girl, Interrupted.
Marcheline Bertrand’s final wishes were said to be that Angelina Jolie would marry Brad Pitt, and she chose the name Pax, which Angelina gave to the Cambodian boy she adopted six weeks after her mother’s death.
Marcheline Bertrand is also remembered in the middle name of her granddaughter Vivienne.
Writing in the New York Times last week, Angelina Jolie paid an emotional tribute to her mother.
She wrote: “My mother fought cancer and died at 56.
“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.”