Thursday, May 30, 2024

Angelina Jolie’s Cancer Fears Rooted in Fact: Mother, Uncle and Now Aunt All Gone At Early Ages


News today that Angelina Jolie’s aunt, Debbie Martin, died at age 61. Usually the passing of a celebrity’s relative wouldn’t merit much discussion. But in light of Angelina’s recent reveal of a double mastectomy, her aunt’s death is the more poignant. Angelina’s mother died at age 56, in 2007. Her mother’s brother, Raleigh, died in 2009, of cancer. And now the last of the three siblings is dead of breast cancer.

In six years Angelina’s closest adult blood relatives have all passed away from cancer. Angelina’s mother’s side of her family is one generation after another of people not living into their 50s. It’s quite shocking and no doubt preys on her. I am impressed however that her Dutch-French family tree can be traced back pretty far into history.

It’s no wonder that she had the genetic testing and then took steps immediately to prevent the illness getting to her. We think of Angelina as having been around a long time. But she’s only 37, too young to lose so much of a family. It has to be devastating. What she’s done for her own kids, for herself, and her “husband” (as it were) is incredibly courageous– not the least because she’s considered a sex symbol. Condolences to her on the death of her aunt.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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