Friday, September 21, 2007

Holy Jolie! Angelina raises bar on giving back

One-woman Angel Network raises bar on giving back, rehabbing image

Image: Angelina Jolie visits refugees iIn Iraq

Angelina Jolie, serving in her role as a goodwill ambassador to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, visited an Iraqi refugee camp on August 28. Over the last week or so, I asked friends and acquaintances this "Family Feud"-style question: Name something associated with Angelina Jolie. Some people blurted out answers immediately, word association style: “Lips!”  “Lara Croft!”  “Homewrecker!” Others took the opportunity to express their secret longings for Jolie. “I’d do her in front of my mother until I couldn’t walk,” said one respondent who happened to be married … and female … and a grandmother. Yes, Angelina’s sexy. This we know.

But coming in at No. 1 — ahead of even “Brad Pitt”, which was two — were answers having to do with Jolie’s humanitarianism and work as a Goodwill Ambassador for the U. N.’s High Commissioner for Refugees. I wasn’t surprised because this is the answer I would have given.  When I think of Angelina, the image that pops into in my head is of the actress, makeup-free but still ravishing, giving aid and spreading hope to people in places most people would never want to go. Her Wikipedia humanitarian section reads like the most heart-wrenching season of "The Amazing Race" ever, with stops in Cambodia, Pakistan, Equador, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Kenya, Thailand, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Russia, Chad, Washington D.C. and my home state of Arizona, visiting detained asylum seekers at three facilities there. Who knew there were asylum seekers in Phoenix? Angelina, that's who.

The jet lag alone would do me in. And then there’s the lobbying she does in Washington and millions of dollars she donates out of her own pocket. And unlike a lot of actors, who turn activist when the acting jobs slow down, Angelina is doing all this when she’s still super-hot, both physically and career-wise. It’s awe-inspiring.

Holy Jolie! Angelina raises bar on giving back - Celebrity Insights - MSNBC.com