Angelina Jolie mastectomy: Her most shocking moments

May 14, 2013 at 12:48 p.m. ET

As we read about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy, we’re reminded of some of her shocking moments from the past. As shocking as the “reveals” themselves, is the fact that one of the world’s most followed and photographed women can keep anything a secret. Here are a few of the bombs Angelina has dropped on us from out of nowhere…

Angelina Jolie and Maddox

Maddox’s adoption

How could a woman who wore a vial of her ex-husband’s blood around her neck, who made out with her brother on the red carpet, and who bragged about getting busy with Billy Bob Thornton in the back of a limo on the way to an awards show shock us? By doing a complete about-face from all the bizarre behavior and deciding to become a mommy. Just when we’d become accustomed to Angelina Jolie’s unorthodox antics, she got off a plane from Cambodia with little Maddox. Her name was the only one on the adoption papers, because she knew what we would later find out — that she and Billy Bob were divorcing. That actually wasn’t too shocking.

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Image courtesy JFX/

Pilot lessons

We were used to watching Angelina tear down female stereotypes as Laura Croft, but when we first saw her in the cockpit of a plane, especially since she had just become a new mother, we were taken aback. Jolie said she was learning to fly a plane to impress her son. She told People magazine, “Every time Mad sees a plane, he’s amazed. If I could actually fly one by the time he’s 4, I’ll be like Superman to him.” Angelina likely learned what all new mothers learn. Four-year-olds are amazed when you grate cheese in front of them. You don’t have to become an airplane pilot to impress them.

Angelina Jolie Brad Pitt Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were having so much fun playing husband and wife on screen, that they decided to keep the theme going when the cameras stopped rolling on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, both of them forgetting temporarily that Brad was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time.

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Brad and Jen had been the sunniest couple Hollywood had seen in a while — every picture of them showed the blond-hair duo with beaming smiles. There was no sign of trouble. The breakup between Brad and Jen didn’t do much for Angelina’s dark, black widow image especially when she told The New York Times that, “Not many people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love.” Oops. Angie was referring to her kids watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but Brad and Angelina had always maintained that they fell for each other after Brad and Jennifer split up. Oh well, it’s all ancient history and Angelina has redeemed herself as more than just a home wrecker by being engaged to Brad and having six kids with him. Clearly, their getting together was more than a cheap fling.

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Angelina Jolie Brad Pitt

Oh yeah, I’m pregnant

Remember the collective gasp we all shared when Angelina Jolie was photographed for the first time, already five months pregnant with Shiloh? How did she manage that? One day she’s the svelte bombshell we’ve always known her as and then, “Hey, here’s a picture of me halfway through my first pregnancy with Brad Pitt.” How does one of the world’s most documented people hide a five-month pregnancy? Maybe she does have magical powers after all.

Image courtesy Z. Tomaszewski/

Angelina Jolie ring

Yep, I’m engaged

After Angelina Jolie was spotted on a family outing to L.A. County Museum of Art's Chinese Galleries wearing a custom ginormous ring, the couple later admitted she and Brad Pitt were engaged. In April 2012, the couple confirmed the engagement. Pitt’s manager Cynthia Pett-Dante told People magazine, "Yes, it's confirmed. It is a promise for the future and their kids are very happy. There’s no date set at this time."

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P.S. I had both breasts removed

Now we learned that Angelina Jolie, for the past three months, has been undergoing double mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries after learning she had a gene that gave her an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer. She announced her decision in a New York Times op-ed piece. After having the procedures done she explains, “My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to 5 percent.” While we applaud her for sharing her brave decision with women who are struggling with a similar circumstance, we marvel at how she was able to keep that under wraps for three months! No wonder we didn’t see much of Brad and Angelina during awards season.

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Now that Angelina is healthy, it leaves us all wondering when the next Brangelina bomb will be dropped. Will we wake up to headlines someday soon that have Brad declaring, “Oh yeah, we got hitched a few months ago”?

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