Angelina Jolie Remembers Her Late Mother's Ovarian and Breast Cancer Battle in Rare Post

Angelina Jolie
Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

On World Ovarian Cancer Day, Jolie encouraged women to screen for cancer early and often.

Angelina Jolie is paying tribute to her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died of breast and ovarian cancer in 2007, at age 56. On Monday -- World Ovarian Cancer Day -- Jolie took to Instagram to share a rare personal photo of her and her mother from when Jolie was a young girl and encourage women to screen for cancer. 

"Tomorrow would have been my mother’s 73rd birthday. She passed away 15 years ago, after a long struggle with breast and ovarian cancer," Jolie began her post. 

"In June, I will be a month away from the age when she was diagnosed. I have had preventive surgeries to try to lessen chances but I continue to have check ups," she continued. 

Jolie went on to share memories of her mother's love for music and the personal touches that she remembers years after her death. "My mom loved Hendrix. And would always sign her letters 'Kiss the Sky.' It took on new meaning after she passed. Sending my love to those who have also lost loved ones and strength to those who are fighting at this very moment for their lives and the lives of those they love." 

The Maleficent star encouraged women to stay on top of their health check-ups and shared ways to screen for cancer at its early stages. 

"Please take the time to look after yourself and go for your mammograms and blood tests or ultrasounds, particularly if you have a family history of cancer," Jolie wrote. 

In 2013, when the actress' aunt died of breast cancer, Jolie underwent a double mastectomy after she was diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene, which made her at high risk for developing breast cancer. 

After an ovarian cancer scare two years later, Jolie made the decision to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes in a hysterectomy procedure. 

"I simply feel I made choices to improve my odds of being here to see my children grow into adults, and of meeting my grandchildren," Jolie explained in a 2019 essay for Time. "My hope is to give as many years as I can to their lives, and to be here for them."

The Academy-Award-winning star shares six children with her ex-husband, Brad Pitt -- Maddox, 21, Pax, 19, Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 16, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 14. 

In 2017, Jolie told Elle France her late mother would have "thrived as a grandmother."

"I know how much she would have contributed to their lives and I am sad they will miss out on that," Jolie said. "I would give anything for her to be with me at this time. I’ve needed her. I talk to her often in my mind and try to think what she might say and how she might guide me."