Angelina Jolie was so secretive about her decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy that she didn't tell her father, Jon Voight, who found out with the rest of the world in the actress's New York Times op-ed piece.
"I didn't know. It wasn't obvious at all," the 74-year-old actor, who had just seen Jolie and her family two days earlier at a family birthday party, told the New York Daily News. "I was as surprised as anyone and deeply moved by the way she's handled this."
Voight — who publicly feuded with his daughter in 2002, though they reconciled in recent years — said he spoke with Jolie after learning the news and she "educated me on this stuff."
"I think she is an inspiration to many people who are faced with the same situation," he told E! News. "She will make a difference in so many people’s lives."
That's what Jolie's fiancé Brad Pitt thinks as well. After initially calling the mother of his six children "absolutely heroic," he opened up about it in an interview with USA Today.
"I'm quite emotional about it, of course," the "World War Z"star said about Jolie's decision to share her story. "She could have stayed absolutely private about it and I don't think anyone would have been none the wiser with such good results. But it was really important to her to share the story and that others would understand it doesn't have to be a scary thing. In fact, it can be an empowering thing, and something that makes you stronger and us stronger."
Pitt said that during the three-month mastectomy process, Jolie still traveled to the Congo, London, and New York to honor her humanitarian commitments, which we detailed here.
"This was during Stage 2 (when the double mastectomy was performed)," he told the paper. "Literally it was just weeks after she'd had truly major surgery."
He added that he and their children tried to make the most of the situation, infusing fun and humor whenever they could.
"We set up our own little post-op recovery that became pretty fun. You make an adventure out of it," he said, adding,"It's such a wonderful relief to come through this and not have a spectre hanging over our heads. To know that that's not going to be something that's going to affect us. My most proudest thing is our family. This isn't going to get that."
Meanwhile, praise over Jolie's bold decision keeps flowing in. "E! News" host Giuliana Rancic, who had a double mastectomy in 2011 (like these other celebrities), spoke out about it on Tuesday.
"I applaud Angelina's decision to go public with this very personal information," said Rancic. "The fact that she is one of the most private stars in Hollywood yet has decided to go public with this incredibly personal story demonstrates how important it is to shine the spotlight on the importance of breast and ovarian cancer prevention."
Wanda Sykes, who also had the procedure, also addressed the topic -- with her trademark sense of humor.
"People know I went through the same surgery but it's just so odd that Angelina Jolie does something and now my t***ies are back in the news," she joked on "The Tonight Show" Tuesday. More seriously, "I think it's incredible and I think she made the right decision. And I applaud her for sharing something very personal with everybody because it's definitely going to help people."
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