A new tell-all book cover features a picture of her back – a fitting perspective for a biography written without her approval.

But even though you can’t see her face, Angelina Jolie is instantly recognisable on Andrew Morton’s book by her collection of tattoos.

The actress is such a fan of body art she spent one night sketching a design on boyfriend Brad Pitt’s back, because they “didn’t have anything to do”.

“I am still, at heart and always will be just a punk kid with tattoos,” she has also confessed.

As well as quotations, dates and phrases which hold a special meaning to 34-year-old Angelina, the Tomb Raider star is covered in odes to her children and her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand.

A couple of designs linked to her ex-husbands, however, failed to make the final cut – the actress has either had them removed or covered up.

“I’ll never be stupid enough to have a man’s name tattooed on me again,” she has said.

Now, as bookshelves are preparing to be adorned with the photo of Angelina’s tattooed back, here is a run down of the film star’s ink – and the meanings of all her intricate designs…


· The words “Know your rights” sit at the base of Angelina’s neck. The phrase is the title of a Clash song and, according to the actress, a slogan of empowerment. She has described it as “humanitarian, but a little punk rock”.

· An incantation in Khmer, on her left shoulder blade, is arguably Angelina’s most recognisable tattoo. Khmer is the native language of Cambodia – the country where her son Maddox was born. A possible translation is: “May your enemies run far away from you/If you acquire riches may they remain yours always/Your beauty will be that of Apsara/Wherever you may go, may will attend, serve and protect you, surrounding you on all sides”.

· The 12-by-eight-inch Bengal tiger tattoo, which is visible on Angelina’s lower back, was done during a visit to Bangkok, Thailand, in 2004. Artist Sompong Kanhphai took two hours to complete the design and then blessed it by chanting an ancient hymn. Angelina reportedly had the tattoo done to celebrate her Cambodian citizenship.


· The tattoo on Angelina’s upper left arm is a tribute to her rainbow coloured family. The design features the geographical co-ordinates of where her six children were born.

· A Tennessee Williams quote on the actress’s left forearm reads: “A prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages”. The phrase is the subtitle of Williams’ 1941 play Stairs to the Roof. Angelina’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, was with her when she got this tattoo.

· Angelina originally had XIII – the Roman numeral for 13 – tattooed on the inside of her left forearm because she doesn’t believe in superstitions. She later added V MCMXL to the design, which is believed to be a reference to the date (May 13, 1940) when Winston Churchill declared: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”.

· A rune-style tattoo of the letter ‘H’ is visible on the inside of Angelina’s left wrist. The design is said to be a reminder of either her brother, James Haven, or her ex-boyfriend, Timothy Hutton.

· Angelina has an Arabic script tattoo on her inner right arm which means “Determination”.


· Angelina got a thick black cross tattoo on her left hip on the day before she married Johnny Lee Miller in 1995. In her own words: “It was all symbolic, and it was a good thing, nothing dark.” Next to the cross is the Latin phrase “Quod me nutrit me destruit” which means “What nourishes me destroys me”.

· A subtle letter ‘M’ on the palm of Angelina’s hand is a tribute to her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died in January 2007.


· Angelina’s first ever tattoo was the Japanese symbol for death, which she had drawn on her left shoulder blade. The Khmer incantation now sits in its place.

· A dragon tattoo, which she reportedly got while drunk in Amsterdam, was covered by the cross design on her hip.

· Angelina used to have an Asian dragon tattoo on her upper left arm, with the name of her second husband Billy Bob Thornton above it. It took five visits to the tattoo removal clinic to erase the design after they broke up. The geographical co-ordinate of where her children were born are now in its place.

· Angelina had the Japanese symbol for courage removed from her inner right arm. The actress’s ex-husband Jonny Lee Miller had a matching tattoo, and Angelina had hers removed because she said it didn’t feel like her own.

· An abstract lines tattoo on her right arm was a custom design by Angelina and Billy Bob Thornton. It is now covered up by her Arabic script.

Splash/Snapper Media Celebrity Newswire


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