Top Stories

Angelina Jolie's Aunt Debbie Loses Battle with Breast Cancer

Angelina Jolie's Aunt Debbie Loses Battle with Breast Cancer

Angelina Jolie‘s Aunt Debbie has passed away after a battle with breast cancer, her Uncle Ron Martin tells E! News.

The news comes just weeks after the 37-year-old actress shared her brave decision to have a preventative double mastectomy to lower her risk for the disease. Debbie is the sister of Angie‘s late mother Marcheline Bertrand, who died of ovarian cancer in 2007.

Angelina has been in touch throughout the week and her brother Jamie has been with us, giving his support day by day,” Ron said. “They both loved Debbie very much and although Angie is not able to come right now she has sent her love and support which was very nice.”

“We have seen Angelina a number of times since Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer and Debbie and I were both very proud of her recent decision to have the double mastectomy and to do everything she can to keep her family from having to go through what we’ve been through,” he continued. “Angelina‘s father Jon Voight has also been tremendously supportive—he came down to see Debbie last Sunday and spent the whole day, talking with her and sharing his love and I know Debbie really enjoyed seeing him and talking with him.”

Just Jared on Facebook
Credit: Daniel Zuchnik; Photos: Getty
Posted to: Angelina Jolie

JJ Links Around The Web

  • Find out who 50 Cent is feuding with on social media - TMZ
  • Debby Ryan opens up about her friendship with the Sprouse twins - Just Jared Jr
  • This original Legally Blonde star has high hopes for the third movie - TooFab
  • The Man in the High Castle is coming back to Amazon for a fourth season - The Hollywood Reporter
  • This hit Freeform show has been renewed for a second season - Just Jared Jr
  • yib

    First it is sad my condolences to the family.
    Pls keep this thread free from brad and his exes case.

  • mrst

    Prayers for the entire family during this difficult time. God bless Jolie-Pitts!

  • Fan

    May Debbie’s soul rest in peace. Cancer has pretty much wiped out her mom’s family.
    Good for Angie for not waiting for the fate that has afflicted her family.

  • Wonderbust
    To my precious sister and mentor. We shared our first bed together and we shared our first haircut at five (thanks to your gum in that bed!) You are my secret admirer, my Flash Gordon and my comforter through all our family losses since 10 years old and on, and on. We shared double dates and deep secrets. We shared our pregnancy’s together and our children loving each other. You saved my life in 2004. We even shared becoming Grandmere’s together in 2006. My memories of us will help mend my bleeding heart. I will feel your wings on my shoulders as you whisper to me, “It’s so beautiful Here! One day our eyes will meet again and we will embrace, my little sister.”
    Even death won’t get in the way of the love I hold so deeply in my heart for My Sister.
    Debbie Martin – Escondido, California

  • allison

    RIP Debbie and prays for all those that loved her.

  • Goop

    Wow…cancer is such an insidious disease. Condolences to Angie and her family.
    In the last six years, cancer has claimed her mother, uncle and now aunt. I bet she is happy more than any thing with her decision to be pro active.
    Sending the whole family condolences.

  • D.Scott

    May she Rest In Peace

  • busted

    Such a horrible thing for her and her family.

    Prayers to her and all the people here going through this too.

  • Jennifer

    It’s a horrible disease and it causes pain to too many families and its inevitable victims. My condolences go to the family.

  • Richard P

    My condolences go to the family.
    R.I.P Debbie

  • From Paris with Love

    May she rest in peace. This is so sad, cruel and terrifying. I don’t even want to think about it. In those circumstances I would have made the same decision as Angelina Jolie without a doubt. I hope genetic detection and preventative measures become more accessible for us normal folks.

  • groundcontrol

    Very sad for this brave woman and her loving family. In my thoughts as I also think of my sister. Now people should leave them in peace.

  • Lauren

    That is just terrible–both sisters died from cancer. No wonder Angie did what she did. So sad.

  • were the morons

    Aunt Debbie seemed like a very kind, beautiful and special woman. Prayers are with her and family.

  • From Paris with Love

    @Wonderbust: Now they’re both gone. :’( Life is so tough.

  • lucy

    @groundcontrol: You know Brad has got to be thanking his lucky stars that his wife and Mother of his children put her family before HW vanity. I feel so bad for her Aunt’s family, I hope the tabloids leave them alone to grieve in private.

  • Brangie Rules

    Condolence Angie and your Aunt’s family!!! Now people will more and more understand, why you did what you did. God be with you and your family at this time of grief. <3

  • gennline

    Condolences.Rest in peace Debbie.

  • Premalee

    My condolences Debbie Martin’s family and condolence to Angie and James. May she rest in peace.

  • yib

    Oh forgot to change it from new thread.
    New thread accopyed me I am late so late for my things..

  • Jones

    “We have seen Angelina a number of times since Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer and Debbie and I were both very proud of her recent decision to have the double mastectomy and to do everything she can to keep her family from having to go through what we’ve been through…”
    In just that one sentence, Angie’s uncle, Ron Martin, said everything that needs to be said.

  • African Girl

    Awwww!! So sad!
    May her soul rest in peace.

  • Wonderbust

    actually Ronald Martin, Debbie’s husband is the one who released all the information to E! Angelina has never said anything about her aunt so its funny how you haters immediately attack her. and LIES Angelina and james ware at the hospital when Marcheline died. Keep believing the fan fiction that FF sells you. RIP Debbie. Troll isn’t even worth addressing but had to issue that correction

  • http://iPad Susan

    @Wonderbust: I only saw one comment that Angie was in France, no pictures, so who knows.

  • Dawne


    You give humanity a bad name.


    A letter from Angelina Jolie’s mother : 2003

    A few years ago I came across a letter written by Angelina Jolie’s mother. It detailed her cancer diagnosis and her efforts to help others dealing with cancer. It was published in 2003 under the name Mary but was later disclosed to be Marcheline. It’s sweet and moving, especially given that she would pass away a few years later.


    “Marchelines Letter

    To My Dear Kindred Sister Warriors,

    I am imagining something that is probably true. I think we have all had a similar private moment of experiencing the same epiphany. There really is a silver lining in being diagnosed with cancer. At some point on this arduous journey we all share the same knowing in our spirit that our illness has been a tremendously purifying experience. We have been blessed with more time to change and become better human beings.

    We all know that it is also important to share our cancer experience with anyone who we sense needs our support. So when the time comes to talk (which usually happens to me quite frequently in the waiting room) I know I am being blessed with an opportunity to help someone in the same way a very kind woman and her husband helped me four and half years ago. It feels good for us to give hope and encouragement, especially if we can alleviate some of the fears of the unknown for a woman who is just beginning her cancer journey.

    What exactly is my cancer story? Whenever I am asked this question, I always begin by saying The Rolling Stones and three wonderful doctors all contributed to saving my life. Why do I begin with The Rolling Stones? In April of 1999 I was invited to see my favorite rock and roll band, I sang along (because I knew almost all the lyrics by heart) and danced the night away surrounded by thousands of loyal lifelong fans. I had a wild and magical time even being invited to backstage before the show and hang out with the band. I have been a devoted fan since 1964.

    So where am I going with all of this? A few days after the concert I developed a high fever, a sore throat and a cough. I felt it was a small price to pay for way too much partying and for experiencing one of the most amazing and memorable nights of my life. I saw a doctor who prescribed some over the counter flu medicine and sent home to rest.

    I recovered form the flu and thankfully resumed working with only a small irritating problem. The coughing never completely went away. It lingered slightly for several more weeks and then very slowly it began to get worse and interrupt my sleep. It was around that time when I started feeling a serious lower back pain, and I also complained a lot of being unusually tired during the day. I attributed both of these symptoms to not getting enough rest at night, because I could only sleep in a sitting up position due to the coughing.

    I made another medical appointment, but this time with my son’s doctor. His name is Dr. Arman Hekmati. I liked him immediately because he has the same beautiful warm brown eyes as my father. He diagnosed anemia and pneumonia, and hospitalized me that same day. I needed a blood transfusion to build up my strength and then two liters (of whatever comes with pneumonia) were tapped from my lungs.

    While in the hospital I was examined much more thoroughly. After I revealed more details of my family’s medical history, I was given additional blood tests, and body scans. I had no pelvic pain, no bleeding, and no constipation. I did notice a little bloating in my tummy, but it didn’t hurt. I would describe that as feeling out of shape. The specific pain that I was constantly complaining about was in my lower back, and that pain was severely increasing in intensity. Actually, it was becoming unbearable.

    Finally, Dr. Hekmati revealed to me something I had feared and dreaded hearing my whole life. One of the scans detected a mass on one of my ovaries. Cancer was highly suspected, and I should have surgery as soon as possible. The next morning I was introduced to the most remarkable physicians who not only saved my life but also transformed my life.

    I remember that I was originally scheduled to meet with three oncologists, and I was extremely nervous about being given this big responsibility to choose my own surgeon. All night long I wondered and I worried about what I should look for to help me to make this very important decision. I met with Dr. Beth Karlan first, and I immediately knew that here was no need for me to meet with the other two doctors. For me, it was trust at first sight. Our spirits connected. It was that simple.

    Dr. Hekmati smiled and gave me his blessing and his thumbs up. She had been his first choice and he was very pleased that I also recognized that certain something special about her. I had just the most important decision of my life based on a feeling.

    In the moment we first met before he even spoke one word to me, Beth held my hand. She touched my frightened spirit, and she welcomed me into her carin


    she welcomed me into her caring arms with her comforting smile. She made me feel safe. All fear instantly left my mind. All tension left my body. I knew that I was in the presence of a very powerful medicine woman. Our journey together began, and in God’s time, she calmed me, freed me from all physical pain and restored me to good health. She saved my life.

    Beth Karlan is a deeply compassionate physician devoted to protecting the sanctity of human life. Her work is dedicated to using all of her power and great skills to save women from pain and suffering. She has a reverence for every hurting human being who comes to her with a prayer for a healing.

    I needed her and she appeared. She is my angel, my healer, my protector, my mender of light. She guided me to live in light during a time of great darkness. What could have a terrifying experience became a personal transformation that healed my body and my spirit and gave me hope.

    Oh yes, I clearly understand all the statistics about ovarian cancer, but it has been four and a half years and thankfully I am still here. I know that the heartfelt prayers of my loving family and friends, and the excellent monthly care I am receiving from Dr. Karlan, are the reasons I have been blessed with more precious time to live, to love and to share my life with others who need me.

    Sometimes when I think about Beth, I am reminded of the realization Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey has in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I think about how many women’s lives would not have been saved if Beth was never born. Every day I bow my head in deep prayerful gratitude for the birth of this woman. I thank God and her loving parents for giving her life for helping her to recognize her calling and for encouraging her to fulfill her remarkable destiny. This is truly one of God’s greatest miracles, and her life continues to be a daily expression of his love for all women. I know I am still here because of God’s grace working through her powerful healing hands.

    Quite often I find myself needing to hug her and to thank her again and again for blessing me with the gift of more precious time. She continues to remain tremendously humble. She almost always responds with something like how thankful she is for being given the opportunity to help me. Humility is a very big part of Beth’s nature.

    There was one time in the hospital when I saw her having a serious conversation with an older man just outside the door to one of the rooms. I am quite sure that she did not notice me. She was speaking to who I thought must have been a husband, a father, a brother or a significant male friend of on her patients. I could clearly see a deep concern in her eyes. She was speaking softly and he was listening with his head bowed. It appeared to be very sad news and I wondered to what degree of sorrow were the words she needed to express. I can’t even imagine how many times she has had to do this—how very difficult it must be for her to tell a family that hey may not have very much more time with the woman they all so deeply love.

    I remember very well the night when we were told that we had maybe only a few more hours with my mother. That night was thirty years ago, but I can easily recall the deep compassion I felt from her doctor as he carefully chose his words to express his thoughts to me and my father. It must never become easy for any truly caring doctor to know when it is time to say those words to a family.

    Because Beth Karlan is such an extremely loving and caring human being, I know her heart hurts and in those moments. It must also be very sad for her when a new patient comes to her, but it is too late for any treatment. I wonder how many times she knew she could have saved a life if only the woman would have come to her sooner. I can only imagine her deep sadness in that situation.

    This is why her work The Women’s Cancer Research Institute is so important to her. She has dedicated her life to educating women of all ages to be aware of early cancer symptoms, family history risks, tests for early detection, and procedures that could give more hope for prevention.

    As Dr. Karlan proceeds with her lifelong commitment to making more advances in research, she also continues to pray that women will seek all the medical information that is now available to them, comprehend it with the help of their doctor, and then make intelligent decisions regarding their health. Everyone knows that when diagnosing cancer in the earliest stages, there is not only hope for a remission, but also hope for a cure.

    Beth saved my life in 1999 and saved me again in 2002. I had a recurrence, another surgery and more chemotherapy. At the same time I was also shocked to learn I had breast cancer. After having a mammogram every year for nine years, I suddenly had a suspicious one.

    Beth referred me to her husband, Dr. Scott Karlan, a brilliant breast surgeon. How amazing to be marriage partners both dedicated to saving wo

  • manouche

    RIP Debbie Martin

  • Goop


    You really are a moron. Where in that piece did it mention Angelina saying anything. Her aunt’s husband is the one talking about Angelina.
    Angelina has never talked about any body in her extended family except her mother. She has never, EVER talked about her mom or dad’s family members.
    When being so helpful strips you of the ability to comprehend written piece then you know you need help. In your quest to besmirch Angelina you end up making as a*s of your self.

  • gennline

    I have flagged comment #18, I think slandering Angelina and her family at this time is despicable. Angelina has not given any information out about her aunt.
    I hope others will flag it too,and the comment will be removed.

  • chocolate cookie

    @Čľamsin: You’re an idiot. That is all. Carry on.


    Beth referred me to her husband, Dr. Scott Karlan, a brilliant breast surgeon. How amazing to be marriage partners both dedicated to saving women’s lives. God is truly smiling on this amazing couple.

    Scott is a warm and friendly kind hearted man with a wonderful sense of humor, and just like his wife did, he also calmed me down and gave me hope. Although the result of the biopsy was malignant I remember going through that experience not too afraid. It was a small tumor and Scott was optimistic because it was detected so early. I had a lumpectomy followed by radiation. Today, in December of 2003 I am in remission with the breast cancer and the ovarian cancer. Every sunrise I experience is truly a gift.

    In the silence of the night I pray to God to protect my two beautiful children, my precious grandson, the very caring man in my life and all my very kind friends. I also say a special prayer for thanksgiving and protection for Dr. Scott and Dr. Beth Karlan’s family, for Dr. Hekmati and his family and yes I also pray for the Rolling Stones and their families. After thirty five years of being a devoted fan I finally met my favorite rock and roll band, but I never imagined they would play an important part in saving my life. If not for catching pneumonia from my wild night at their concert I am quite certain my cancer would have been found at a more advanced stage. And my three wonderful doctors who truly became my saviors, were definitely sent to me by God. As it always is with Our Creator, His timing was perfect.

    It has been four and half years since my first diagnosis of cancer. The same amount of time has passed since that very first moment when Beth Karlan’s spirit connected with mine. I have always felt that she and I came together for a deeper purpose than just caring for my personal health and wellness.

    I am very happy and excited about our plans to produce our first benefit concert in early 2004. If everything unfolds as we pray it will, then the women of all ages who attend, will not only deeply enjoy and be positively affected by the show, but they will also leave with a sense of feeling more enlightened and empowered.

    For as long as I live, I will do all that I can to support Dr. Beth Karlan’s work at the Women’s Cancer Research Institute. For the sake of all women, and for the sake of my children and all of my descendants, nothing else I with my life could ever by more important.

    I imagine Beth and her Los Angeles colleagues will always share any new ideas and findings with other American doctors, and of course they would welcome a collaboration of medical scientists worldwide. There is a global understanding they are all in this together to the finish line. They are all one family of researches with the same goal to save women’s lives. I am quite optimistic that with everyone sharing there will continue to be many more amazing breakthroughs regarding early detection and prevention.

    There is also every good reason to believe, that one glorious day somewhere deep within the brilliant minds of one or many teams of these research scientists, the ultimate cure we are all hoping for will be created. We must pray for all of these dedicated human beings. I can’t even imagine how difficult their work has been trying to solve this mystery. The amount of mental focus and discipline required must be overwhelming at times. We must continue to pray for their spirits to be guided. Everyone also knows that this kind of painstaking work is very costly. We need to know not only offer our moral encouragement but also our financial support. Be generous with a donation. There is not one family I know of who has not been somehow sadly affected by this disease.

    Personally I have a very strong feeling that in my children’s lifetime, the moment will come at last, when the phenomenal discovery will be made. I pray that this miraculous cure will be found in the very near future and all of these dreadful cancers afflicting the sacred wombs of our women will be banished forever.

  • African Girl

    Tasmin…STFU! Okay,
    AJ did not make it about herself. Her Uncle made the statement about AJ not being there because they know idiots like you will make a big issue about her not being by her Aunt’s side.
    You are so damn obsessed…YOU make everything about her. Seek help, psycho!!

  • Dawne

    I loved the posthumous message Debbie wrote for her sister. It appears they were wonderful people and very close siblings.

    I hope they are reuniting as we speak. It would take a lot for Angie not to be there which means the filming on some level has begun or there is ‘another’ reason. It was very nice to hear that Jon spent time with his former sister-in-law. He has definitely learned that big lesson in life……it’s really all about family. It’s never too late to wake up and re-boot your priorities.

  • Emes


    Please that bit@h is not a human being. Don’t associate it with those of us that are. There is a special place in hell for people like. Maybe with luck IT will journey there soon.

  • Wonderbust

    Thank You Jared. the troll’s post was removed.

  • see

    holy cow

  • Cinco

    Glad to see mrgracious was deleted. Shame on that dirtbag for coming here.

  • gennline

    The comment has thankfully been removed.Why that person is not permanently not banned from this board I will never understand.

  • ITA

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Debbie Martin’s family. May her family take comfort to know she is now free from pain and with her beloved sister. Rest in peace.

  • anustin

    RIP aunt Debbie.

  • were the morons

    @gennline: because it keeps making new variations of its name.

  • Cinco

    @ thank you for sharing that.

  • gennline

    One too many nots.They should be permanently banned.

  • http://iPad Susan

    @gennline: Morton’s book had pictures that someone close to the family had to give him and if he did not help with Morton’s he probably help the tabloid woman.
    There is a higher power, and the Publishers did not recoup the advance they paid Morton, did he fall off the face of the earth or what.
    I was shocked that most TV programs wanted nothing to do with him or his book, then he blamed Angie for that.
    Angie is an open book, don’t going around knocking people, leave that to insecure people.


    email var martin

  • gennline

    I didn’t know about the publishers recouping their money, good for them.

  • gennline

    Sorry misread your post about he publishers not getting their money back. I don’t know what happened to him,I read a little about him and he is quite an unsavoury person.

  • hopeso

    MY condolences to you & your family my Lady…

    Love You Much !!!!

  • Cinco

    @Susan: he works for the enquirer now.