The large round sunglasses, the long, tawny hair, the frequent presence of children being led by the hand, the perpetual globetrotting, the unrelenting speculation about their private lives – the similarities between the two women who are, arguably, the most famous in the world in their times, are obvious.
Beneath the surface, however, certain core personality traits are shared by the former First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and actress Angelina Jolie. Both rather proud of their partial French heritage, they also both endured an unusually traumatic divorce of their parents. Each had a single sibling to whom they closely bonded. Despite their rational defense of American generosity around the world and unique talents which spring from the American culture, they are also so vastly interested in the cultures of a multitude of other nations and peoples, and never cease to find adventure and mission in exploring new countries. Jackie Kennedy’s explorations through Europe, Asia and South America as First Lady and then through the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe were not mindless vacations but missions on behalf of her husband’s State Department and later in pursuit of book projects focused on unique aspects of different cultures. Angelina Jolie’s trips have had an equally public agenda, going as a U.N. representative on matters of refugees and orphans. Their orderliness and sense of driven purpose also afford each a balance between the fullest responsibilities of motherhood and a later-blooming outreach of careers, one at age 46 into publishing, the other at age 35 into directing. So close and yet….six degrees of separation between them.
On May 26, 1976, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis proved herself to be enough of a fan of Beatles Paul McCartney and his group “Wings,” to not only attend their “Wings Over America Tour” concert at Madison Square Garden but to also join in the after-concert private party backstage, where the two famous 60s Pop Culture icons met for the first time. Jackie O (as she was famously dubbed following her second marriage, in 1968 to Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis) had promised to attend as long as there were no members of the press invited; it was a request with which McCartney and his wife Linda complied.
On April 10, 1999, in a tribute concert to his late wife Linda, who had succumbed to cancer, Paul McCartney was joined onstage at the Royal Albert Hall by fellow British singer Tom Jones. Another icon of the Pop 60s, Jones’s strong but smooth voice received its first widespread distribution with the song, What’s New Pussycat? the hit song of the same-named film, which also marked the scriptwriting and acting debut of Woody Allen.
On August 10, 1977, Tom Jones was visited backstage at a Los Angeles concert by Austrian-born bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. That year, Schwarzenegger began his climb to global fame, appearing in the documentary Pumping Iron and publishing his autobiography, Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder.
On April 11, 2007, the former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was in year five of his nine years as Governor of California, having first been elected during a 2002 recall of Governor Gray Davis. That day he met with California’s United States Senator Dianne Feinstein in her Hart Senate Office Building suite to discuss environmental issues of the Golden State.
On June 14, 2011, in her capacity as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein met with General David Petraeus, commander of the war in Afghanistan, in preparation for confirmation hearings before the committee for his appointment as Director of the C.I.A.
On February 6, 2008, General Petraeus, then the top U.S. commander in Iraq, overseeing military operations during the Iraqi War, met in Baghdad with American actress Angelina Jolie. Jolie was there in her role as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Goodwill Ambassador, urging a more systematic plan to aid the over 2 million Iraqis displaced as a result of the war. She also met with then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi migration officials, U.N. officials, Iraqi employees at the U.S. Embassy, and those citizens of Iraqi coping with their displacement. In a press interview and a statement released through the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Jolie articulated her concerns:
“There’s lots of goodwill and lots of discussion, but there seems to be just a lot of talk at the moment and there are a lot of pieces that need to be put together. What happens in Iraq and how Iraq settles in the years to come is going to affect the entire Middle East. And a big part of what it’s going to affect, how it settles, is how these people are returned and settled into their homes and their community and brought back together and whether they can live together and what their communities look like….I am concerned as a humanitarian, of course, but I am also concerned as an American about the desperation and aggression that can come from years of neglect and displacement.”
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – Paul McCartney –
Tom Jones – Arnold Schwarzenegger –
Dianne Feinstein – David Petraeus – Angelina Jolie