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Angelina Jolie says mother, who died of cancer, made doctor 'promise' to remove Jolie's ovaries

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive for the

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive for the screening of his film "The Tree of Life" during the 64th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 16, 2011. Photo Credit: EPA / Ian Langsdon

In a rare joint interview, husband-and-wife film stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie opened up on "Today" Monday morning about her surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, following her double mastectomy in 2013 due to a high genetic risk of cancer.

"We had some of the same nurses, some of the same doctors," Jolie, 40, told Tom Brokaw of the March operation. "So, the doctor that did my ovary surgery was my mother's doctor. And apparently my mother had said to her, 'Promise me you will take Angie's ovaries out.' So when we kind of got together, we both had a big cry, and she said, 'I promised your mother, and I gotta do this.'" Her mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, died in 2007 at age 56 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1999.

Adding to the excerpted comments released last Friday, Pitt, 51, said, "There was no vanity to my wife's approach," adding, "It was mature. 'This is our life and we're gonna make the best of it.' There was a strength in that. It was just another one of those things in life that makes you tighter, and she was doing it for the kids, and she was doing it for her family so we could be together."

The couple, who married in August 2014 and have been together for 10 years, have six children.

Jolie revealed the ovarian surgery brought on early menopause. "Every woman is different when they go through menopause and ... I didn't know emotionally how I would feel," she said. While her mastectomy was a bigger and more challenging surgery, "The ovaries surgery is more about your hormones changing and your emotions changing, but it's different. You feel different."

Their new film, "By the Sea," was inspired by Jolie's grief after her mother's death, the Oscar-winner told Brokaw. "We can't say what the whole film is about, but a lot of the film was when I went to visit my mom in the hospital, when she found out she had cancer the first time, she was gonna have her ovaries removed, and she was very upset, feeling like ... they're taking out her parts that were female, and there was a woman down the hall who was wailing. I later found out it was a young woman who had not had children yet, and that put everything into perspective."


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