“Reflecting on the Legacy of “Gia”: An Unforgettable Tale of the Italian-American Supermodel Who Captivated Angelina Jolie for 25 Years”

It has been a quarter of a century since Angelina Jolie’s movie ‘Gia’ hit the screens, portraying the life of Gia Carangi, an Italian-American model believed to be the first-ever supermodel. Sadly, Gia’s life ended at the age of 26 due to AIDS-related complications.

Model Gia Carangi (Photo by Laurie Sagalyn/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images); Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Liebowitz/Citadel Ent/Kobal/Shutterstock (5880251f) Angelina Jolie Gia - 1998 Citadel Ent USA Television

The 25th anniversary of Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Gia Carangi in the 1998 HBO movie “Gia” has recently passed. Gia Carangi was a supermodel in real life who died from complications related to AIDS when she was only 26. Other cast members included Mila Kunis as young Gia, Faye Dunaway, Mercedes Ruehl, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Scott Cohen. The movie was directed by Michael Cristofer and co-written by Cristofer and Jay McInerney. The film is about Gia’s journey from her rise to fame in the modeling world to her tragic death. If you want to learn more about Gia Carangi’s life and death, keep reading. To stay up-to-date on the latest news, including human-interest stories and celebrity gossip, sign up for PEOPLE’s daily newsletter.

Full-length portrait of American fashion model Gia Carangi (1960 - 1986) as she poses in a semi-transparant, floor-length dress, from a Vogue magazine photoshoot, late 70s or early 80s. (Photo by Andrea Blanch/Getty Images)

In a recent interview, Angelina Jolie revealed that her children identify her most with her portrayal of Gia Carangi in the 1998 biopic “Gia.” The movie tells the story of Carangi, a working-class girl from Philadelphia who was discovered on a dance floor and quickly rose to fame as a model in New York City. However, her struggles with addiction and substance abuse, including heroin and cocaine, overshadowed her success. Carangi also struggled with her sexual identity and had turbulent relationships, including one with makeup artist Sandy Linter. Linter remembered how Carangi’s addiction drained her energy and eventually took everything from her.

Model Gia Carangi (Photo by Dustin Pittman/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images)

According to an article by Dazed, Gia Carangi struggled with addiction and attempted to get clean by going to rehab, but unfortunately, her attempts were unsuccessful. In December of 1985, she was diagnosed with AIDS and passed away a year later due to related complications. Makeup artist Sandy Linter, who had worked with Carangi in the past, recounts a heartbreaking encounter with the model. During their last meeting in either 1983 or 1984, Carangi came to Linter’s doorstep and cried while resting her head on Linter’s shoulder. Linter later found out about Carangi’s AIDS diagnosis and never saw her again. Despite Carangi’s tragic death over 30 years ago, she still holds a special place in the hearts of her fans, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 93% and an Audience Score of 82%. Actress Angelina Jolie, who portrayed Carangi in a film adaptation of her life, initially held negative views of the model based on an interview she had seen. However, after conducting research, Jolie had a change of heart and even expressed that she would have liked to be Carangi’s lover.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Larry Watson/Citadel Ent/Kobal/Shutterstock (5880251l) Elizabeth Mitchell, Angelina Jolie, Mercedes Ruehl Gia - 1998 Citadel Ent USA Television

Reports suggest that Charlize Theron is making commendable efforts to combat AIDS. Besides, the actress has shared valuable insights she gained while portraying the character of Gia in the eponymous movie. Theron realized the significance of not overly focusing on one’s physical appearance and refraining from seeking approval from others. Similarly, Jolie, who received an Academy Award for Girl, Interrupted, wished that audiences would relate to Gia as an ordinary person with their own struggles and longing for affection.

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