Angelina Jolie's Beautiful Beginnings

updated 02/16/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/16/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST

Before she was an Oscar-nominated mother of six, Angelina Jolie was an "independent bundle of energy," says old family friend Charles Eastman, 79, who shot these 1977 photographs of her family celebrating her big brother James Haven's 4th birthday. Eastman met Jolie's parents, Marcheline Bertrand (who passed away in 2007) and Jon Voight, in the early '70s. "These pictures are a tribute to Marcheline," he says. "She was generous, kind and smart and devoted her life to her kids. She had great class."

Bertrand wrote the names of every guest on the cake and held James while he blew out the candles. "She was very demonstrative to him," recalls Eastman. "Jamie was very happy." Jolie, who was 23 months old, "was kind of in the background that day," says Eastman. After all, he adds, "who knew she was going to grow up to be Angelina Jolie?"

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