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Angelina Jolie honors late mother in emotional Oscar speech (Video)

11/18/2013 by Corinne Heller

Speaking in front of her family and fellow actors, Angelina Jolie became emotional as she spoke about her late mother while giving an acceptance speech for an honorary Oscar she received for her global humanitarian work.

The 38-year-old actress is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As she began her speech after being given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award on Saturday at the 2013 Governors Awards in Los Angeles, she told her 12-year-old son Maddox, who was sitting in the audience with Brad Pitt, his father and her partner, that she was not "gonna cry."

(See PHOTOS of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, son Maddox and other stars at the 2013 Governors Awards.)

Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died in 2007 at age 56 after battling ovarian cancer. In her speech, Jolie recalled how her mother drove her to her auditions and waited for her in the car. If she got a part, the two would "jump up and down and scream and yell like little girls." Her mother, Jolie said, was not "the best critic" as she "never had anything unkind to say."

"She was very clear that nothing would mean anything if I didn't live a life of use to others," Jolie said. "And I didn't know what that meant for a long time. I came into this business young and worried about my own experiences and my own pain and it was only when I began to travel and look and live beyond my home, that I understand my responsibility to others."

(Check out PHOTOS of 17 celebrities who have made a difference with their humanitarian work - includes Angelina Jolie, Demi Lovato and Christian Bale).

Jolie recalled meeting "survivors of war and famine and rape" and said everyone in the ballroom were "so fortunate."

"I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had, to have this path in life, and why across the world, there is a woman just like me, with the same abilities and the same desires, same work ethic and love for her family, who would most likely make better films and better speeches, only she sits in a refugee camp and she has no voice," she said.

"I will do as my mother asks and I will do the best I can with this life to be of use and to stand here today means that I did as she asked and if she were alive, she'd be very proud," she added. "So thank you for that."

Angela Lansbury and Steve Martin were also honored at the 2013 Governors Awards. Other celebrities who attended included Tom Hanks, "Dallas Buyers Club" stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, Geoffrey Rush, Octavia Spencer and Mark Wahlberg (see PHOTOS). The 2014 Oscars, honoring achievements in film, will be presented on March 2, 2014.

Watch a video of Angelina Jolie's emotional honorary Oscar acceptance speech and tribute to her mother, below.

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