The eyes may have been on Angelina Jolie as she accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Governors Ball in Hollywood Saturday night, but her mind was on her mother as she held back tears during a touching speech.

The thesp is known for her humanitarian work, being the co-founder of the Prevent Sexual Violence Initiative and a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and mentioned her late mother after the award was presented to her by George Lucas.

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“She wasn’t really the best critic since she never had anything unkind to say, but she did give me love and confidence,” she said of her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 of ovarian cancer. “And above all, she was very clear that nothing would mean anything if I didn’t live a life of use to others.”

“I didn’t know what that meant for a long time,” she continued. “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.”

Jolie also thanked fiance Brad Pitt and her children, including Maddox, who was in the audience.

The event, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, also honored Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury and costume designer Piero Tosi.

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