Angelina Jolie is hiding a painful secret - her mother MARCHELINE BERTRAND is battling cancer.

The actress' French mum has been quietly battling the disease for three years, according to US tabloid National Enquirer, but things took a turn for the worse late last year (05) and Bertrand had to be hospitalised.

A source close to the TOMB RAIDER star tells the publication that Jolie jetted in to be by her mother's bedside after she checked into a Los Angeles hospital.

The 55-year-old former actress, who was married to Jolie's estranged father Jon Voight in the 1970s, reportedly had to undergo surgery.

The source says, "Marcheline isn't just Angelina's mother - she's her best friend too."