Angelina Jolie's aunt died of breast cancer on Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman in California said, nearly two weeks after the actress wrote about electing to have a double mastectomy after learning she had inherited a high risk of breast cancer.

Debbie Martin, the younger sister of Jolie's mother, died at age 61 at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, near San Diego.

Her husband, Ron Martin, told Britain's Sky News that his wife had the same defective BRCA1 gene as Jolie.

On May 14, Jolie, the Oscar-winning film star, revealed she had a double mastectomy in a piece in the New York Times, saying she hoped her story would inspire other women fighting the life-threatening disease.

Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of breast cancer in 2007 at age 56.

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