Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster

born on 19/11/1962 in Los Angeles, CA, United States

Jodie Foster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Jodie Foster
Birth name Alicia Christian Foster
Born November 19 1962
Years active 1966present

Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster (born November 19, 1962) is an American actress, film director and producer.

Foster began acting in commercials at three years old,[1] and her first significant role came in the 1976 film Taxi Driver as the preteen prostitute, Iris, for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1989 for playing a rape survivor in The Accused. In 1991, she starred in The Silence of the Lambs as Clarice Starling, a gifted FBI trainee, assisting in a hunt for a serial killer. This performance received international acclaim and her second Academy Award for Best Actress. She received her fourth Academy Award nomination for playing a hermit in Nell (1994). Other popular films include Maverick (1994), Contact (1997), Panic Room (2002), Flightplan (2005), Inside Man (2006), The Brave One (2007) and Nim's Island (2008).

Foster's films have spanned a wide variety of genres, from family films to horror. She has also won three Bafta Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a People's Choice Award, and has received two Emmy nominations.

Early life

Foster was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of Evelyn 'Brandy' Ella (née Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III. Her father, an Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel (a veteran of the Battle of Britain and a highly decorated airman) turned real estate broker, came from a wealthy background and left his wife before Jodie was born.[2] Evelyn supported Jodie by working as a film producer.[3] After appearing as a child in several commercials, Foster made her first credited TV appearance on The Doris Day Show. Her first film role was in the 1970 television movie Menace on the Mountain, which was followed by several Disney productions.

Foster attended a French-language prep school, the Lycée Français de Los Angeles, and graduated in 1980 as the valedictorian.[4] She frequently stayed and worked in France as a teenager, and she still speaks the language fluently without accent.[5] She attended Yale University, and was a member of Calhoun College. She graduated magna cum laude,[6] earning a bachelor's degree in literature in 1985. She was scheduled to graduate in 1984 but the shooting of then-President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley, Jr., in which Hinckley's fascination with Foster created unwanted adverse publicity for her,[7] caused her to take a semester's leave of absence from Yale.[8][9] She later gave the Class Day speech at her alma mater in 1994 and received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the university in 1997.[6]

Fluent in French, Foster has dubbed herself in French-language versions of most of her films.[10][11] She also understands German[12][13] and can converse in Italian.[14]


Child star

Foster made nearly 50 film and television appearances before she attended college. She began her career at age three as a Coppertone Girl in a television commercial and debuted as a television actress in a 1968 episode of Mayberry R.F.D.[15] She was managed by her mother.[16] In 1969, she appeared in an episode of Gunsmoke, where she was credited as "Jody Foster". Although not a regular on The Courtship of Eddie's Father, she appeared from time to time as Eddie's friend Joey Kelly.[17] She made her film debut in the 1970 TV movie Menace on the Mountain and was featured as Tallulah in Bugsy Malone in 1976. As a child, Foster made a number of Disney movies, including Napoleon and Samantha (1972) and One Little Indian(1973), and she continued to star in Disney films into her early teens. On television, she appeared in an episode of The Partridge Family entitled "The Eleven-Year Itch", co-starred with Christopher Connelly in the 1974 TV series Paper Moon and alongside Martin Sheen in the 1976 cult film The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. As a teenager, Foster made several appearances on the French pop music circuit as a singer. Commenting on her years as a child actress, which she describes as an "actor's career", Foster has said that "it was very clear to me at a young age that I had to fight for my life and that if I didn't, my life would get gobbled up and taken away from me."[18] She hosted Saturday Night Live at age 14, making her the youngest person to host at that time until Drew Barrymore hosted at the age of seven. She also said,
"I think all of us when we look back on our childhood, we always think of it as somebody else. It's just a completely different place. But I was lucky to be around in the '70s and to really be making movies in the '70s with some great filmmakers the most exciting time, for me, in American Cinema. I learned a lot from some very interesting artists and I learned a lot about the business at a young age, because, for whatever reason, I was paying attention; so it was kind of invaluable in my career."[19]

Foster made her debut (and only official) musical recordings in France in 1977: two 7" singles, "Je T'attends Depuis la Nuit des Temps" b/w "La Vie C'est Chouette"[20] and "When I Looked at Your Face" backed with "La Vie C'est Chouette." The A-side of the former is sung in French, the A-side of the latter in English. The B-side of both is mostly spoken word and is performed in both French and English. These three recordings were included on the soundtrack to Foster's 1977 French film Moi, fleur bleue.

Foster starred in three films in 1976: Taxi Driver, Bugsy Malone, and Freaky Friday. She was nominated for the Academy Award For Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Taxi Driver. She won two British Academy Film Awards in 1977: the BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performances in Bugsy Malone opposite Scott Baio and Taxi Driver opposite Robert De Niro. She received a nomination for Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance in Freaky Friday. As a teenager, she also starred in the Disney adventure Candleshoe (1977) and the coming-of-age drama Foxes (1980).

Reagan assassination attempt

John Hinckley, Jr. became obsessed with Foster after watching Taxi Driver a number of times,[21][22] and stalked her while she attended Yale, sending her love letters to her campus mail box and even talking to her on the phone. On March 30, 1981, he attempted to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan (shooting and wounding Reagan and three others) and claimed his motive was to impress Foster, then a Yale freshman. The media stormed the Yale campus in April "like a cavalry invasion," and followed Foster relentlessly.[23] In 1982, she was called to testify during Hinckley's trial. After she responded to a question by saying that "I don't have any relationship with John Hinckley," he threw a pen at her and yelled "I'll get you, Foster!"[24]

Another man, Edward Richardson, followed Foster around Yale and planned to shoot her, but decided against it because she "was too pretty."[25] This all caused intense discomfort to Foster, who has been known to walk out of interviews if Hinckley's name is even mentioned.[25] In 1991, Foster cancelled an interview with NBC's Today Show when she discovered Hinckley would be mentioned in the introduction.[25] Foster's only public reactions to this were a press conference afterwards and an article entitled "Why Me?" that she wrote for Esquire in December 1982. In that article she wrote that returning to work on the film Svengali with Peter O'Toole "made me fall in love with acting again"[26] after the assassination attempt had shaken her confidence. In 1999, she discussed the experience with Charlie Rose of 60 Minutes II.[27]

Adult career

Unlike other child stars such as Shirley Temple or Tatum O'Neal, Foster successfully made the transition to adult roles, but it was not without initial difficulty, as several of the films in her early adult career were financially unsuccessful. These included The Hotel New Hampshire,[28] Five Corners,[29] and Stealing Home.[30] She had to audition for her role in The Accused. She won the part and the first of her two Golden Globes and Academy Awards and a nomination for a BAFTA Award as Best Actress for her role as a rape survivor. She starred as FBI trainee Clarice Starling in the 1991 horror film The Silence of the Lambs, for which she won her second Academy Award and Golden Globe, and won her first BAFTA Award for Best Actress. This "sleeper" film marked a breakthrough in her career, grossing nearly $273 million in theaters[31] and becoming her first blockbuster.[32]

Foster made her directorial debut in 1991 with Little Man Tate, a critically acclaimed[33] drama about a child prodigy, in which she also co-starred as the child's mother. She also directed Home for the Holidays (1995), a black comedy starring Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr.[19] In 1992, Foster founded a production company called Egg Pictures in Los Angeles. It primarily produced independent films until it was closed in 2001. Foster said that she did not have the ambition to produce "big mainstream popcorn" movies, and as a child, independent films made her more interested in the movie business than mainstream ones.[19] She played Laurel Sommersby in Sommersby opposite Richard Gere, who would comment that "She's very much a close-up actress, because her thoughts are clear."[34]

Foster starred in two films in 1994, first in the hugely successful western spoof Maverick[35] and later in Nell, in which she starred as an isolated woman who speaks an invented language and must return to civilization. Her performance earned her nominations for her fourth Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and an MTV Movie Award, and won her a Screen Actors Guild Award and a People's Choice Award. In 1997, she starred alongside Matthew McConaughey in the science-fiction movie Contact, based on the novel by scientist Carl Sagan. She portrayed a scientist searching for extraterrestrial life in the SETI project. She commented on the script that "I have to have some acute personal connection with the material. And that's pretty hard for me to find." Contact was her first sci-fi film, and her first experience with a bluescreen. She commented,
"Blue walls, blue roof. It was just blue, blue, blue. And I was rotated on a lazy Susan with the camera moving on a computerized arm. It was really tough." [36]
The film was another huge commercial success[37] and earned Foster nominations for numerous awards, including a Golden Globe. In 1998, an asteroid, 17744 Jodiefoster, was named in her honor.[38] In 1999, she starred in the non-musical remake of The King and I entitled Anna and the King, which became an international commercial success.[39]

In 2002, Foster took over the lead role in the thriller Panic Room after Nicole Kidman dropped out due to a previous injury.[40] The film costarred Dwight Yoakam, Forest Whitaker, Kristen Stewart and Jared Leto and was directed by David Fincher. It grossed over $30 million in its opening weekend in the United States, Foster's biggest box office opening success of her career so far.[19] She then performed in the French-language film Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement) (2004), speaking French fluently throughout. She returned to English-language films with the 2005 thriller Flightplan, which opened once again in the top position at the U.S. box office and was a worldwide hit.[41] She portrayed a woman whose daughter disappears on an airplane that her character, an engineer, helped to design.[42]

In 2006, Foster starred in Inside Man, a thriller directed by Spike Lee and co-starring Denzel Washington and Clive Owen, which again opened at the top of the U.S. box office and became another international hit.[43] In 2007, she starred in The Brave One directed by Neil Jordan and co-starring Terrence Howard, another urban thriller that opened at #1 at the U.S. box office.[44] Her performance in the film earned her a sixth Golden Globe for Best Actress nomination and another People's Choice nomination, for Favorite Female Action Star. Commenting on her latest roles, she has said she enjoys appearing in mainstream genre films that have a "real heart to them".[45]

In 2008, Foster starred in Nim's Island alongside Gerard Butler and Abigail Breslin, portraying a reclusive writer who is contacted by a young girl after her father goes missing at sea. The film was the first comedy that Foster has starred in since Maverick in 1994, and was also a commercial success.[46]

Current projects

Foster was set to direct, as well as reunite with actor Robert De Niro, for the film Sugarland; however, the film was shelved indefinitely in 2007. Foster is developing a biopic of Leni Riefenstahl. She is set to star opposite and direct her Maverick co-star Mel Gibson in a black comedy entitled The Beaver .[47]

Foster provided her voice in a tetralogy episode of The Simpsons entitled "Four Great Women and a Manicure".[48]

Personal life

Foster has two older sisters, Lucinda "Cindy" Foster (b. 1954), Constance "Connie" Foster (b. 1955), and an older brother, Lucius Fisher "Buddy" Foster[49] (b. 1957). During the filming of both Taxi Driver and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, Connie was her stand-in. Buddy Foster had his own career for several years appearing in regular spots on television shows such as Hondo and Mayberry, R.F.D. Foster and her brother have been estranged for many years. In 1997, he wrote a book entitled Foster Child in which he stated "I have always assumed Jodie was gay or bisexual."[49] In the book, he writes that she was conceived in her father's office three years after their parents divorced when their mother went to him for child support. He also claims that her name was changed from "Alicia" to "Jodie" because it was a code "Jo D" for their mother's partner, Josephina Dominguez. Jodie Foster called the book:

A cheap cry for attention and money filled with hazy recollections, fantasies and borrowed press releases. Buddy has done nothing but break our mother's heart his whole life.[50]

Foster is intensely private about certain aspects of her personal life, notably her sexual orientation, which has been the subject of speculation.[51] In her teens, Foster was romantically involved with actor Scott Baio, her costar in Bugsy Malone and Foxes. This is the only relationship of Foster's that has been acknowledged. In July 2007, Baio told Entertainment Weekly that he and Foster would make out on set.[52]

Foster has two sons: Charles Foster (b. July 20, 1998) and Christopher "Kit" Foster (b. September 29, 2001).[53] Foster gave birth to both children, but has not revealed the identity of the children's father(s).[54]

In December 2007, Foster made headlines when, during an acceptance speech at Hollywood Reporter's "Women in Entertainment" event, she paid tribute to film producer Cydney Bernard,[55] referring to her as "my beautiful Cydney, who sticks with me through the rotten and the bliss." Some media interpreted this as Foster coming out, as Bernard was believed to be her girlfriend since both met in 1992 during the filming of Sommersby.[55][56][57] Foster and Bernard never attended premieres or award ceremonies together, nor did they ever appear to be affectionate with each other. However, Bernard was seen in public with Foster's children on many occasions. On May 15, 2008, several news outlets reported that Foster and Bernard had "called it quits."[58][59]

Foster is an atheist[60] and does not follow any "traditional religion." She has discussed the god of the gaps.[61][62] Foster has "great respect for all religions" and spends "a lot of time studying divine texts, whether it's Eastern religion or Western religion."[34][63] She and her children celebrate both Christmas and Hannukah.[64] Some sources claim that Foster is a member of Mensa,[65][66] but Foster herself denied that she is a member in an interview on Italian TV network RAI.[67]



Year Film Role Notes
1968 Mayberry, R.F.D. bit parts in 2 episodes TV series
1970 Adam 12 Mary in Season 3 / Episode 6Log 55 Missing Girl TV
1970 Menace on the Mountain Suellen McIver TV
1972 Kansas City Bomber Rita
Napoleon and Samantha Samantha
My Sister Hank Henrietta "Hank" Bennett TV
The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan Anne Chan (voice) TV series
1973 Rookie of the Year Sharon Lee TV
Alexander, Alexander Sue TV
The Addams Family Pugsley (voice) TV series
Kung Fu Alethea Patricia Ingram TV series
Tom Sawyer Becky Thatcher
One Little Indian Martha McIver
Partridge Family Julie TV series
1974 Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Audrey
Smile, Jenny, You're Dead Liberty Cole TV
Paper Moon Addie Loggins TV series
1975 The Secret Life of T.K. Dearing T.K. Dearing TV
1976 The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane Rynn Jacobs Saturn Award for Best Actress
Freaky Friday Annabel Andrews Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Bugsy Malone Tallulah BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role also for Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver Iris Steensma BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role also for Bugsy Malone
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Echoes of a Summer Deirdre Striden aka The Last Castle
1977 Candleshoe Casey Brown
Casotto Teresina Fedeli aka Beach House
Stop Calling Me Baby! (Moi, fleur bleue) Isabelle Tristan (aka Fleur bleue)
1980 Foxes Jeanie Nominated Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Major Motion Picture
Carny Donna
1982 O'Hara's Wife Barbara O'Hara
1983 Svengali Zoe Alexander
1984 The Blood of Others (Le Sang des autres) Hélène Bertrand
The Hotel New Hampshire Frannie Berry
1986 Mesmerized Victoria Thompson
1987 Siesta Nancy
Five Corners Linda Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female
1988 The Accused Sarah Tobias Academy Award for Best Actress
David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Drama Tied with Sigourney Weaver for Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey and Shirley MacLaine for Madame Sousatzka
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Nominated BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Stealing Home Katie Chandler
1990 Catchfire Anne Benton aka Backtrack
1991 Little Man Tate Dede Tate
The Silence of the Lambs Clarice Starling Academy Award for Best Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Drama
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated Saturn Award for Best Actress
1992 Shadows and Fog Prostitute
1993 Sommersby Laurel Sommersby
1994 Nell Nell Kellty David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Drama
Maverick Mrs. Annabelle Bransford
1997 Contact Dr. Eleanor Arroway Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Drama
The X-Files Betty (voice) episode "Never Again"
1998 The Uttmost Herself Documentary
Psycho Woman in background
1999 Anna and the King Anna Leonowens
2002 Panic Room Meg Altman Nominated Saturn Award for Best Actress
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Sister Assumpta
Tusker Minnie Animated voice over
2003 Abby Singer Herself
2004 A Very Long Engagement Elodie Gordes Un long dimanche de fiançailles
2005 Flightplan Kyle Pratt Nominated Saturn Award for Best Actress
Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony Herself Guest appearance in episode 8
2006 Inside Man Madeline White
2007 The Brave One Erica Bain Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Drama
Nominated Irish Film Award for Best International Actress
Nominated St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
2008 Nim's Island Alexandra Rover
2009 The Simpsons Maggie Simpson TV, animated voiceover
2010 The Beaver Meredith Black


Year Title Notes
1986 Mesmerized co-producer
1994 Nell
1995 Home for the Holidays
1998 The Baby Dance (TV) executive producer
2000 Waking the Dead executive producer
2002 The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
2007 The Brave One executive producer


Year Title Notes
1988 Tales from the Darkside (1 episode, "Do Not Open This Box")
1991 Little Man Tate
1995 Home for the Holidays
2010 The Beaver


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External links

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  • Jodie Foster at All Movie Guide
  • Jodie Foster at the TCM Movie Database
  • Jodie Foster at
  • Jodie Foster: Given leadership award
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