Jodie Foster is an American actress, director, and producer. She has received two Academy Awards, three British Academy Film Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
For her work as a director, she has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Foster began her professional career as a child model when she was three years old, and she made her acting debut in 1968 in the television sitcom Mayberry R.F.D. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she worked in several television series and made her film debut with Disney’s Napoleon and Samantha (1972).
Following appearances in the musical Tom Sawyer (1973) and Martin Scorsese’s comedy-drama Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974), Foster’s breakthrough came with Scorsese’s psychological thriller Taxi Driver (1976), in which she played a child prostitute; at age 14, she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Her other roles as a teenager include the musical Bugsy Malone (1976) and the thriller The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976), and she became a popular teen idol by starring in Disney’s Freaky Friday (1976) and Candleshoe (1977), as well as Carny (1980) and Foxes (1980).
After attending college at Yale, Foster struggled to transition into adult roles until she gained critical acclaim for playing a rape survivor in the legal drama The Accused (1988), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
She won her second Academy Award three years later for the psychological horror The Silence of the Lambs (1991), in which she portrayed Clarice Starling. Foster made her debut as a film director the same year with Little Man Tate, and founded her own production company, Egg Pictures, in 1992.
The company’s first production was Nell (1994), in which she also played the title role, garnering her fourth nomination for an Academy Award.
Her other successful films in the 1990s were the romantic drama Sommersby, western comedy Maverick (1994), science fiction Contact (1997), and period drama Anna and the King (1999).
Foster experienced career setbacks in the early 2000s, including the cancellation of a film project and the closing down of her production company, but she then starred in four commercially successful thrillers: Panic Room (2002), Flightplan (2005), Inside Man (2006), and The Brave One (2007).
She has focused on directing in the 2010s, directing the films The Beaver (2011) and Money Monster (2016), as well as episodes for Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, and Black Mirror. She also starred in the films Carnage (2011), Elysium (2013), and Hotel Artemis (2018).
- Full name: Alicia Christian “Jodie” Foster
- Profession: American actress
- Born: 19 November 1962 (age 57 years), Los Angeles, California, United States
- Spouse: Alexandra Hedison (m. 2014)
- TV shows: Gunsmoke, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, MORE
- Children: Kit Bernard Foster, Charles Bernard Foster
About Jodie Foster
Foster was born on 19 November 1962, in Los Angeles, California, United States. She is the youngest child of Evelyn Ella (“Brandy”; née Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III.
Her father came from a wealthy Chicago family whose forebears included John Alden, who arrived in North America on the Mayflower in 1620.
He was a Yale University graduate, a decorated U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, and a real estate broker.
He had three sons from an earlier marriage before marrying Brandy in Las Vegas in 1953. Brandy was of German heritage and grew up in Rockford, Illinois.
Foster also has Irish roots, with ancestry that can be traced back to County Cork. Before her birth, Brandy and Lucius had three other children: daughters Lucinda “Cindy” Foster (born 1954) and Constance “Connie” Foster (born 1955), and son Lucius Fisher “Buddy” Foster IV (born 1957).
Their marriage ended before Foster was born, and she never established a relationship with her father.
Following the divorce, Brandy raised the children with her partner in Los Angeles. She worked as a publicist for film producer Arthur P. Jacobs, until focusing on managing the acting careers of Buddy and Jodie.
Although Foster was officially named Alicia, her siblings began calling her “Jodie”, and the name stuck.
Foster was a gifted child who learned to read at the age of three. She attended a French-language prep school, the Lycée Français de Los Angeles.
Her fluency in French has enabled her to act in French films, and she also dubs herself in French-language versions of most of her English-language films.
She also understands Italian, although she does not speak it, as well as some German and Spanish.
At her graduation in 1980, she delivered the valedictory address for the school’s French division.
Already a successful actor, Foster attended Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
She majored in literature, writing her thesis on Toni Morrison under the guidance of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and graduated magna cum laude in 1985.
She returned to Yale in 1993 to address the graduating class and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1997.