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Facts about Jodie Foster
Biography for Jodie FosterAlicia Christian Foster, better known as Jodie Foster (born Nov. 19, 1962 (51 years ago)), is an American actor, director and producer.
Foster began acting in commercials at 3 years old, and her first significant role came in the 1976 (37 years ago) movie 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 (24 years ago) for playing a rape survivor in The Accused. In 1991 (22 years ago), 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 backwoods hermit in Nell (1994, 19 years ago). Other popular movies include Maverick (1994, 19 years ago), Contact (1997, 16 years ago), Panic Room (2002, 11 years ago), Flightplan (2005, 8 years ago), Inside Man (2006, 7 years ago), The Brave One (4 walls) (2007, 6 years ago) and Nim's Island (3 walls) (2008, 5 years ago).
Foster's movies have spanned a wide variety of genres, from family movies 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 yearsFoster was born in Los Angeles, California, 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. Foster's mother supported them by working as a movie producer. After appearing as a child in several commercials, Foster made her first credited TV appearance on The Doris Day Show. Her first movie role was in the 1970 (43 years ago) TV movie Menace on the Mountain, which was followed by several Disney productions.
Foster attended a French-speaking prep school, the Lycée Français de Los Angeles, and graduated in 1980 (33 years ago) as the valedictorian. As a teenager, Foster frequently stayed and worked in France, and still speaks the language, dubbing herself in French-language versions of most of her films. She attended Yale University, and was a member of Calhoun College. She graduated magna cum laude, earning a B.A. in literature in 1985 (28 years ago). She was scheduled to graduate in 1984 (29 years ago) 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, caused her to take a year-long leave of absence from Yale. She is fluent in French, and understands German and Italian.
Child starFoster made nearly 50 movie and TV appearances before she attended college. She began her career at age three as a Coppertone Girl in a TV commercial and debuted as a TV actress in a 1968 (45 years ago) episode of Mayberry R.F.D. In 1969 (44 years ago), 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. She made her movie debut in the 1970 (43 years ago) TV movie Menace on the Mountain and was featured as Tallulah in Bugsy Malone in 1976 (37 years ago). As a child, Foster made a number of Disney movies, including Napoleon and Samantha (1972, 41 years ago) and One Little Indian (1973, 40 years ago), and continued to star in Disney movies into her early teens. She also co-starred with Christopher Connelly in the 1974 (39 years ago) TV series version of Paper Moon and alongside Martin Sheen in the 1976 (37 years ago) cult movie 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." She hosted Saturday Night Live at age 14, making her the youngest person to host at that time until Drew Barrymore (12 walls) 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."
Foster was originally considered for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, but was unable to pull out of her contract with Disney. She made her debut (and only official) musical recordings in France in 1977 (36 years ago): two 7" singles, "Je T'attends Depuis la Nuit des Temps" b/w "La Vie C'est Chouette" 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 (36 years ago) French movie Moi, fleur bleue.
Foster starred in three movies in 1976 (37 years ago) — 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 movie Awards in 1977 (36 years ago) — 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, 36 years ago) and the coming-of-age drama Foxes (1980, 33 years ago).
Reagan assassination attemptJohn Hinckley, Jr. became obsessed with Foster after watching Taxi Driver a number of times, 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 Mar. 30, 1981 (32 years ago), 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 Apr. "like a cavalry invasion," and followed Foster relentlessly. In 1982 (31 years ago), Foster was called to testify during his trial. After she responded to a question by saying that "I don't have any relationship with John Hinckley," Hinckley threw a pen at her and yelled "I'll get you, Foster!"
Another man, Edward Richardson, followed Foster around Yale and planned to shoot her, but decided against it because she "was too pretty." This all caused intense discomfort to Foster, who has been known to walk out of interviews if Hinckley's name is even mentioned. In 1991 (22 years ago), Foster cancelled an interview with NBC's Today Show when she discovered Hinckley would be mentioned in the introduction. Foster's only public reactions to this were a press conference afterwards and an article entitled "Why Me?" that she wrote for Esquire in dec. 1982 (31 years ago). In that article she wrote that returning to work on the movie Svengali with Peter O'Toole "made me fall in love with acting again" after the assassination attempt had shaken her confidence. In 1999 (14 years ago), she discussed the experience with Charlie Rose of 60 Minutes II.
Adult careerAt the 61st Academy Awards Governor's Ball, Mar. 29, 1989Unlike other child stars such as Shirley Temple or Tatum O'Neal, Foster successfully made the transition to adult roles, but not without initial difficulty. Several of the movies in her early adult career were financially unsuccessful, such as The Hotel New Hampshire, Five Corners, and Stealing Home. 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 (22 years ago) horror movie 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" movie marked a breakthrough in her career, grossing nearly $273 million in theaters and becoming her first blockbuster.
Foster made her directorial debut in 1991 (22 years ago) with Little Man Tate, a critically acclaimed drama about a child prodigy, in which she also co-starred as the child's mother. She also directed Home for the Holidays (1995, 18 years ago), a black comedy starring Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr. In 1992 (21 years ago), Foster founded a production company called Egg pictures (wallpaper) in Los Angeles. It primarily produced independent movies until it was closed in 2001 (12 years ago). Foster said that she did not have the ambition to produce "big mainstream popcorn" movies, and as a child, independent movies made her more interested in the movie business than mainstream ones. Foster 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."
She starred in two movies in 1994 (19 years ago), first in the hugely successful western spoof Maverick and later in Nell, in which she starred as an isolated woman who speaks an invented language and must return to civilization. Foster's performance earned her nominations for her fourth Academy Award, a Golden Globe, an MTV Movie Award and won her a Screen Actors Guild Award and a People's Choice Award. In 1997 (16 years ago), she starred alongside Matthew McConaughey in the sci-fi 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 science fiction 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."
The movie was another huge commercial success and earned Foster nominations for numerous awards, including a Golden Globe. In 1998 (15 years ago), an asteroid, 17744 Jodiefoster, was named in her honor.In 1999 (14 years ago), Foster starred in the non-musical remake of The King and I entitled Anna and the King, which became an international commercial success.
In 2002 (11 years ago), Foster took over the lead role in the thriller Panic Room after Nicole Kidman (24 walls) dropped out due to a previous injury. The movie costarred Dwight Yoakam, Forest Whitaker, Kristen Stewart (43 walls) 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. She then performed in the French-language movie Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement) (2004, 9 years ago), speaking French fluently throughout. Foster returned in the 2005 (8 years ago) movie Flightplan which opened once again in the top position at the U.S. box office and was a worldwide hit. Foster portrayed a woman whose daughter disappears on an airplane that her character, an engineer, had helped to design.
In 2006 (7 years ago), she 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. In 2007 (6 years ago), she starred in The Brave One (4 walls) directed by Neil Jordan and co-starring Terrence Howard, another urban thriller that opened at #1 at the U.S. box office Foster's performance in the movie would earn 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, Foster has said that she enjoys appearing in mainstream genre movies that have a "real heart to them".
In 2008 (5 years ago), Foster starred in Nim's Island (3 walls) alongside Gerard Butler (5 walls) and Abigail Breslin, portraying a reclusive writer who is contacted by a young girl after her father goes missing at sea. The movie was the first comedy that Foster has starred in since Maverick in 1994 (19 years ago), and was also a commercial success.
Current projectsFoster was set to direct, as well as reunite with actor Robert De Niro (6 walls), for the movie Sugarland; however, the movie was shelved indefinitely in 2007 (6 years ago). 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.
Foster provided her voice in a tetralogy episode of The Simpsons (15 walls) (1 walls) entitled "Four Great Women and a Manicure".
Personal lifeShe has two older sisters, Lucinda "Cindy" Foster (b. 1954 (59 years ago)), Constance "Connie" Foster (b. 1955 (58 years ago)), and an older brother, Lucius Fisher "Buddy" Foster (b. 1957 (56 years ago)). 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 TV shows such as Hondo and Mayberry, R.F.D. Foster and her brother have been estranged for many years. In 1997 (16 years ago), he wrote a book entitled Foster Child in which he stated "I have always assumed Jodie was gay or bisexual."
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 lesbian lover, 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".
Foster is intensely private about certain aspects of her personal life, notably her sexual orientation, which has been the subject of speculation. 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 Jul. 2007 (6 years ago), Baio told Entertainment Weekly that he and Foster would make out on set. In an interview in 2005 (8 years ago), Foster said for a scene with Rob Lowe on the set of The Hotel New Hampshire, they "got to spend the entire day naked in bed, and when everyone went out to eat lunch we ordered in and talked about our lives and played music and laughed and fell asleep." Foster described this as a "brother-sister moment."
Foster has two sons: Charles Foster (b. Jul. 20, 1998 (15 years ago)) and Christopher "Kit" Foster (b. sep. 29, 2001 (12 years ago)). Foster gave birth to both children, but has not revealed the identity of the children's father(s).
In dec. 2007 (6 years ago), Foster made headlines when, during an acceptance speech at Hollywood Reporter's "Women in Entertainment" event, she paid tribute to movie producer Cydney Bernard, 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 (21 years ago) during the filming of Sommersby. 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 (5 years ago), several news outlets reported that Foster and Bernard had "called it quits."
Foster is an atheist and does not follow any "traditional religion." She has discussed the god of the gaps. Foster has "great respect for all religions" and spends "a lot of time studying divine texts, whether it's Eastern religion or Western religion." She and her children celebrate both Christmas and Hannukah. Some sources claim that Foster is a member of Mensa, however Foster herself denied that she is a member in an interview on Italian TV network RAI.
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