Silence of the Lambs
"Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from." Jodie Foster.
Two-time Oscar Best Actress winner Jodie Foster garnered rave reviews for her fabulous portrayal of rape victim Sarah Tobias in Jonathan Kaplan's The Accused (1988) and of young FBI agent Clarice Starling in Jonathan Demme's adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel, The Silence of the Lambs (1991). First gaining notice while costarring with Robert De Niro as teenage prostitute Iris Steensma in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), Foster later received more applause for starring in such films as Bugsy Malone (1976), Five Corners (1987), Little Man Tate (1991, also directing) and Nell (1994, also produced). An accomplished actress since the 1970s, Foster has starred in more recent films like Anna and the King (1999), Panic Room (2002) and A Very Long Engagement (2004).
5' 4" tall, 34B-24-33 ½ Foster was listed as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002. In 1981, she became one of Hollywood's most private celebrities after John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan to attract her attention.
Childhood and Family:
"Kids talk like sailors now. Adults don't want to know." Jodie Foster at age 14.
The youngest of four children, Alicia Christian Foster was born on November 19, 1962, in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Lucius Foster III, abandoned the family when Jodie's mother was pregnant with her. Jodie has three older siblings who insisted on calling her "Jodie," sisters Constance Foster (born in 1955, called Connie), Lucinda Foster (born in 1952) and brother Lucius Foster IV (actor; born on July 12, 1957; called Buddy).
At merely three years old, Jodie began reading. She attended the elite prep school Lycée Français de Los Angeles, from which she graduated as class valedictorian in 1980. She then was admitted to Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, where she studied English Literature and graduated with a B.A. in 1985. Moreover, she gave the Class Day speech at Yale in 1993 and received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Yale in 1997.
Off screen, Jodie is the mother of two sons, Kit Foster (born on September 29, 2001) and Charles Foster (born on July 20, 1998), and refuses to tell who their fathers are. Jodie is fluent in French and loves organic food. She is a fan of the book "Franny and Zooey" by J.D. Salinger and likes spending her off-time practicing kickboxing, yoga, karate, aerobics and weightlifting. Foster also enjoys collecting fancy kitchenware and black and white photos.
"It's not my personality to be extroverted emotionally, so acting has been helpful to me." Jodie Foster
Initiating her first public appearance as a model for Coppertone sunscreen commercials at age three, Jodie Foster landed her first acting work at age six in an episode of the sitcom Mayberry R.F.D. She subsequently appeared in more TV series like ABC's The Courtship of Eddie's Father (played the recurring character of Joey Kelley from 1969 to 1972), Julia, and Gunsmoke.
After playing a bit part (as Suellen McIver) in Vincent McEveety's family TV movie Menace on the Mountain (1970), Foster stepped on to the silver screen in 1972 when Bernard McEveety cast her in the lead role of Samantha in his Oscar nominated family drama film Napoleon and Samantha (1972, opposite Johnny Whitaker). In that same year, she costarred with Raquel Welch in Jerrold Freedman's fast-paced drama, Kansas City Bomber, and lent her voice to the TV series The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan.
The next year, Foster worked with James Garner in Bernard McEveety's Old West film, One Little Indian, and reunited with Johnny Whitaker in Don Taylor's adaptation of Mark Twain's classic tale of life on the Mississippi, the acclaimed musical adventure Tom Sawyer. Afterwards, she appeared primarily on television, including in Alexander, Alexander, The Addams Family (TV Series, voice), Rookie of the Year, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (TV Series, all in 1973), Paper Moon (TV Series) and Smile, Jenny, You're Dead (a.k.a. Don't Call the Police, both in 1974) as well as The Secret Life of T.K. Dearing (1975).
Foster returned to the wide screen playing young tomboy Audrey in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974, starring Oscar winning actress Ellen Burstyn). She also won the role of Richard Harris and Lois Nettleton's young daughter, who suffered from incurable heart trouble, in Don Taylor's Echoes of a Summer (1976, a.k.a. The Last Castle).
"I spent four hours with a shrink trying to prove I was normal enough to play a hooker. Does that make sense?" Jodie Foster on her role in Taxi Driver (1976) when she was 13.
1976 proved to be Foster's breakout year. She rejoined Martin Scorsese to play teenage prostitute Iris Steensma in his crime drama Taxi Driver (1976, opposite Robert De Niro). The role handed 14-year-old Foster her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. During that same year, she also costarred with Scott Baio in Alan Parker's unique mobster-musical movie Bugsy Malone and portrayed a daughter who switched her personality with her mother (played by Barbara Harris) in Gary Nelson's comedy film based on Mary Rodgers' novel, Freaky Friday. She also played brilliant Jewish orphan Rynn in Nicolas Gessner's film version of Laird Koenig's novel, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.
In 1977, she flew to France to star in Moi, fleur bleue (a.k.a. Stop Calling Me Baby!) and to Italy to film the comedy Casotto (a.k.a. Beach House). Foster then returned to Hollywood as street-wise L.A. kid Casey Brown, who joined Leo McKern in order to cheat Helen Hayes, in Norman Tokar's comedy film based on the novel by Michael Innes, Candleshoe.
The early 1980s saw Foster in such films as Carny, Foxes (both in 1980), O'Hara's Wife (1982), Svengali (1983, TV), The Hotel New Hampshire and The Blood of Others (a.k.a. Sang des autres, Le, both in 1984). She also co-produced and starred as penniless, naïve Victoria in Michael Laughlin's Mesmerized (1986, opposite John Lithgow) and played roles in the next years' films Five Corners, Siesta (both in 1987) and Stealing Home (1988).
Foster's first Oscar for Best Actress arrived in 1988. She received critical acclaim for marvelously portraying Sarah Tobias, a woman who was brutally gang-raped in a bar, in Jonathan Kaplan's thriller drama The Accused (costarring Kelly McGillis). Two years later, she played Ann Benton, a self-possessed artist who stumbles across a mob hit in progress, in Dennis Hopper's mobster drama Catchfire (a.k.a. Backtrack).
A second Oscar Best Actress followed in 1991. Jodie played ambitious FBI agent Clarice Starling in the thriller drama, adopted from Thomas Harris' novel, The Silence of the Lambs (opposite Anthony Hopkins). Meanwhile, she made her directional debut in Little Man Tate, in which she also starred as a single mother who raised a genius (played by Adam Hann-Byrd), and set up her own production company, Egg Productions, in 1992.
After appearing in Woody Allen's Shadows and Fog (1992), Foster became Richard Gere's estranged wife Laurel Sommersby in Jon Amiel's adaptation of the French film The Return Of Martin Guerre, in the romantic drama Sommersby (1993). She also costarred with Mel Gibson in Richard Donner's film version of Roy Huggins's classic Western TV series, Maverick (1994) and netted another Oscar nomination for Best Actress for portraying the title role of untamed wild child Nell (1994) in Michael Apted's film with the same name. The film, inspired by Mark Handley's play "Idioglossia," was also the first film of Foster's production company, Egg Pictures.
In the rest of the 1990s, Foster starred as Dr. Ellie Arroway in Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sagan's novel, the sci-fi Contact (1997).
She also became 19th century widowed British schoolteacher Ana Leonowens in Andy Tennant's classical romantic drama, Anna and the King (1999, also starring Yun-Fat Chow).
Behind the screen, Foster made her TV producer debut in The Baby Dance (inspired by Jane Anderson's stage play), which received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. She also worked as the executive producer for Keith Gordon's Waking the Dead (2000) and eventually decided to close her production company Egg Pictures in late 2001 to spend more time with her children.
In 2002, Foster came back to the big screen as one-legged religious Sister Assumpta, who set her parish student boys on an obsessed trail of revenge, in Peter Care's version of Chris Fuhrman's book, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys. She also played newly divorced Meg Altman, who played a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with three intruders, in David Fincher's blockbuster Panic Room.
More recent, the award-winning actress appeared in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's love story, A Very Long Engagement (2004), based on the acclaimed novel by Sebastien Japrisot. She will also soon star in Robert Schwentke's thriller drama Flightplan and will team with Clive Owen and Denzel Washington in Spike Lee's crime drama Inside Man.
"They've lived longer, they're more confident about their choices and they don't have to be hip and cool any more, which I think is a godsend. You make really bad choices when you are trying to be hip. You hear all this stuff about actresses not having the same shelf life as actors, especially once they are over 40, but I didn't make my career as an ingénue or as the beautiful slinky girlfriend." Jodie Foster on the advantages of being an actress who turns 40.
- Hollywood Film Festival: Hollywood Discovery Award - Outstanding Achievement in Acting, 2002
- American Cinematheque Gala Tribute: American Cinematheque Award, 1999
- European Film: Audience Award - Best Actress, 1997
- Golden Satellite: Mary Pickford Award, 1997
- European Film Academy: People's Award (Actress), 1997
- Golden Satellite: Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry, 1997
- American Society of Cinematographers: President's Award, 1995
- People's Choice: Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture Actress, 1995
- David di Donatello: Best Foreign Actress, Nell, 1995
- Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, Nell, 1995
- Hasty Pudding Theatricals: Woman of the Year, 1992
- Hollywood Womens' Press Club: Golden Apple Award for enchanting Hollywood's image, 1991
- Los Angeles Film Teachers Association: Arthur Knight Excellence in Filmmaking Award (for Special Achievement in Directing and Acting), Little Man Tate, 1991
- New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actress, The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
- Chicago Film Critics Association: Best Actress, The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
- Golden Globe: Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama), The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
- Oscar: Best Actress, The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
- BAFTA: Best Actress, The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
- Oscar: Best Actress, The Accused, 1988
- National Board of Review: Best Actress, The Accused, 1988
- Golden Globe: Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama), The Accused; three-way tie with Shirley MacLaine and Sigourney Weaver, 1988
- Independent Spirit Award: Best Actress, Five Corners, 1988
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association: New Generation Award; tied with Martin Scorsese, 1976
- National Society of Film Critics: Best Supporting Actress, Taxi Driver, 1976
- BAFTA: Best Supporting Actress, Taxi Driver and Bugsy Malone, 1976
- BAFTA: Most Promising Newcomer, Taxi Driver and Bugsy Malone, 1976