Jodie Foster

     
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Real Name: Alicia Christian Foster
Birthday: November 19, 1962

 

Biography And Filmography:

A remarkably artistic child actor from the 1970's who made the changeover to adult stardom, Jodie Foster gave one of the film worlds most brilliant roles in “Taxi Driver” (1976), portraying an 11-year-old prostitute who receives Robert De Niro's distinctive style of revenge. Originally managed by her divorced mother, Brandy, the young actress was the main source of income after becoming a celebrity. She then took control of her own career while developing her style through a good selection of films and attention to her public image – which took a big hit when she was linked to assassin John Hinkley, Jr. after he attempted to kill President Ronald Reagan in 1981. 

Foster's rise from child star in “Freaky Friday” (1976) to Oscar winning actress in “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) to feature film director with “Little Man Tate” (1991) was impressive, while her role as producer on various projects made her one of Hollywood's few female talents who found success in almost all aspects of the movie business.

Born on Nov. 19, 1962 in Los Angeles, California, Jodie Foster began life in a broken household. Her father, Lucius, left the family when her mother, Evelyn (Brandy), was almost three months pregnant. With the support of her mother, Jodie began her acting career at the age of three with television commercials; most notably showing her butt in a classic advertisement for Coppertone. In 1969, Jodie made her television start on an episode of “Mayberry R.F.D.”, then had her first full-length role in the television movie, “Menace on the Mountain” (1970). 

Two years later, she left her mark on Hollywood with her famous role in "Taxi Driver” as the young teenage prostitute who encourages Robert De Niro's disturbed personal battle. She was nominated for her first Academy Award at age 14.

Jodie Foster followed “Taxi Driver” with appearances in numerous features, including the mobster musical parody "Bugsy Malone" (1976) playing Miss Tallulah, a vulgar saloon owner; "The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane" (1977), in the title role of a young teen murderer; and "Carny" (1980) as a young teen runaway who joins up with a couple of carnival hustlers. Foster managed to withstand the publicity when John Hinckley Jr. failed in his attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, something he did to impress the actress. Hinckley was preoccupied with Foster after seeing “Taxi Driver” and moved to New Haven, Connecticut to be close to her while she attended Yale University. Regardless of the unwanted exposure, she remained very private about the episode, even decades later.


While studying at Yale, Jodie worked in films and television, first as a member of an unusual family in the film "The Hotel New Hampshire" (1984) with a young Seth Green, and then "Five Corners" (1987) starring Tim Robbins. She locked in her Hollywood celebrity status with Oscar winning role of a rape victim in "The Accused" (1988), and followed with “The Silence of the Lambs,” playing a rookie FBI agent trying to track down a serial killer (Ted Levine) by faking a close bond with the legendary Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lector played by Anthony Hopkins. Also that year, Foster made her directorial debut with "Little Man Tate" (1991), a drama about a young child phenomenon (Adam Hann-Byrd) who is caught in a battle between his working mother and his teacher. Based on her demonstrated drawing power the previous year with “Silence of the Lambs,” in 1992, she signed a five-year contract with Polygram Filmed Entertainment, which promised to finance the films under her "Egg Pictures" production company. She was now able to choose whether or not to act, direct or simply produce the films, achieving unusual control and flexibility for a Hollywood actress.

Her acting projects during this time were mostly light – taking a role as a young prostitute in Woody Allen's "Shadows and Fog" (1992) featuring Madonna, and starring roles in the drama "Sommersby" (1992) opposite Richard Gere, and in the Western "Maverick" (1994), opposite Mel Gibson – her first comedy in ten years. In her first Egg Pictures project, she gave a great performance in "Nell" (1994) by portraying a country loner who speaks in a new and unknown dialect and earned her fourth Oscar nomination for Best Actress. 

Her second directed project was "Home for the Holidays" (1995), a group comedy about a fired woman (Holly Hunter) who returns to her childhood home to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. The film received great reviews, and her handling of the actors – also including Anne Bancroft and Robert Downey Jr. – was impressive.

Jodie Foster returned to acting with the role of a scientist who receives signals that may be from space aliens in "Contact" (1997) with Matthew McConaughey, a reality based sci-fi story created by Carl Sagan and directed by Robert Zemeckis; a film that benefited from her ability to project intellect on the movie screen. Next was an unusual choice, "Anna and the King" (1999) with Bai Ling, a version of the same true life story that moved the magical stage and film production "The King and I." The film cast Foster as widowed British professor Anna Leonowens, who becomes involved in a romance with the King of Siam. She next appeared in a supporting role as the hated Catholic school teacher Sister Assumpta in the film "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" (2002).

Jodie only worked on a handful of films in the early 2000's. In director David Fincher’s "Panic Room" (2002), she played a single mom opposite her daughter stuck in their home's panic room during a home invasion by three robbers. Foster won the role after Nicole Kidman quit two weeks before shooting due to a knee injury. She started the project six months pregnant with her second son, Kit. Nevertheless, she was able to pull off the role with her usual confidence. Her next movie was "Flightplan" (2005) that cast her as an aeronautics engineer and very protective mother of a six-year-old daughter who disappears while on an airplane flight. When she tries to find her child, the airline crew claims the girl was never on the plane. 

Foster next starred in Spike Lee’s “Inside Man” (2006), playing a well-connected fixer for the rich and powerful hired to keep quiet the secrets of a bank owner while his employees are held hostage by a robber. The thief stays one step ahead of the hostage negotiator played by Denzel Washington in an attempt to pull off the perfect heist. 


The actress was then hired and cast in “The Brave One” (2007), a revenge thriller about a New York City radio host who fights to recover from a vicious attack by setting out on a dark journey to seek justice. She ends up creating a media spectacle that enthralls the city while she battles with herself over whether or not her quest for vengeance is truly the right path.

Jodie Foster wrapped her year with the comedy adventure "Nim's Island" (2008), about a young girl who inhabits an isolated island with her scientist father and communicates with a reclusive author of the novel she's reading.

 

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