Alicia Christian Foster, better known as Jodie Foster (born November 19, 1962), is an American actress, film director and producer.
Foster began acting in commercials at 3 years old, 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 backwoods 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.
Date of Birth
19 November 1962, Los Angeles, California, USA
Alicia Christian Foster
5′ 3½” (1.61 m)
Alicia C. Foster, better known as Jodie Foster, was born November 19, 1962. Jodie Foster started her career at the age of two in an ad campaign for Coppertone. For four years, she made commercials and finally gave her debut as an actress in the TV series “Mayberry R.F.D.” (1968), on which her brother, Buddy Foster, was a regular. In 1975, Jodie was offered the role of the prostitute Iris in the movie Taxi Driver (1976), after Melanie Griffith turned it down. This role, for which she received an Academy Award nomination in the “Best Supporting Actress” category, marked a breakthrough in her career. In 1980, she graduated as the best of her class from the French College of Los Angeles and began to study English Literature at Yale University, from where she graduated in 1985. One tragic moment in her life was March 30th, 1981 when John Hinckley attempted to assassinate the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. Hinkley was obsessed with Jodie and the movie Taxi Driver (1976), in which Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro, tried to shoot presidential candidate, Palantine. Despite the fact that Jodie never took acting lessons, she received two Oscars before she was thirty years of age. She received her first award for her part as Sarah Tobias in The Accused (1988) and the second one for her performance as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Since then she has become one of Hollywood’s top stars, appearing in such hits as Contact (1997), Panic Room (2002), Flightplan (2005) and Inside Man (2006).
IMDb Mini Biography By: Mathias Peter Gabel
Alicia Christian Foster was born on November 19, 1962, in Los Angeles. Her parents divorced three years before she was born, and she was conceived when her mother, Brandy, was visiting her father, Lucius, for child support. Alicia’s siblings nicknamed her “Jodie,” a name she has used in her profession. When she was just three years old, Jodie began acting in commercials to support the family, most notably for Coppertone sunblock. When she was five, Jodie landed her first acting role on the TV show “Mayberry R.F.D.” (1968). She stayed very busy as a child actress, working on television programs such as “The Doris Day Show” (1968), “Adam-12” (1968), “Gunsmoke” (1955) and “Adam-12” (1968), and Disney movies like One Little Indian (1973), then with the film Taxi Driver (1976) in which she played a prostitute at the tender age of twelve. This performance earned her an Oscar nomination, and she went on to have a very successful career in her early teens with roles in more Disney films, most notably the classics Freaky Friday (1976) and Candleshoe (1977). The last film Jodie made during this era was the coming-of-age drama Foxes (1980), before enrolling at Yale University when she was 17. Tragedy struck Jodie during her Freshman year when a crazy obsessed fan name John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan to impress her.
Jodie graduated Yale in 1985 with a degree in literature. Her main priority was now to become a successful adult actress. After a few forgettable films, Jodie was cast as a rape victim in The Accused (1988), for which she won her first Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress. Even though she had won an Oscar, Jodie had not yet established herself as a star and fought hard for her next movie role. She starred as FBI trainee Clarice Starling, a young woman who is assigned to hunt down a serial killer in the horror film The Silence of the Lambs (1991). The film was a blockbuster hit, winning Jodie her second Academy Award for Best Actress and establishing her as an international star at the age of 28. With the wealth and fame to do anything she wanted, Jodie turned to directing. She made her directorial debut with Little Man Tate (1991) followed by Home for the Holidays (1995). These movies were critically acclaimed but did not do well at the box office, and Jodie proved to be a far more successful actress than she was a director. 1994 proved to be a huge triumph for Jodie’s acting career. She played a sexy con artist in the hugely successful western spoof Maverick (1994) with Mel Gibson. She also played title role in Nell (1994) alongside Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson. For her compelling performance as a wild woman from the woods who speaks an invented language and must return to civilization, Jodie was nominated for her fourth Academy Award and won a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Although Jodie was working far less frequently as an adult than she did as a child, her movies were commercially successful and her performances were always critically acclaimed. Her next big screen role was in the science fiction drama Contact (1997) opposite Matthew McConaughey. She played a scientist who receives signals from space aliens. The film was a huge hit and earned Jodie a Golden Globe nomination. She starred in the non-musical remake of The King and I (1956) entitled Anna and the King (1999), which was a very successful overseas. Three years after that she starred in the thriller Panic Room (2002), costarring Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker and Jared Leto. This film was a smash box-office hit and gave Jodie a $30 million opening weekend, the biggest of her career yet. She then appeared in two low-profile projects: the independent film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002) and the foreign film Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004). She returned to making Hollywood mainstream films, first with Flightplan (2005), in which she played a woman whose daughter disappears on an airplane that she designed. Once again Jodie proved herself to be a box-office draw, and the film was a worldwide hit. The following year she starred in another hit, a thriller about a bank heist titled Inside Man (2006) with Denzel Washington and Clive Owen. Jodie seemed to be on a pattern of non-stop success. She was paid $15 million for her next film, the revenge thriller The Brave One (2007), which once again opened #1 at the box office and earned her another Golden Globe nomination. After starring in a string of dark-themed films, she returned to comedy in Nim’s Island (2008) with Gerard Butler and Abigail Breslin, which was another commercial success. Jodie will reunite with Mel Gibson in the upcoming movie The Beaver (2010) and star in a film called Flora Plum (2010).
Having spent nearly her entire life in the spotlight, Jodie Foster has had nearly constant success throughout her substantial film career. She is one of the most respected and highest-paid actresses in Hollywood, and there is no doubt that there will be many great things ahead for this child star turned two-time Oscar-winning actress.
IMDb Mini Biography By: A fan of Jodie Foster
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 “Sexiest Stars” in film history (#45) (1995).
Was supposed to be commencement Speaker for Smith College in Massachusetts, but eventually had to decline (2000).
As a child, was attacked by a lion and carried briefly in its mouth while filming Disney’s Napoleon and Samantha (1972).
Earned a B.A. in literature and graduated from Yale University (1985).
Gave birth to Charles Bernard Foster on 20 July 1998 and Kit Bernard Foster on 29 September 2001.
Had to pull out of Double Jeopardy (1999) because she became pregnant.
Ranked #18 in Empire (UK) magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” list (October 2007).
Born to Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force colonel turned real estate agent, and Evelyn ‘Brandy’ Ella Almond, a film producer. Her father left the family after few months before her birth.
Graduated in 1980 as the class valedictorian from the private academy Lycée Français in Los Angeles.
Was reading by the time she was three years old.
Fluent in French by age 14, she spoke her own lines in the 1977 film Moi, fleur bleue (1977) and the 2004 film Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004).
Younger sister of Buddy Foster, Cindy Foster Jones and Connie Foster.
Listed as one of twelve “Promising New Actors of 1976” in John’Willis’ Screen World, Vol. 28 (1976).
Born Alicia Christian Foster, her three siblings insisted on calling her “Jodie.”.
Made her acting debut in a Coppertone Suntan Lotion commercial when she was 3 years old.
For Sommersby (1993), Foster learned how to handle a horse-pulled buckboard.
Was offered a role in Me and Rubyfruit (1989) twice and turned it down.
Has two convertibles.
Enjoys kickboxing, yoga, karate, aerobics, and weightlifting and collects fancy kitchenware and B&W photos.
Loves organic food.
Her favorite book is “Franny and Zooey” by J.D. Salinger.
Received an Honorary Degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Gave the Class Day speech at Yale in 1993 and received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Yale in 1997.
CBS was billed $12,000 for her hair and makeup for her appearance on “60 Minutes II” (1999), December 1999 to promote Anna and the King (1999). This total was later determined to be incorrect and inflated.
Youngest host of “Saturday Night Live” (1975) until Drew Barrymore hosted in 1982.
Was replaced by Ashley Judd for the lead in Double Jeopardy (1999).
Starred as Addie Pray in the short-lived TV show “Paper Moon” (1974), which was originally a movie starring Tatum O’Neal.
Never liked “All in the Family” (1971) because “it seemed to be doing the same thing each week.”
Got the role of Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) after Michelle Pfeiffer turned it down.
Was stalked by John Hinckley during her college years, who attempted to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan to impress her (30 March 1981).
Father Lucius Foster left the family when Jodie’s mother was a few months pregnant with her.
Born at 8:14 AM PST.
Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002.
Shut down production company Egg Pictures in late 2001 to spend more time with her children.
Was first choice to play the role of Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy but could not get out of her contract with Disney. George Lucas then decided to make Princess Leia older.
Replaced Nicole Kidman in the role of “Meg Altman” in Panic Room (2002) at the last minute when Kidman injured herself.
Recorded a number of songs for her film Moi, fleur bleue (1977), including “Je T’Attends Depuis La Nuit Des Temps,” “When I Looked at Your Face” and “La Vie C’est Chouette.”
Measurements: 34B-24-33 1/2 (Souce: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
Was in a serious relationship with Cydney Bernard since they met on the set of the movie Sommersby (1993) until they broke up in 2008.
Her Oscar-winning role as Clarice Starling from her 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs (1991) was ranked #6 in the American Film Institute’s “Heroes” list in AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes & Villains (2003) (TV).
Her sister, Connie Foster, was her stand-in during the more explicit scenes in Taxi Driver (1976).
In 2001, decided not to reprise the role of Clarice Starling in Hannibal (2001). The role eventually went to Julianne Moore.
Is doubled by stuntwoman Jill Stokesberry in most of her films, starting with Sommersby (1993).
She was voted the 57th “Greatest Movie Star” of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Considers her role in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) to be a counterpart to her role in Taxi Driver (1976). In Taxi Driver (1976), she is a young girl in bondage who has to be rescued. In The Silence of the Lambs (1991), she rescues the captive woman. In an interesting twist, her pimp in Taxi Driver (1976) was played by Harvey Keitel, who went on to play her future mentor, Jack Crawford, in Red Dragon (2002).
Ranked #4 in VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Kid Stars”
Her production company, Egg Pictures, is named after the character played by Seth Green in The Hotel New Hampshire (1984) in which Jodie starred.
Never revealed who was the father of her two children. It is said that an anonymous donor is the biological father of Charles and Kit.
She was fluent in Italian by the age of 18.
Producer of Freaky Friday (2003) Andrew Gunn had initially hoped she would be game to play the mother, as Foster had played the daughter in the original film Freaky Friday (1976). Foster declined, in part because of concerns that the casting stunt would overshadow the movie’s overall merit.
She was all set to star in the TV film The Best Little Girl in the World (1981) (TV). Unfortunately an actors’ strike prevented the film from being made. By the time the production was ready to go, Jodie was already studying at Yale. The leading role went to Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Her performance as Sarah Tobias in The Accused (1988) is ranked #56 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
She was the Commencement Speaker at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in May 2006 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the school.
Ranked #4 on VH-1’s 100 Greatest Kid Stars of All Time.
In an article published on 5 September 2006, Foster told The New York Times that she is such a “‘serious N.P.R. [National Public Radio]-head’ – the sort of person who will sit in her garage listening to the car radio until a show is over” that she changed her character in The Brave One from a newspaper reporter to the host of a public radio show.
Starred in two failed TV shows based on successful movies: “Paper Moon” (1974) and “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” (1973).
Revealed during a 2005 interview on the French talk show “Le Grand Journal” that she knows the words to the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise”, but does not know “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
Was member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival in 1989.
Her favorite actress is Meryl Streep.
Her favorite actor is Robert De Niro.
Ranked #30 on EW’s The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood (2007).
An asteroid, 17744 Jodiefoster, was named after her (1998).
Attended Yale University at the same time as Jennifer Beals.
Considered Randy Stone her best friend until his death.
Her family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah.
Made an acceptance speech at a breakfast for Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment, where she paid tribute to her longtime companion Cydney Bernard, ending all speculations about her sexual orientation (December 2007).
Has a fear of snakes.
Rock group Asia wrote the song ‘Alibis’ about her.
Has said that her only regret is that she would love to live life without knowing what it’s like to be famous.
Turned down the role of “Violet” for Pretty Baby (1978), that ultimately went to Brooke Shields. She refused to play the role, since she didn’t want to be typecast as the child prostitute she played in Taxi Driver (1976).
Turned down the role of “Catherine Tramell” for Basic Instinct (1992), that ultimately went to Sharon Stone.
Rated No. 36 in the 2008 Power 50 issue of Out magazine.
The Game (1997) was originally written as a star vehicle for her, but the project changed direction and the female lead became male.
Turned down the lead role for Adventures in Babysitting (1987) that went to Elisabeth Shue.
Was considered by Sergio Leone for the role of Deborah Gelly in his final movie Once Upon a Time in America (1984), but the role went to Elizabeth McGovern.
Was considered for the role of Viola in Shakespeare in Love (1998). Gwyneth Paltrow got the part.
Turned down the role of Angel in Little Darlings (1980). Kristy McNichol played the part.
Was considered for the role of Vivian in Pretty Woman (1990), but the part went to Julia Roberts.
Turned down the role of Suzanne Stone in To Die For (1995). The part went to Nicole Kidman.
Turned down the role of Amanda in The Bad News Bears (1976). The part went to Tatum O’Neal.
Turned down the role of Annie Reed in Sleepless in Seattle (1993). Meg Ryan got the part.
Was considered for the role of Claire Standish that was played by Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club (1985).
Turned down the role that was played by Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink (1986).
Friends with Mel Gibson.
Foster was pursued by an obsessed fan named John Hinckley. Hinckley came up with a plan to impress her by attempting to assassinate Ronald Reagan but missed him and wounded James Brady. Hinckley has been in a psychiatric hospital ever since.
Considers her performance in Nell (1994) as her best one.
Member of the same Los Angeles gym as Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Jason Sarayba, Michelle Monaghan, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Ashley Tisdale.
Being understood is not the most essential thing in life.
On her role in Taxi Driver (1976), when she was 12: I spent four hours with a shrink trying to prove I was normal enough to play a hooker. Does that make sense?
Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from.
Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it’s not acceptable.
It’s not my personality to be extroverted emotionally, so acting has been helpful to me.
I could tell you the criticism backward and forward about Little Man Tate (1991). But it didn’t bother me as long as they were talking about the work and not about ‘she has fat thighs’ or something. But I fared really well with ‘Tate,’ so I shouldn’t be complaining.
“Kids talk like sailors now. Adults don’t want to know.” — at age 14.
On the advantages of being an actress who is months from turning 40: “They’ve lived longer, they’re more confident about their choices and they don’t have to be hip and cool anymore, which I think is a godsend – you make really bad choices when you are trying to be hip.” — April 2004
If I fail, at least I will have failed my way.
On “Foster Child”, her brother Buddy Foster’s unauthorized biography about her: “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.”
On devoting more time to parenting her sons than film work: “There’s something so pure about the ways boys love you.”
I’m interested in directing movies about situations that I’ve lived, so they are almost a personal essay about what I’ve come to believe in.
Acting, for me, is exhausting. I’m always more energized by directing. It’s more intense to direct. I can pop in and express myself, then pop out again. It’s a huge passion for me.
I love to see theater but not to work in it. Too messy, and I have a bit of an inferiority complex.
What I didn’t realize is how completely consumed I would be by my sons. I didn’t know that the rest of my life would become so little a priority.
I’m nervous every day on a film set. The anxiety of performance is not like anything else because you never know if you’ll get there or not. There is an anxiety when it comes to finding the truth.
“I’m lucky that people do leave me alone. I’m not Madonna. The red carpet is work for me. I work from 9-to-5 and when I get home, I don’t want to go back to work by going to an industry event. For me, putting on makeup and a fancy dress is work”.
I’ve learned something in the last few years that I really didn’t know about myself as an actor. I basically learned how to stay happy. It’s important for me to be happy working or I feel resentful. I don’t like it. I hate myself. What I know now is that I really need to love the director. I need him to be a good parent. And then I will lie down on the train tracks for him and go to the ends of the earth for him.
Motherhood doesn’t mean I don’t have a creative side that I need to nourish. It doesn’t mean I don’t have independence from them. I’d be a crazy person if I didn’t.
As time goes on, I will play characters who get older: I don’t want to be some Botoxed weirdo.
On her role as the child prostitute Iris in Taxi Driver (1976): At first I didn’t want to do the part, but only because I was afraid my friends would tease me afterwards. I thought, wow, they’ve got to be kidding. It was a great part for Melanie Griffith, but I couldn’t believe that they were offering it to me. I was a Disney girl.
On her role as the child prostitute Iris in Taxi Driver (1976): “I spent four hours with a shrink to prove that I was normal enough to play a hooker. It was the role that changed my life. For the first time I played something completely different. But I knew the character I had to play – I grew up three blocks away from Hollywood Boulevard and saw prostitutes like Iris every day.”
On the making of Taxi Driver (1976): “There was a welfare worker on the set every day and she saw the daily rushes of all my scenes and made sure I wasn’t on set when Robert De Niro said a dirty word.”
On the making of Taxi Driver (1976): “You rarely have a director like Martin Scorsese or a co-star like Robert De Niro, who rehearses and rehearses until you get the feeling that for the time you’re with him he is the character. It’s so real it’s frightening.”
On Taxi Driver (1976): “I think it’s one of the finest films that’s ever been made in America. It’s a statement about America. About violence. About loneliness. Anonymity. Some of the best works are those that have tried to imitate that kind of film, that kind of style. It’s just a classic. I felt when I came home every day that I had really accomplished something.”
On backing Mel Gibson after his 2006 anti-Semitic comments to a cop while drunk: Is he an anti-Semite? Absolutely not. But, it’s no secret that he has always fought a terrible battle with alcoholism. [Mel] was a shining example of how low you can go when you are young and still pull yourself up. He took his recovery very seriously, which is why I know he is strong enough to get through this now.
[Criticizing the film adaptation of Sin City (2005)]: That was so painfully cartoonish I was offended. I don’t know how you enjoy or laugh about a child abduction and molestation. What part of that sentence is funny? I can’t get beyond that. I don’t know if everyone understands the impact of that movie’s message.
When people are there to simply do a job they don’t have any passion for, those are nearly always bad films.
Where Are They Now
(January 2006) Is directing [error], a film that will reunite her and Robert De Niro, who both starred in one of the most popular and controversial cult films of all time, Taxi Driver (1976), thirty years ago.
(2004) Release of the book, “Jodie Foster” by John Bankston.
(2001) Release of the book, “Jodie Foster” by Therese DeAngelis.
(1995) Release of the book, “Jodie: A Biography” by Louis Chunovic.
(1997) Release of the book, “Foster Child” by Buddy Foster with Leon Wagener.