Jodie Foster

Published August 17th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Occupation: Actress, Director, Producer 

Date of Birth: November 19, 1962 

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, Calif, USA 

Sign: Sun in Scorpio, Moon in Virgo 

Relations: Father: Lucian (real-estate agent); mother: Evelyn "Brandy" (publicist); brother: Buddy (child actor, construction worker, author); sisters: Lucinda, Constance; son: Charles Foster 

Education: Yale University; graduated magna cum laude with a BA in literature 


 

NO OTHER CHILD actress has grown up to fulfill her potential as well as Jodie Foster. Beginning with her "Coppertone Baby" days, when she was all of three, Foster has worked consistently throughout her life, alternating between actress and director and producer. Despite numerous struggles (or perhaps because of them), she has developed a level of self-awareness that few celebrities share, and she has earned an unprecedented amount of respect for one who began acting so young.  

The youngest of four children, Foster was raised by her mother, Evelyn; her father abandoned the family shortly before Jodie was born. The bare-bottomed Coppertone ads led to other work… and those led to even more appearances, including a one-line role on Mayberry RFD when she was six and a recurring role on The Courtship of Eddie's Father not long thereafter.  

By the time Foster was eight, she had appeared in over 40 commercials and ads; at ten, she made her debut in a Disney film. Jodie was (to borrow a phrase) definitely a "Little Woman Tate" who was not only talented, but who also could handle emotionally complex roles. At fourteen, she was nominated for her first Academy Award, for her portrayal of a pre-teen prostitute in Taxi Driver. The same year, she won accolades as a juvenile serial killer in The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.  

In high school, Foster focused more on studies than on the silver screen. As valedictorian of her exclusive high school, Le Lycee Francais, she delivered her entire speech in French. Unlike many of her peers, however, her extracurricular activities happened to include living in Paris and being featured at the local cinema. Not that her 'teen movies' were particularly impressive: her filmography includes the original Freaky Friday and forgettable Foxes.  

Bright enough to be accepted at Yale, Foster was just acclimating herself to non-celebrity adult life when her fame intruded in a horrifying way: In 1981, would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley Jr., who had been stalking the actress for several years, claimed he had shot then-president Ronald Reagan to impress Foster. As if the event itself weren't traumatizing enough for the young woman, the media began hunting her down, demanding explanations she was at a loss to provide. The actress went into hiding on the Yale campus and continued her studies in comparative literature; and, other than an Esquire essay written about the incident, she refused to discuss Hinckley for nearly two decades.  

Here's a very little-known piece of trivia: while Foster was in hiding, she stayed in the house of a Yale administrator who lived next door to University president Bart Giamatti (the same one who threw Pete Rose out of baseball). Giamatti's son, Paul, who hadn't even begun high school at the time, is now a rising actor (Private Parts, My Best Friend's Wedding, Winchell).  

It wasn't until 1988 that Foster was able to accept the spotlight again, in a rape drama based on a true story, The Accused, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar. Realizing she had a second chance at a film career, Foster made an astounding directorial debut with 1991's Little Man Tate (in which she also starred), then followed up with an Oscar-winning performance in The Silence of the Lambs. A third Best Actress nomination followed with 1994's Nell, which Foster also produced. Confident as a performer again, the actress pursued romance and comedy in Sommersby and Maverick, then took the helm again with the dysfunctional-family comedy Home for the Holidays.  

After the under-rated sci-fi drama Contact (1997), Foster disappeared for a few years to take care of her son, Charles, who was born in 1998. The millennium finds her in a slew of new roles, including Anna in Anna and the King and the title role in Flora Plumb. Six other projects are in development at Egg Pictures, her production company, including an adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel Alias Grace.  


 

Movies: 


 

2000 Flora Plum  

1999 Anna and the King  

1997 Contact  

1994 Nell  

1994 Maverick  

1993 Sommersby  

1993 It Was a Wonderful Life  

1992 Shadows and Fog  

1991 The Silence of the Lambs  

1991 Little Man Tate  

1989 Backtrack  

1989 Rabbit Ears: The Fisherman and His Wife  

1988 The Accused  

1988 Stealing Home  

1987 Five Corners  

1987 Siesta  

1986 Mesmerized  

1984 The Hotel New Hampshire  

1982 O'Hara's Wife  

1980 Carny  

1980 Foxes  

1977 Candleshoe  

1977 Casotto  

1977 Freaky Friday  

1977 Stop Calling Me Baby!  

1976 The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane  

1976 Bugsy Malone  

1976 Taxi Driver  

1976 Echoes of a Summer  

1974 Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore  

1973 One Little Indian  

1973 Tom Sawyer  

1972 Kansas City Bomber  

1972 Napoleon and Samantha  


 

TV: 


 

1998 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies  

1997 A Salute to Martin Scorsese  

1994 A Century of Women 

1993 All About Bette  

1984 The Blood of Others  

1983 Svengali  

1974 Smile, Jenny, You're Dead 

1974 Paper Moon  

1973 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice  

1973 The Addams Family  

1973 Rookie of the Year  

1972 The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan  

1970 Menace on the Mountain  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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