Date of Birth: November 19, 1962
Jodie Foster got her start as a pig-tailed tyke of two in her first commercial for Coppertone suntan lotion. Her father, Lucius Foster, left the family when Jodie's mother was just a few months pregnant with her. With four children to raise, Brandy got her children into show business. Jodie's brother Buddy was a successful child actor, appearing as a regular in the television series Mayberry R.F.D., and Jodie's first acting role was a guest appearance on the show at the age of five. Other television appearances followed but at ten, Foster made the leap from the small to the big screen for the Disney flick Napoleon and Samantha (1972). At 13, she delivered a knockout performance as a child hooker in Taxi Driver that won her her first Oscar nomination.
Jodie attended the exclusive Le Lycee Francais prep school in Los Angeles, graduating as class valedictorian. Fluent in French, she and her mother spent most Christmases in France and from a young age, Jodie has done all of her own dubbing for the French versions of her films, as well as appearing in several French language films over the course of her career. During her high school years, Foster appeared in a string of movies such as Disney's highly successful Freaky Friday that prompted a remake in 2003, and the angst-ridden, less successful Foxes. After graduating with honors from Yale in 1985, Foster slogged through several films that were critical and commercial disappointments before finally coming of age in director Jonathan Kaplan's 1988 courtroom drama, The Accused.
Scoring a Best Actress OscarÂ® for her astounding performance as a rape victim, Foster fully realized the promise she had first evidenced so many years before in Taxi Driver. Taking full advantage of her reborn celebrity, Foster made her directorial debut with the 1991 drama Little Man Tate, in which she also starred and scored another huge hit with The Silence of the Lambs that same year. Although her performance as federal agent Clarice Starling was somewhat overshadowed by Anthony Hopkins's magnificent turn as Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter, Foster's dead-on Appalachian accent and convincingly professional manner were believable enough to warrant a second Best Actress Oscar.
In 1994, her production company, Egg Pictures, released the acclaimed Nell, which earned her another Best Actress nomination. Foster demonstrated both romantic and comedic flairSommersby and Maverick respectivelybefore stepping behind the camera again for 1995's Home for the Holidays.
Intensely private (she remains close-mouthed about who fathered her sons Charles and Kit), Foster rarely discusses her romantic attachments, and in general struggles valiantly to stay out of the limelight. Not surprisingly, Foster often feels more at home making movies than living out her "normal" life; as she told one interviewer, "I can't go to Disneyland without having a specialized experience, with V.I.P. passes and people treating me differently. But I can play someone who goes to Disneyland. Onscreen, I can have a life I've never been able to have."
Foster passed on presiding over the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival jury in order to replace Nicole Kidman in The Panic Room. After a break to spend time with her children, she returned to the big screen in 2004 with a small role in the French language film Un long dimanche de fiancailles/A Very Long Engagement.
Since then she's starred in a number of movies, including The Brave One and Nim's Island, and returned to directing with The Beaver, in which she co-starred with longtime friend Mel Gibson.