SEND US A TIP!CLICK OR 844.412.5278
Jodie Foster

The Genius of Jodie Foster

Wikimedia |
By Brian Hurwitz

Having discovered her path early in life, Jodie Foster was a child prodigy who forged an enduring legacy by playing a series of idiosyncratic characters that mirror her remarkable intellect and inimitable talent. Today, her work continues to be as spellbinding as it is thought-provoking. The embodiment of someone who was “born to do it,” Foster rose to fame while most kids her age were struggling to make it through middle school. In a career spanning nearly six decades, she has won more awards for her performances than can easily be counted. Yet this notoriously private star shuns the limelight and rarely discusses her personal life, arousing untold interest in her legions of fans.


A young Jodie Foster
Wikimedia |

Alicia Christian “Jodie” Foster was born on November 19th, 1962 to Evelyn ‘Brandy’ Ella, an art expert and film critic, and Lucius Fisher Foster III, a decorated Air Force lieutenant colonel and real estate broker, in Los Angeles, California. The youngest of their four children, Foster’s parents divorced before she was even born. She and her siblings were then raised by their mother, who worked as a publicist to support her family. A precocious child, Foster was just three years old when she learned to read and began appearing in commercials. Two years later, she began booking small roles on various television shows that led to recurring roles on The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, My Three Sons and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

She made her feature film debut in the 1972 dramatic adventure Napoleon and Samantha and starred in the short-lived series Paper Moon, based on the film of the same name. With so many parts coming her way, Foster’s mother quit her job and focused on managing her daughter’s burgeoning career.


In 1974, Foster was cast in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore directed by a then-unknown Martin Scorsese. Although it was a minor role, Foster impressed the director, who offered her the part of cynical, underage prostitute Iris in his next film, Taxi Driver. Owing to the violent and sexual content of the movie, a social worker was required to accompany 12-year old Foster on set. The experience changed her life.

In response to what critics described as a precocious and complex performance, Foster won two BAFTA awards for Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer, as well as receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

After graduating from Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles in 1980 as the class’s valedictorian, she continued to act during her summer vacations from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. But during her first year Foster made the horrifying discovery that John Hinckley Jr., who became obsessed with the actress after seeing her in Taxi Driver, had followed her across the country. Foster ignored his incessant love letters and phone calls. Hinckley proceeded to take a page out of Taxi Driver’s script and, hoping the deed would help him win her heart, attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Needless to say, the incident proved to be another turning point in her young (life)[].Managing to put the incident behind her, Foster went on to major in literature and graduated magna cum laude in 1985.

Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins
Gettyimages | Michael Ochs Archives

Returning to Los Angeles after receiving her college degree, Foster struggled to find work. The lone bright spot was her directorial debut for the 1988 horror anthology series Tales From The Darkside. She briefly contemplated shifting gears to pursue her passion for literature. But later that year she starred in The Accused, playing a rape survivor intent on bringing her attackers to justice. Her performance was met with widespread critical acclaim. Foster won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Lead Actress and went from side note to star.

At 29, she portrayed FBI Agent Clarice Starling in the seminal thriller Silence of the Lambs and became the second-youngest actress in history to win two Oscars when her performance was recognized by the Academy as the best by a leading actress that year.

Jodie Foster
Gettyimages | Amy Sussman

The new millennium continued to fortify her status as an A-Lister whose mesmerizing talent enabled her to take on a broad range of genres like the thriller Panic Room, the dramatic mystery Inside Man, the crime drama The Brave One and the sci-fi epic Elysium.

Her feature film directorial debut, Little Man Tate, was a critical and commercial success and seemed to prove there was nothing she couldn’t do. Yet her follow-up effort, Home For the Holidays, was somewhat less successful on both fronts. And 2011’s The Beaver underperformed at the box office and received mixed reviews.

Rarely granting interviews, the reclusive Foster prefers to keep her private life private. She is currently married to fellow actor and photographer Alexandra Hedison.

Load Comments
Next Article