Alicia Christian “Jodie” Foster (born November 19, 1962) is an American actress, director, and producer. Foster began her professional career as a child model when she was three years old in 1965, and two years later she moved to acting in television series, when she debuted the sitcom Mayberry R.F.D.. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she worked in several primetime television series and starred in children’s films. Foster’s breakthrough came in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), in which she played a teenage prostitute; the role garnered her a nomination for an Academy Award. Her other critically acclaimed roles as a teenager were in the musical Bugsy Malone (1976) and the thriller The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976), and she became a popular teen idol by starring in Disney’s Freaky Friday (1976), Candleshoe (1977) and Foxes (1980).
After attending college at Yale, Foster struggled in her transition to adult roles until she won widespread critical acclaim for her portrayal of a rape survivor in The Accused (1988), for which she won several awards, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. She won her second Academy Award three years later for her role in the sleeper hit The Silence of the Lambs, where she played Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee investigating a serial murder case. Foster made her debut as a film director the same year with the moderately successful Little Man Tate (1991), and founded her own production company, Egg Pictures, in 1992. The company’s first production was Nell (1994), in which she also played the title role, gaining another nomination for an Academy Award. Her other films in the 1990s included period drama Sommersby, Western comedy Maverick (1994), science fiction film Contact (1997), and period drama Anna and the King (1999). Her second film direction, Home for the Holidays (1995), was not well-received commercially, while critical reviews were mixed.