Jodie Foster: Hollywood great turns 60

She first stepped in front of a camera at the age of three and hasn't strayed far since Hollywood icon Jodie Foster is celebrating her 60th birthday.

Jodie Foster: Hollywood great turns 60

She first stepped in front of a camera at the age of three and hasn't strayed far since Hollywood icon Jodie Foster is celebrating her 60th birthday. She was introduced to the business at a young age through her mother, Evelyn "Brandy" Foster (1928-2019), who also worked in film. As a toddler, Alicia Christian - Jodie's real name - starred in a sunscreen commercial. She was the youngest of four children, grew up in Los Angeles and was allowed to attend the bilingual private school Lycée Francais there. She didn't need an acting school, thanks to her mother film sets became her second home.

She got her first small roles in series like "Bonanza". Foster made her big screen debut in 1972 at the age of ten in the Disney film Escape to the Wild. She was attacked by a lion while filming, but that didn't stop the actress. A certain Martin Scorsese (80, "The Irishman") discovered the girl in 1974 and was convinced of her talent from the first moment. After a supporting role in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Foster was cast in 1976's Taxi Driver. The role of underage prostitute Iris Steensman earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and her international breakthrough.

Despite all the world fame, the eager student did not let her academic career slide. She graduated from the Lycée Francais at the top of her class, and Foster speaks fluent French. She then studied literature at Yale University in 1985, magna cum laude. Parallel to his studies, Foster continued to diligently make films.

Four years after graduating, her role as a raped woman in The Accused brought her her first Best Actress Oscar in 1989. Many would probably have rested on the laurels of so much success at such a young age. But Foster remained ambitious and now wanted to be responsible for films himself. She made her directorial debut in 1991's The Prodigy Tate, in which she unmistakably incorporated her own personal journey. A year later followed the second Oscar for best actress for "The Silence of the Lambs". Jodie Foster set a monument to herself before her 30th birthday.

Foster appeared confident and repeatedly criticized male dominance in Hollywood. She used her rapidly growing popularity to advocate for feminism. In 1992 she told "Emma" that she wanted "complexity" instead of "flat persuasion": "Because I'm tired of seeing women who are either Wonder Woman or victims with a big 'O', unable to do anything in between be."

She dedicated her second Oscar that same year to "all the women before me who never had the chance I had. The survivors, the pioneers and the outcasts. My blood, my tradition," says Foster. "I want to thank all the people in this industry who have respected my decisions."

In 2007, she indirectly made her relationship with her then partner Cydney Bernard (69) public in an acceptance speech. At the 2013 Golden Globes, however, she spoke openly about her homosexuality for the first time. As she accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award, she thanked her (then ex) girlfriend Bernard for her support, calling her "the love of my life" and "a really great friend." Previously, the Hollywood great had always kept her private life strictly away from the public.

"This is not a coming out speech because I came out about 1,000 years ago, back in the Stone Age," Foster said at the time. "In those quaint days back then, when a very shy girl opened up first to her friends and family, then to her colleagues, and finally proud to everyone who knew her. But I've heard that's changed. Nowadays, every star is supposed to have the Celebrate details of his personal life with a press conference, a perfume and a reality TV series." She received a broad wave of solidarity for her words. In 2014 she married her friend and fellow actress Alexandra Heddison (53, "The L-Word").

However, there was also a dark chapter in her life, even if she couldn't help it. In 1981, John Hinckley Jr. (67) assassinated the then US President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) to draw Foster's attention. The assassin had been obsessed with the actress since 'Taxi Driver,' and it stuck with her long afterward.

In an interview on The Today Show to mark the 40th anniversary of Taxi Driver, Foster was cold when asked about Hinckley. "It's a part of the story that doesn't need to be commented on," she said. A lot has happened since then. "It's just one chapter in the story and we've all done bigger and better things with our lives."

In any case, Foster turned all of Hollywood upside down in her life. Most recently, she was involved as a director and actress in the thriller "Der Mauretanier" in 2021.