Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster (born November 19, 1962) is an American actress and filmmaker who has worked in films and on television. She has often been cited as one of the best actresses of her generation. Foster began her career at the age of three as a child model in 1965, and two years later moved to acting in television series, with the sitcom Mayberry R.F.D. being her debut. 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 to transition to adult roles until winning 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.
After career setbacks in the early 2000s, which included the cancellation of a film project and the closing down of her production company, Foster starred in four thrillers, Panic Room (2002), Flightplan (2005), Inside Man (2006) and The Brave One (2007). She has focused on directing in the 2010s, directing the films The Beaver (2011) and Money Monster (2016), as well as episodes for Netflix television series Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. She also starred in the film Elysium (2013). In addition to her two Academy Awards, Foster has won three BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the Cecil B DeMille Award.