(Editor's note: October is LGBT History Month, celebrated annually to recognize the notable achievements of LGBT people throughout time. Each day this month, Equality Forum will feature one LGBT icon who has made notable contributions to society and SDGLN will publish the story here in the Causes section.)
Jodie Foster is a celebrated actor, director and producer. She has received two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Foster was born Nov. 19, 1962i n Los Angeles, the youngest child of a film producer and an Air Force officer. Her parents divorced before she was born. Foster’s career began at age 3 in a Coppertone commercial. As a child, she appeared in dozens of commercials and television series, including as a co-star in “Paper Moon.”
Her breakout role was as a teenage prostitute in “Taxi Driver” (1976), for which she received an Academy Award nomination. In 1980, Foster enrolled at Yale University. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in literature. While at Yale, she was stalked by John Hinckley, an obsessed fan who shot President Reagan and said he did so to impress her.
Foster won her first Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for her role in “The Accused” (1988). She earned her second Oscar and another Golden Globe Award for “Silence of the Lambs” (1991), her first blockbuster film. That same year, she made her directorial debut with “Little Man Tate,” in which she co-starred. In 1995, she directed “Home for the Holidays.”
Foster has appeared in more than 40 films, including “Maverick” (1994), “Nell” (1994), “Contact” (1997), “The Panic Room” (2002), “Inside Man” (2006) and “The Brave One” (2007).
In 2007, while accepting an award at a Hollywood Reporter “Women in Entertainment” event, she acknowledged her then long-term partner, producer Cydney Bernard, with the words, “to my beautiful Cydney, who sticks with me through the rotten and the bliss.”
That same year, Foster gave The Trevor Project its largest donation. Foster lives in Beverly Hills with her two sons.
“It was the job I was born into. I didn't have an actor's personality, it's just what I did.”