I knew Jodie Foster got her start in show biz at a very young age—she was the little girl in the Coppertone commercials, the one where the dog tugs down her bathing suit bottom with his teeth to reveal her tan. I didn’t realize she was also in a lot of the television shows we loved back in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, everything from Ironsides to Adam 12, Courtship of Eddie’s Father to My Three Sons.
Marking her 54th birthday today, November 19, Foster has over 75 acting credits to her name—Taxi Driver, Nell, The Accused, Panic Room, Contact to name a few. The most iconic though has to be Silence of the Lambs. Clarice Starling with the cheap brown shoes mustering her courage opposite Anthony Hopkin’s Hannibal Lector, barely able to contain her terror, pushing herself past her own fear searching the labyrinth of rooms in Buffalo Bill’s basement, saving the girl and the day.
Foster is one of our first female heroes, succeeding very much in the male mold of action heroes, challenging and confronting her own fears, pushing past her own limitations, being brave in the face of physical defeat. It’s a psychological battle, yes, but it’s more than that. She is bringing down a real killer, a madman. She might be petite, ‘a little lady’ she is not. She stands clear at the other end of the I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar spectrum. You have to love her for that.
It’s an Oscar winning performance and while Ms. Foster also won Best Actress for The Accused and was nominated for both Nell and for Taxi Driver (when she was just fourteen years old) Silence of the Lambs is likely the first thing that comes to mind when you hear her name.
Happy Birthday Jodie Foster! Let’s celebrate by watching Silence of the Lambs with some popcorn and a glass of Chianti.
Based on the classic thriller by Thomas Harris, Silence of the Lambs also won Best Picture, Best Director (Jonathan Demme) Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins) and Best Screenplay Adaptation for Ted Talley. The film is available to stream on Amazon, YouTube, GooglePlay, Vudu, and iTunes.