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This Day in Horror: Happy Birthday Jodie Foster

Born on this day in 1962: Jodie Foster

Foster has been acting since she was a child, appearing in commercials, TV shows, and Disney films. Her mother encouraged her to take on roles in films geared towards adults, which led to her role as a child prostitute in Taxi Driver at age twelve. She took on a number of roles as she transitioned to adult roles, with little success. Her “last ditch” attempt at an acting career was The Accused, in which she played a rape victim seeking justice. Foster was unhappy with her performance, but she received an Academy Award for her performance, thus cementing her as a major actor.

After The Accused came The Silence of the Lambs, the role that horror fans best associate Foster with. She played Clarice Starling, the young FBI agent who interviews Hannibal Lecter in order to get his insights to help in tracking down a serial killer named Buffalo Bill. Foster attempted to buy the film rights after she read the novel, noting that Clarice was a true female heroine who used brains over brawn. The film was a critical and financial success, earning Foster her second Academy Award.

Foster doesn’t have many other genre credits. She starred in Contact as a scientist searching for extraterrestrial life, and Elysium, a dystopian sci-fi flick. 

On television, she voiced Pugsly Addams in a 1970s animated The Addams Family cartoon. She was the voice of Betty, an evil tattoo, in an episode of The X-Files called “Never Again.” Her first directorial project was helming an episode of Tales From the Darkside called “Do Not Open This Box.” Later on, she would also direct an episode of Black Mirror, “Arkangel.”

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