Jodie Foster: Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient
Jodie Foster will be the next Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced – by way of Foster’s Panic Room co-star Kristen Stewart and Simon Baker. A two-time Golden Globe winner, Jodie Foster will be honored at the 2013 Golden Globes ceremony next January 13.
But wait! Isn’t Jodie Foster – who’ll turn 50 next November 19 – much too young to be receiving Career Achievement awards and the like?
Well, bear in mind that the Los Angeles-born Foster began her show business career while still a small child. In fact, she has been steadily making movies for more than four decades. That’s nearly a decade longer than, say, last year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient Morgan Freeman. (Admittedly, as per the IMDb Freeman had a handful of bit roles in the ’60s and early ’70s, before beginning his film career in earnest in the early ’80s.)
Jodie Foster movies: Child, teenage roles
After a stint doing commercials and appearing on television, Jodie Foster made her feature-film debut in the Disney release Napoleon and Samantha (1972), in which Foster played the second half of the title. (Johnny Whitaker was Napoleon; Michael Douglas received top billing.)
Also in the early ’70s, Foster supported Raquel Welch in Kansas City Bomber (1972) and Ellen Burstyn in Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974). Two years later, she had a key role in Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), as the young street prostitute rescued (and probably traumatized for life) by psycho vigilante Robert De Niro. For her performance, she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.
Bugsy Malone (1976) and Candleshoe (1977) were box office disappointments, but Foster starred in two other mid-’70s hits, Freaky Friday (1976) and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1977).
In the early ’80s, Foster temporarily quit Hollywood to go to Yale. At that time, her name became entangled in a political incident when a mentally disturbed man obsessed with her shot U.S. president Ronald Reagan.
Jodie Foster Movies: Adult roles
Most of the 1980s turned out to be a slow time for Jodie Foster as a film actress, until she finally made a major splash – now as an adult – in the melodrama The Accused (1988), a surprise box office hit that earned her both a Best Actress Academy Award and a Golden Globe for playing an abrasive young woman who is gang-raped. Three years later, Foster solidified her movie stardom with Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991), a horror drama that earned her her second Best Actress Oscar and Golden Globe. That same year, she directed her first feature, Little Man Tate (1991).
Other Jodie Foster movies of the last two decades include Woody Allen’s Shadows and Fog (1991); the Western Maverick (1994), co-starring Mel Gibson; the sci-fier Nell (1994), which earned Foster her fourth and to date last Academy Award nomination; Anna and the King (1999), as the governess previously played by Irene Dunne and Deborah Kerr; and the David Fincher thriller Panic Room (2002), as Kristen Stewart’s mother.
Last year, Foster was a Golden Globe nominee (in the Comedy or Musical category) for Roman Polanski’s Carnage, co-starring Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly. Although it received some good notices, the film was a major box office disappointment. Also disappointing were the returns of her most recent directorial effort, The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson.
Jodie Foster photo: © HFPA / Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Kristen Stewart & Mel Gibson: Jodie Foster defended former co-stars hounded by the media
Also worth mentioning is that Jodie Foster has taken up the cause of two (quite disparate) celebrities embroiled in controversy: Mel Gibson and Kristen Stewart. Foster defended Gibson when her Maverick co-star was accused of being anti-Semitic, later directing him in The Beaver. And a couple of months ago, Foster wrote a supportive open letter to Stewart after her Panic Room co-star found herself hounded by the media following allegations that she had become intimate with her married Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. (Image: Kristen Stewart at this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award announcement.)
Regarding Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant after being briefly arrested in 2006: “Mel is honest, loyal, kind, but alcoholism has been a lifelong struggle for him and his family,” Foster remarked. She added that the actor was “absolutely not” an anti-Semite. Five years later, Foster was once again defending Gibson, then enmeshed in another scandal, this time involving his companion Oksana Grigorieva.
Regarding Kristen Stewart and today’s bloodthirsty celebrity culture: “… Eventually this all passes. The public horrors of today eventually blow away. And, yes, you are changed by the awful wake of reckoning they leave behind. … Hopefully in the process you don’t lose your ability to throw your arms in the air again and spin in wild abandon. That is the ultimate F.U. and – finally – the most beautiful survival tool of all. Don’t let them take that away from you.”
Jodie Foster: Oscar history of sorts?
As an aside, Jodie Foster has a unique place in the history of the Academy Awards. To the best of my knowledge, she is the only openly gay Best Actress Oscar winner ever.
Judy Garland, not Jodie Foster, is the youngest Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient
Jodie Foster will be receiving the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Cecil B. DeMille Award in January 2013. Foster, only the 13th woman to be so honored since 1952, turns 50 later this month. Is she the youngest Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient ever? Hardly. Try Judy Garland, back in 1962 the first woman to be handed the DeMille Award statuette and all of 39 at the time – though by then Garland already had more than a quarter of a century of movie work. (Image: Judy Garland.)
Two other DeMille Award recipients were also younger than Jodie Foster. Producer Buddy Adler, among whose credits are From Here to Eternity and Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, was 48 when he received the award in 1958. Charlton Heston was given his DeMille statuette in 1967, 17 years after his film career kicked off. Heston was then 43.
I should add that in the first two decades of the Cecil B. De Mille Award, most recipients were in their ’50s, e.g., Walt Disney, Darryl F. Zanuck, Bing Crosby, James Stewart, Bob Hope, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra. Older winners, usually in their 60s or 70s, became the norm from the late ’70s on. Exceptions to that rule include Sidney Poitier (54 in 1982), Paul Newman (59 in 1984), Elizabeth Taylor (52 in 1985), Clint Eastwood (57 in 1988), Harrison Ford (59 in 2002), and Robin Williams (53 in 2005).
Samuel Goldwyn: Oldest DeMille Award winner
Among the other previous Cecil B. DeMille Award winners are Cecil B. DeMille himself, Joan Crawford, Robert Redford, Robert Mitchum, Robert De Niro, Audrey Hepburn, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Doris Day, Bette Davis, Shirley MacLaine, Al Pacino, Lauren Bacall, Anthony Hopkins, Barbra Streisand, Gene Kelly, Sophia Loren, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Lucille Ball, Anthony Quinn, Morgan Freeman, and Gene Hackman.