JODIE FOSTER, American actress, born (nee Alicia Christian Foster); Foster began acting in commercials at 3 years old, and her first significant role came in the 1976 film Taxi Driver as the preteen prostitute, Iris, for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She won for Best Actress in 1989 for playing a rape survivor in The Accused. In 1991, she starred in The Silence of the Lambs as Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee assisting in a hunt for a serial killer. This performance received international acclaim and her second Academy Award for Best Actress. She received her fourth Academy Award nomination for playing a backwoods hermit in Nell (1994). She has also won three Bafta Awards, two Golden Globes, a Screen Actors Award and a People’s Choice award as well as two Emmy nominations.
Foster is, as the phrase goes, “intensely private” about certain aspects of her personal life, notably her sexual orientation, which has been the subject of speculation. She has two sons but has never revealed the identity of the children’s father(s).
In December 2007, Foster made headlines when, during an acceptance speech at Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment” event, she paid tribute to film producer Cydney Bernard, referring to Bernard as “my beautiful Cydney, who sticks with me through the rotten and the bliss.” Some media interpreted this as Foster coming out, as Bernard was believed to be her girlfriend since both met in 1992 during the filming of Sommersby. Foster and Bernard never attended premieres or award ceremonies together, nor did they ever appear affectionate with one another. Bernard, however, was seen in public with Foster’s children on many occasions. In May, 2008, several news outlets reported that Foster and Bernard had “called it quits. Oh Jody, Jody Jody…are you really going to let Ellen be the “It” Lesbian in town?
Foster broke up with her long-time partner, Cydney Bernard, in 2008. They had been together since 1993. In her acceptance speech upon receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards, she commented about her sexual orientation: “I already did my coming out about 1,000 years ago back in the stone age, those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers, and then gradually and proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met.” She thanked Bernard, calling her “my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life”. Foster also thanked Mel Gibson as one of the people who “saved” her.