Alicia Christian Foster , known professionally as Jodie Foster, is an American actress, film director, and producer. Foster began acting in commercials at the age of three, and her first significant role came in 1976 as a child prostitute in Taxi Driver, for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1989, for playing a rape victim in The Accused. In 1991, she starred in The Silence of the Lambs as Clarice Starling, a gifted 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 third Best Actress Academy Award nomination for playing a backwoods hermit in Nell (1994). Her other best-known work includes Contact (1997), Panic Room (2002), Flightplan (2005), Inside Man (2006) and The Brave One (2007).