Jodie Foster and her most influential person: her mom, Evelyn "Brandy" Foster.

Legendary actress, Jodie Foster was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award at the Golden Globes last Sunday. Known for her personal strength, authenticity, as well as for poignant roles in Taxi Driver, Panic Room, and The Silence of the Lambs, Foster did not disappoint when it came to her acceptance speech. Media outlets described it as “deeply personal” and “incredibly moving.”

Jodie’s disquisition covered a wide range of topics spanning her staggering 47-year career. She touched on what it’s like to start in the biz as a toddler; the dichotomy of wanting to be seen and be “understood deeply” but simultaneously valuing privacy “above all else;” she broke the news that she’s single (who knew?); and shared the startling but nebulous news that she won’t be gracing the silver screen for the rest of her days. Although she expressed a bounty of gratitude for so many people and colleagues over the years, there wasn’t a dry eye in the Beverly Hilton Hotel after she spoke of her mother:

“This brings me to the greatest influence of my life, my amazing mother, Evelyn. Mom, I know you’re inside those blue eyes somewhere and that there are so many things that you won’t understand tonight. But this is the only important one to take in: I love you, I love you, I love you. And I hope that if I say this three times, it will magically and perfectly enter into your soul, fill you with grace and the joy of knowing that you did good in this life. You’re a great mom. Please take that with you when you’re finally OK to go.”

3-year-old Jodie Foster in Coppertone commercial

I’m sure Evelyn has done many “good” things in this life but we, as earnest movie fans, are most grateful that she launched her daughter’s prolific acting career. Her decision to get Jodie in a Coppertone sunblock commercial at the age of 3 resulted in a truly substantive and inspiring Hollywood legacy, and her daughter is one of the most respected actresses in the game.

Which leads me to ask: Who is the greatest influence of your life? Is it a teacher or a coach?  A family member or a friend? Please let us know who has most greatly influenced you in your life and in your dreams; and just as importantly…Why?

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