Jodie Foster, who turns 50 on Nov. 19, got an early birthday present from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. with Thursday’s announcement that she is to be the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
She is the fourth youngest honoree in the 59-year history of this lifetime achievement honor. Judy Garland, who was the first woman to be feted, was only 39 in 1962, while 1957 honoree Buddy Adler was 48 and 1966 honoree Charlton Heston was 43.
Foster is only the thirteenth woman to receive this award and the first since Barbra Streisand in 2000. Foster has been a favorite of the HFPA over the years, with seven nominations. She won her two Golden Globes for the same roles that netted her Oscars — “The Accused” (1988) and “Silence of the Lambs” (1991).
However, given her relative youth, Foster did not even figure into Chris Beachum‘s crystal balling of the potential women who were worthy of this award. He thought the most likely candidates were Julie Andrews and Angela Lansbury. Andrews won three Globes in a half-century career filled with 10 nominations. And Lansbury claimed six Globes from her 15 nominations.
Among the other women Chris thought worthy of being in the mix were: Carol Burnett (five wins; 16 nods), Cher (three wins; six nods), Faye Dunaway (three wins; 11 nods), Jane Fonda (four wins; 11 nods), Whoopi Goldberg (two wins; 3 nods), Goldie Hawn (one win; nine nods), Diane Keaton (two wins; nine nods), Mary Tyler Moore (three wins; nine nods), and Shirley Temple (no nods).
Because the HFPA rarely chooses someone who has a good shot at a nomination (the last time was Sophia Loren in 1994), Chris ruled out Glenn Close (two wins; 12 nods), Sally Field (two wins; 10 nods), Maggie Smith (two wins; nine nods) and Meryl Streep (eight wins; 26 nods).
However, as Chris noted, Streep is well overdue for this honor and has a film in contention almost every year.