January 14, 2013
Before Clarice Starling and Nell, before "The Accused" and "Taxi Driver," before all those Oscars and way before her strange, divisive speech at the Golden Globes in which she elliptically confirmed her homosexuality, Jodie Foster was the star of many commercials.
As she mentioned at the awards, Ms. Foster's been in show biz for 47 of her 50 years, a run that began when the towheaded 3-year-old starred in a Coppertone ad. More commercials followed, even as Ms. Foster got more and more TV and movie roles. There was one for Crest, one for a line of Mattel toys and one for McDonald's featuring a Ronald McDonald and Grimace so creepy they give Hannibal Lecter a run for his money.
One of Ms. Foster's best efforts came in 1971 for the GAF Viewmaster, an ad in which she wasn't even the only future Oscar-winner. GAF had hired acting legend Henry Fonda to lend some grandfatherly charm to the stereoscopic toy into which you could slip a reel devoted to a movie, TV show or some educational topic, put your eyes against the flimsy plastic viewfinder, and enter 3-D nirvana.
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