Ben Foster was born on October 29, 1980, in Boston and grew up in Fairfield, Iowa. He moved to Los Angeles in his teens to pursue an acting career and soon landed roles in film and television. He is known for his intense performances of complex, often dark characters in television series such as Six Feet Under and movies including Alpha Dog, 3:10 to Yuma, The Messenger and Ain't Them Bodies Saints.
Early Life and Career
Actor Ben Foster was born on October 29, 1980, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Gillian Kirwan (née Sterling) and Steven Foster. When Foster was 4 years old, the family (including Foster's younger brother, Jon) relocated to Fairfield, Iowa, where he attended school and began to act in community-theater productions.
Foster left high school when he was 16 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He made his film debut with a small role in the straight-to-video crime thriller Kounterfeit in 1996. He went on to receive several television roles in the late 1990s, including parts in the Disney Channel series Flash Forward and the made-for-television movie I've Been Waiting for You.
Television and Film Roles
Foster's first critically praised movie performance was his portrayal of a rebellious teenager in the 1950s-era comedy-drama Liberty Heights (1999). For the next few years, his work would range from the teen comedy Get Over It (2001) to a small role in the military drama Black Hawk Down (2001).
Foster became known for playing emotionally intense, and often dark, characters in the 2000s. He appeared as the bisexual artist boyfriend of Lauren Ambrose's character Claire on the cable series Six Feet Under (2003-05), a drug dealer in the gritty indie drama Alpha Dog and winged mutant Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand. In the remake of Western film 3:10 to Yuma (2007), Foster gave a memorable portrayal of a cold-blooded outlaw, and in 2009's The Messenger he co-starred with Woody Harrelson as an Army officer who is assigned to notify the next-of-kin of dead soldiers. Other projects included the crime drama Contraband (2012), the thriller 360 (2011) and a remake of the action film The Mechanic (2011).
Foster made his stage debut in 2013 when he replaced Shia LaBoeuf in the Broadway drama Orphans, appearing alongside Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge. During the same year he was featured in several films, including the outlaw romance Ain't Them Bodies Saints and the Beat Generation period drama Kill Your Darlings, in which he portrays writer William S. Burroughs.
He will appear as John Gotti Jr., son of the infamous crime family boss, in 2014's Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father.
Foster is a long-time practitioner of transcendental meditation and has worked to raise funding for cancer research and cancer support organizations.
He had been romantically linked with actresses Kirsten Dunst, Ellen Page, Zoe Kravitz and Robin Wright. However, in October 2016 he solidified his off-the-market status by getting engaged to actress Laura Prepon.
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