Phil Foster


Biography

While most recognizable for his role as Frank DeFazio on the television series "Laverne & Shirley," actor Phil Foster also worked extensively as a stand-up comedian. Foster first began performing as a child, putting on his own song-and-dance shows outside movie theaters in his neighborhood. As he got older he began appearing in amateur competitions, often vying against another young comi...

Biography

While most recognizable for his role as Frank DeFazio on the television series "Laverne & Shirley," actor Phil Foster also worked extensively as a stand-up comedian. Foster first began performing as a child, putting on his own song-and-dance shows outside movie theaters in his neighborhood. As he got older he began appearing in amateur competitions, often vying against another young comic, Jackie Gleason. During the Great Depression, Foster began to work in very low-budget plays whenever he could, to make money. His first stand-up job came by accident when he had to fill in for a comic at a Chicago night club, which led to more stand-up work in places like New York City, Seattle, and Birmingham. After serving in WWII he found himself back in New York and made several comedy shorts based on his upbringing in Brooklyn as "Brooklyn's Ambassador to the World." His act, plus a role on the astronaut drama "The Conquest of Space," led him to Hollywood. Brought out by friend and producer Garry Marshall, Foster appeared on such top sitcoms as "The Odd Couple," "The Love Boat," and "Fantasy Island" before he landed the DeFazio role on "Laverne & Shirley." Late in his career Foster began to write plays and ran a workshop for young actors.

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