Barry Foster

  • Birthday: 21. August 1927
  • Birthplace: Beeston, Nottinghamshire, England, UK


Barry Foster (21 August 1927 – 11 February 2002) was an English actor who is best known for his leading role in Van der Valk, an ITV drama about a Dutch detective that ran for five series between 1972 and 1992, and as serial killer Bob Rusk in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Frenzy.

Born John Barry Foster in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, the son of a toolsetter, his family moved to Hayes, Hillingdon when he was a few months old. He attended Southall County Grammar School. After leaving school, Foster worked as a plastics organic chemist at the local EMI Central Research Laboratories, while unsuccessfully submitting ideas to advertising agencies.

Foster trained as an actor for two years at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, arriving there aged 20. It was here he became friends with an actor called David Baron, better known as playwright Harold Pinter. Foster would much later appear on stage in three of Pinter's plays, The Basement and The Tea Party and A Slight Ache in 1987.