Born and raised in the Midwest, actress Susanna Foster headed for the bright lights of Hollywood in 1936 when she was only 12 years old. There, MGM saw potential in the preteen and sent her to the same acting school where stars like Mickey Rooney had studied. Within a few years, Foster embarked upon a professional film career and signed with MGM, Paramount, and Universal over the subsequent decade. One of her more notable roles came in 1943 when she played Christine in a film version of The Phantom of the Opera, and a number of other roles followed. She then explored a real career in opera, touring postwar Europe with soprano Dusolina Giannini and starring in the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera's production of Naughty Marietta, as well as a number of other operettas and musicals.
Sadly, Foster would fall on harder times in subsequent decades, suffering from alcoholism and mental illness, and losing custody of her two sons to her sometime husband. In later years, she would become a regular fixture at Phantom of the Opera fan events, posing for photos and signing autographs. Foster died in 2009, at the age of 84.