Lewis R. Foster

Active - 1929 - 1977  |   Born - Aug 5, 1898   |   Died - Jun 10, 1974   |   Genres - Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Lewis R. Foster started out as a newspaper journalist then joined the Hal Roach studios as a gag man in 1923. Foster was promoted to director for the 1929 Charley Chase 2-reeler Movie Night. He went on to direct several Laurel & Hardy shorts, including the team's first talkie, Unaccustomed as We Are (1929). Foster left Roach to free-lance in 1930, directing his first feature, the low-budget Love Letters of a Star, in 1936. Though he kept his hand in directing until his retirement in 1959, Foster's most lasting movie achievements were in the field of screenwriting. In 1939, he won an Academy Award for writing the original story of Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Lewis Foster's last directorial work was at Disney, where he helmed the 1958 feature Tonka and several episodes of the TV series Zorro

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