Barry Foster

Last updated on the 5 April 2024 by Evandrus

Barry Foster headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 21 August 1927, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, England. 

Barry Foster’s educational journey began at Round Hill Primary School, where he showcased his acting prowess in school plays. Later, he attended Nottingham High School, where he continued to refine his skills on stage. The young actor’s dedication and commitment to his craft brought him recognition and acclaim during his formative years.

After completing his education, Barry Foster embarked on his professional acting career, first in  the theatre and television. Foster’s breakthrough came in 1972 when he landed the role of Dutch detective Van der Valk in the television series “Van der Valk.”

Foster’s portrayal of Van der Valk earned him immense popularity, establishing him as a prominent figure in British television. His ability to bring complex characters to life with depth and nuance became his trademark. Foster’s talent was recognized with several awards and nominations, including a BAFTA nomination for his role in “Frenzy”, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Behind the scenes, Barry Foster led a private and low-key personal life. He was married to Judith Shergold, a fellow actor, and the couple had two children together.

Outside of acting, Foster had a love for literature and enjoyed reading, often immersing himself in various genres. He also had a passion for travel, exploring different cultures and landscapes whenever the opportunity arose.


Suggested viewing


Frenzy (1971)

Frenzy poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.4

“Frenzy” is a suspenseful film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Set in London, it revolves around a serial killer known as the “Necktie Murderer.” The film follows a man who becomes the prime suspect and must race against time to prove his innocence while the real killer continues to strike fear into the city.

Top cast: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Anna Massey, Alec McCowen, Vivien Merchant, Billie White law, Bernard Cribbins.

A Quiet Day in Belfast (1974)

A Quiet Day in Belfast poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.7

“A Quiet Day in Belfast” follows a British soldier entangled in a complex web of emotions, as he navigates the turbulent backdrop of Northern Ireland. Through the lens of a blossoming romance with an Irish lover and the enigmatic presence of her twin sister, the tale delves deep into the heart of the region’s unrest.

Top cast: Barry Foster, Margot Kidder, Sean McCann, Leo Leyden, Mel Tuck, Joyce Campion, Sean Mulcahy, Emmet Bergin, Donald Reynolds.

Fall of Eagles (1974)

Fall of Eagles poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.1

“Fall of Eagles” is a historical drama television series that chronicles the decline and fall of three European dynasties – the Habsburgs, the Romanovs, and the Hohenzollerns. Set against the backdrop of political turmoil, the series explores the personal and political struggles of these royal families, leading to their eventual downfall.

Top cast: Patrick Stewart, Barry Foster, Charles Kay, Diane Keen, Gayle Hunnicutt, Michael Hordern, Michael Jayston, Barry Jackson.

Death of an Expert Witness (1983)

Death of an Expert Witness poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.4

“Death of an Expert Witness” is based on the crime novel written by P.D. James. The story revolves around the murder of a prominent forensic scientist inside a high-security laboratory. As Detective Adam Dalgliesh investigates the complex web of suspects and motives, he uncovers dark secrets and personal vendettas that ultimately lead to the shocking truth behind the expert witness’s death.

Top cast: Roy Marsden, Barry Foster, Ray Brooks, Amanda Pays, Frederick Treves, Ann Bell, David Horovitch, Suzanne Bertish.

Van der Valk (1972)

Van der Valk poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 7.1

“Van der Valk” is a detective series created by Nicolas Freeling. The story follows the skilled and intuitive Dutch detective, Piet van der Valk, as he tackles complex cases in the vibrant city of Amsterdam. With a sharp wit and relentless determination, Van der Valk unravels mysteries that delve into the dark underbelly of society, exposing the intricate layers of human nature along the way.

Top cast: Barry Foster, Michael Latimer, Susan Travers, Nigel Stock, Ronald Hines, Richard Huw, Meg Davies, Joanna Dunham.

Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


Barry Foster Gallery



Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments