A co-founder of the Negro Ensemble Co., character actress Frances Foster spent most of her career on stage, but also occasionally appeared on the screen and on television. She made her film debut in Philip Leacock's Take a Giant Step (1959). In the '90s, Foster appeared in three Spike Lee films, Malcolm X (1992), Crooklyn (1994) and Clockers (1995). Her television work includes appearances on soap operas such as All My Children and Ryan's Hope. Foster was born in Yonkers. Foster made her professional debut on stage in 1955 following studies at the American Theater Wing. Between 1967 and 1986, she appeared in over 25 shows with the Negro Ensemble Co, receiving an Obie award in 1985 for excellence of performance. In 1978, she won an Andelco Award for her achievements in black theater as an actress. She won the same award for best director in 1983. Foster died June 17, 1997 of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 79.