Jon Foster became the second in his family to earn the status of a fresh-faced teen darling, kick-starting his career in the true crime television movie, "Murder in Greenwich" (USA, 2002) and doing his time on abortive youth-oriented dramas. Hailing from small-town Iowa along with his Emmy Award-winning brother Ben, Foster likewise essayed an early flight of juvenile roles into an indie niche across a series of films, most notably 2004's "The Door in the Floor" (2004). He returned to series television with a bit more fanfare, playing opposite Jenna Elfman in the fall 2009 NBC sitcom, "Accidentally on Purpose." Showing as much a proficiency at playing light mainstream comedy as sobering, stark drama, Foster proved himself one of the top young talents in Hollywood.
Foster was born Aug. 3, 1984 in Fairfield, IA, into the liberal, Jewish household of Gillian and Stephen Foster, restaurateurs transplanted from Boston, MA. With their father often on the road, Foster developed a close relationship with Ben, four years his senior, and shared his predilections for the arts, with both brothers winning roles in local theatrical productions from an early age. At age 16, Ben sent an audition tape to a Hollywood casting agent, at the urging of whom he dropped out of school to relocate to Los Angeles, quickly making it onto television in the short-lived ABC sitcom "Flash Forward" (1996) and appearing in his first film, the indie "Kounterfeit" in 1997.
Meanwhile, Foster developed his musical skills, becoming versed in drums and guitar. He would eventually follow his increasingly in-demand brother to L.A., moving in with him. In 1999, Foster scored his first guest shot on the light Fox family drama "Get Real" (1999-2000), and his first film role the next year, playing the son of presidential advisor Kenny O'Donnell (Kevin Costner) in "Thirteen Days" (2000). He continued to earn juvenile parts, scoring a cast role in the short-lived CBS sitcom "Danny" (2001) and, by some estimates, put himself on the proverbial map with his performance as the emotionally troubled "rich kid" murderer, Michael Skakel, in the made-for-television drama "Murder in Greenwich," a recounting of the notorious case surrounding the death of Connecticut teen, Martha Moxley. It was enough to get the attention of the Young Artist Foundation, which tendered Foster a nomination for its "Young Artist Award" for Best Performance in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Special.
The networks' persistent drive for new buzz-worthy youth dramas continued to afford Foster work, with regular cast roles on ensemble shows like "Life As We Know It" (ABC, 2004) and "Windfall" (NBC, 2006), but both shuttered before airing for a full season. In the meantime, he built his film résumé, most notably with Tod Williams' acclaimed indie film "The Door in the Floor," which had Foster as a young man caught in a web of emotional machinations spun by a bitterly unhappy middle-aged couple (Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger), highlighted by a steamy love scene between Foster and the much-older Basinger. He won the lead in the teen horror thriller "Stay Alive" (2006) - during which he struck up a real-life relationship with co-star Sophia Bush - and returned to the somber indie scape with the lead in the poorly reviewed "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh," (2008), based on the Michael Chabon novel; "Tenderness" (2008), in which he played a creepy ex-con being shadowed by intrepid cop Russell Crowe; and "The Informers" (2009), a star-studded, mixed-reviewed treatment of a typically gloomy and sybaritic Bret Easton Ellis novel.
After completing two more obscure indies for 2009 release - "Fault Line" and "The Last Rites of Ransom Pride" - Foster returned to the small-screen in the fall of 2009 in the Jenna Elfman comedy vehicle, "Accidentally On Purpose," playing onetime "boy toy" of the older Elfman and inadvertent father of her child.