Making a name for himself by often taking roles unusually weighty for such a young actor, Ben Foster nevertheless began his career with such made-for-TV efforts as I've Been Waiting for You and Breakfast With Einstein (both 1998). Subsequently gaining positive notice for his portrayal of the mentally handicapped Eli in the short-lived series Freaks and Geeks, it wasn't long before Foster was challenging himself with such dramatic efforts as Liberty Heights and The Laramie Project. Born in Boston in October 1980, he began to realize his passion for acting after attending the Interlochen Theater Arts Summer Program. After writing, directing, and starring in his first play at the age of 12, it wasn't long before the venom of the acting bug had successfully worked its way into the budding thespian's blood. Devoting his life to acting, Foster dropped out of high school at 16 and prepared to face the challenges that accompany such a career. Following his film debut in the 1996 crime thriller Kounterfeit, a series of TV films followed. In 1999, he starred in Liberty Heights. Set in 1950s Baltimore, Foster starred as a Jewish high school student whose socially taboo relationship with an African-American classmate (Rebekah Johnson) finds him facing negative pressure from his family and friends. Following up with the musical comedy Get Over It! in 2001, Foster was next seen in The Laramie Project, a made-for-cable feature documenting small town in Laramie, WY, following the murder of Matthew Shepard.