Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Buddy Foster

So I was watching an old hillbilly exploitation movie called Sixteen, about a family in rural Georgia in the mid-'70s. The mother is Mercedes McCambridge (who dubbed the demon voice in The Exorcist). The older "teenage" son and daughter go skinny-dipping, a little odd for a brother and sister. Then the family takes the Trailways to the county fair where the two of them become separated. The girl is molested by a motorcycle daredevil and the boy runs off with an exotic dancer.

I liked the other kid in the movie---the little brother. He looked like a 1970s kid with long hair parted on one side. He gave an energetic performance as a teenage rural Southern degenerate. I didn't recognize him, so I googled his name. Turned out to be Jodie Foster's brother, Buddy Foster. He had played one of Ken Berry's kids on Mayberry RFD. I remember him from Adam 12 and Dragnet. He was the voice of a kid in The Point and you know the animated commercial where a kid asks Mr Owl how many licks to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? That was him. Played a Wolf Boy on The Six Million Dollar man.

He wrote a book called Foster Child, about his life as a child actor and about his sister, Jodie Foster. She publicly attacked him for it, accusing him of wanting "money and attention" (this coming from a millionaire movie star) and said that all he ever did was break their mother's heart.

Apparently his broken-hearted mother had comforted herself by spending all of Buddy's money. He had earned half a million dollars as a child actor (well over $2 million in today's money) but when he tried collect it as an adult, he discovered that his long-suffering mother had blown it all.

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