Although Phil has just celebrated his 50th year in show business, as a night club performer in most of the famous clubs in America, in several motion pictures, and in countless radio and television shows as well as during the past eight years on the Laverne and Shirley show, many people aren’t aware of the other side: the personal side of out honoree… Brooklyn’s own… Phil Foster.
Like some other great Americans, Phil was born in his house in Brooklyn, N.Y. Phil Feldman lived at 19 Douglas Street(subsequently renamed Strauss Street).
Like most kids, Phil loved playing punchball, stickball, and Chinese handball on the streets of Brownsville and Coney Island. He “hung out” at the schoolyard on Strauss and Dean Streets and he went to the movies at the Capital Theater.
The seeds of comedy were sown when he attended his first day of school at P.S. 48. Fluent in Yiddish and unable to speak English he soon became embroiled in an embarrassing episode with his teacher. Phil learned quickly the ability to think on his feet at a moment’s notice. As Phil grew up he attended P.S. 87, 144 and 178, finally up at New Utrecht High School.
Phil didn’t care much for girls growing up but he eventually married and had two children. According to Phil, his grandson, Ben, will be following in his footsteps in a few years.
Like others, when Phil went into show business he was told to change his name. He looked out the window of his agent’s office and saw the sigh - Foster Avenue. So, he called himself: Phil Foster Avenue. His agent did not find that amusing and to this day Phil laments that he dropped “Avenue” from his name.
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