Legendary '90s gay porn star Cody Foster has died. Foster (real name: Shawn Louis Sumner) passed away on January 7, 2007, in Grand Junction, Colorado. The cause of death was apparently liver cancer.
Foster was born October 9, 1970. Almost nothing is known about him. He grew up in the Denver area, and his family was very poor. He had a very hard childhood. Some adult film directors say he suffered from physical abuse as a child. He had only a high school education, and got married around 1990.
He had numerous run-ins with the law. In 1992, an entire family filed a civil case against him. In 1993, he was convicted in Colorado of misdemeanor charges for prohibited use of a weapon, possession of a small amount of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He'd had a restraining order placed against him by another man in 1993, and he'd been sued by a family member for money.
On June 21, 1994, Foster was convicted for a felony for retaliating against a person he had previously victimized. In other words: He'd beaten his wife up very severely, and she filed charges. He began serving a four-year sentence in the Jefferson County (Colo.) Jail in 1995.
His wife initiated divorce proceedings, and divorced him in 1997.
Foster's adult career had begun a few years earlier. He began modeling for a Colorado photographer in 1991. This led to Foster's work in adult film. In 1991, he made his debut in a the JO film "Stargazing." The film starred a number of "up and coming" Catalina stars. Foster was the only one to really break big. His first hard-core film was "Malibu Pool Boys" (All Worlds Video, 1992), in which he topped and bottomed with Chad Knight in a sizzling bedroom scene. He famously bottomed for Arik Travis in the same film. The same year, he did his only bisexual film, "Bi-Ology" (Catalina).
Although a layout appeared in "Freshmen" in April 1992, it was Foster's cover shot for "All Man" in May 1992 that launched made him a household word (at least in porn-watching homes) for two years. 1992 was "The Year of Cody Foster," as he had a whopping seven layouts -- including six covers: "Inches" in June, "Jock" in July, "Advocate Men" in August, "Heat" in September and "Mandate" in October. He would have another three layouts appear in 1993 ("Heat" again in March, "Advocate Men" again in July and a repeat of his 1992 "Advocate Men" layout appearing in "Advocate Classifieds" in June), including two more covers. "All Man" would re-run his original jaw-dropping layout in May 1995.
That spurt of fame led Foster to more carefully choose his projects. In 1993, he appeared in only two films. The first was "Cody Exposed" for Catalina. But late in the year, he moved right into the big-time, doing "Basic Plumbing" for Falcon. He worked with Falcon's biggest stars of the time. Cody Foster had arrived.
In 1994, as his legal troubles worsened, Foster did only three films. But again, they were top-notch productions for the biggest studios. He was a co-star in "The Bigger the Better 2" for HIS Video, but was a star and cover-model for Falcon's "Workin' Stiff" (almost eclipsing the studio's biggest name at the time, Brad Stone) and Studio 2000's massive hit, "Grease Guns."
But as 1994 ended, Foster was in too much legal trouble. He only had two films released in 1995, "Tradewinds" (Huge Video) and "Whitefire" (All Worlds Video).
Then he disappeared.
Word of his incarceration reached the porn world two years later. By then, old footage from a discarded production had been acquired by SteamWorx, a C-list studio, and released as "Reunion" in 1997.
Prison was not kind to Cody Foster. He lost a lot of weight and muscle mass. His face became deeply lined, and his hair darkened. A desire to be punished, to be humiliated, to be hurt and harmed for his sins became evident.
Coming out of jail, he began working for Tom "Ropes" McGurk's Grapik Arts Productions. He did three films for the studio betwen 2000 and 2001. He played the part of the "unwilling muscle-bound submissive." To some, he appeared to be playing himself. But his performances were off-the-charts good. He whined, pleaded, begged, screamed and shuddered better than anyone. He took punishment better than anyone. John Bondi, one of his co-stars, later said that he had brutally whipped Foster on film. This wasn't porn BDSM, it was full-force, hard-as-he-could whipping and spanking. And still Foster took it. It was awe-inspiring.
Foster made a brief return to mainstream adult gay film in 2002 (doing "Open House" for Massive Studios). He followed it up in 2003 with "Goldenrod" for Studio 2000.
In 2006, Foster performed in his last film. He returned to Grapik Arts for "Tough-Man Bondage." Once more, John Bondi assaulted him. Foster was clearly ill by this time, having lost more weight. But that didn't prevent him from giving his all on screen. There is a moment in the film where Foster is hanging from all fours from the ceiling while Bondi works up a real sweat whipping and spanking his ass. Foster's head falls backward, and the camera can see his face. Cody Foster is beatific in that moment. He is being punished for his crimes. He is healed and made whole through his pain. The beautiful body which has been his curse is finally tortured beyond desiring. His magnificent cock is finally ignored, in favor of buttock welts, whip-scars on the back and the rough abrasions of manacles around the wrists and ankles. At that moment, you get the sense that "Cody Foster" is dead. Only Shawn Sumner is left. And he's at peace with himself.
No obituary has appeared anywhere in the United States for Shawn L. Sumner. The local paper, the "Grand Junction Sentinel," did not even run a death notice.
It may be that his family, disgusted by his criminal background and homosexual activity, did not care enough to remember him.
There are those, however, who were touched and amazed by his sexual performances.
And we remember him.
I had just left graduate school and was earning a decent living when "Malibu Pool Boys" came out. The film was utterly unheralded at the time. But I got it. I wanted it because it starred Tony Angelo, a superbly hung and uncut Italian top-twink. Angelo had only one scene, and he (like the film) was unheralded. Watching the film, I totally fell for Sonny Listz, a German twink with a big, long cock and lots of foreskin, too.
But after the first few viewings, I couldn't stop watching Cody Foster. He was paired with Chad Knight. I'm not a huge Chad Knight fan. I like the guy's face, body, and magnificent spear-like cock. But his over-zealous moaning and gutturalizations are complete and total turn-offs for me. I wasn't willing to really focus on the scene for a long time...
But I wanted to see Foster take it up the ass. Remember, this was 1992. Muscle (as it does now) ruled gay porn. But all musclemen were tops back then. The only muscular guy who bottomed was Chance Caldwell, the Czech bisexual performer. But Caldwell was a hulk of a human being, which I disliked, and could never get his gigantic uncut prick erect on film. Caldwell bottomed because it was all he could do. At least he could be fucked; it didn't require any emotional, physical or psychological involvement. Offer it, take it, get paid for it.
Watching Knight thrust his long, thick cock up Foster's lightly furry asshole was mind-blowing. Astonishing. Amazing. Jaw-dropping.
The first time I saw Cody Foster take cock up the ass, I actually stopped masturbating and just watched. I watched Foster's eyes close in pain, I watched a faint smile play around his lips and eyes, I watched his stomach arch upward in joy.
As Chad Knight violated Cody Foster's muscular body, I watched Cody Foster become a whole man, at last. I watched him transform from a fucked-up, twisted, cramped, warped, self-loathing individual into a complete and angelic human being. With Chad Knight's thick 7.5" cock up his ass, Cody Foster....no, Shawn L. Sumner became a whole and healed human being. The lies, the self-loathing, the pain, the wounds: All gone. He knew peace then. He knew joy then. He knew what it was like to "be" Shawn Sumner. Mind, body, heart and brain united.
You know, the ancient Greeks believed in the soul. They believed that the soul did not exist in everybody. Everybody had a heart, and everybody had a mind. But the two were often separated within one person. Only when the heart and mind joined together did a soul come into existence.
When Chad Knight fucked Cody Foster with his huge cock, you could see Shawn Sumner's soul. Having a soul, having it inhabit his body, being in touch at last with his soul -- that healed Shawn Sumner. It wiped away all his tears.
I could not masturbate and selfishly take my own pleasure while watching that the first time. I could only watch in amazement.
I wanted to see Cody Foster take it up the ass all the time. I wanted to see his soul all the time. I wanted that hurt and hardness, which was always visible on his face, go away. I knew what it was like to take a big, long cock up the ass and be healed. I wanted to have Cody Foster feel the same way.
A gay porn director once told me that Cody Foster was "born at the wrong time." Had he been born 10 years earlier, Cody Foster would have gotten caught up in the gay rights movement and come out of the closet. Had he been born 10 years later, he would have been born at a time when it would have been much, much easier for him to come out of the closet. Instead Cody Foster was born when he was born. And given his blue-collar background, and given the extreme physical and psychological torture he suffered as a child and young man, he could not bring himself to acknowledge who and what he was.
There are those who say that being in the closet is a personal choice. They defend those who are closeted by saying that it is nothing but a choice, and everyone has the right to choose.
The closet is imposed on people who have been psychologically tortured by a homophobic society. The "choice" to be closeted is similar to the "choice" exercised by abused women who "choose" to blame themselves for their abuse, or the "choice" newly-freed slaves to continue to "serve massah". That is not choice. That is the decision of a person who is unable to choose.
The closet does incalculable damage to people.
Cody Foster could have told you just how much damage is caused by the closet. It destroyed him, and led him to become a violent, drug-and-alcohol abusing, self-loathing individual.
Ony when being fucked by a well-hung man could Cody Foster finally let go of his demons and take hold of the better angels of his nature.
I saw that in "Malibu Pool Boys."
Years later, when I'd heard that Cody Foster had beaten the crap out of his wife and been sent to prison, I knew he was doomed. It didn't matter what would happen (AIDS, overdose, traffic accident, prison beating). Being a gay man trapped in the closet was an acid which had eaten him alive.
But Shawn L. Sumner left behind a handful of sexual performances which show how sex can heal a person. And I, and perhaps his family or friends, can look at those precious moments on film when he's laying on his back, a big cock up his ass, and there is peace and love and joy and healing on his face. At those moments, you know that Shawn Sumner felt human, healed and whole.
There are many people who are very sad and distraught at Cody Foster's death. But we can all take comfort in those moments on film where he experienced peace and joy, at last.
Now that he is with the angels, I hope Shawn Sumner is being fucked by big cock all the time. I hope that, now, he knows true and everlasting joy. Save some tops for me, Cody!
Cody Foster filmography
Back to Basics (Grapik Art Productions, 2000)
Basic Plumbing (Falcon, 1993)
Bi-Ology (Catalina, 1992)
Cody Exposed (Catalina, 1993)
Friends and Lovers (Take 10, 1992)
Goldenrod (Studio 2000, 2003)
Grease Guns (Studio 2000, 1994)
Hard As Marble (All Worlds Video, 1992)
Malibu Pool Boys (Catalina, 1992)
Open House (Massive Studio, 2002)
Reunion (SteamWorx, 1997)
Ripped (Pleasure Productions, 1992)
Roped and Whipped (Grapik Art Productions, 2001)
Stargazing (Catalina, 1991)
Submission Wrestling (Grapik Art Productions, 2000)
The Bigger the Better 2 (HIS Video, 1994)
Tough-Man Bondage (Grapik Art Productions, 2006)
Tradewinds (Huge Video, 1995)
Whitefire (All Worlds Video, 1995)
Workin' Stiff (Falcon, 1994)