Jack Foley: Feet to the Stars

Lost and Found Sound: The Man Behind Movie Sound Effects

Jack Foley, Universal City, 1955.

Jack Foley, Universal City, 1955. Cathi Foley Clark hide caption

itoggle caption Cathi Foley Clark

A Brooklynite of humble origins, Jack Foley makes for a rather odd Hollywood hero. His face was never seen on the silver screen, nor was his name ever up in lights. Yet Foley's legacy breathes life into every film and television program you see. It is there every time you hear a footstep, a slap, or the rustling of clothes.


In his 33 years on Stage 10 at Universal Pictures, Foley perfected a method of projecting a film and adding all these sound effects in sync with the moving picture, slamming a door when a heroine stormed out of the room, clanking swords when gladiators fought.

Produced by Yair Reiner with help from The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson) and Jim Anderson. Laura Folger and Ben Shapiro. Mixed by Dave Bennett and Lars Hoel.

Despite all his years in front of the microphone, there's no recording of Jack Foley's voice; no picture of him on the sound stage. Foley passed away in 1967, but he lives on in the craft that bears his name and in the backlot lore of the colleagues who watched him work. Lost and Found Sound's look at Foley begins with them.

Special thanks to Mike Levine, Jacki Lyden, & David Isay w/ Sound Portraits Productions.

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