Robert Forster

Robert Forster

Highest Rated: 96% Medium Cool (1969)

Lowest Rated: 0% Kalamity (2010)

Birthday: Jul 13, 1941

Birthplace: Rochester, New York, USA

Film and television actor Robert Forster worked hard for decades, establishing a solid career. Everything changed, and Forster suddenly found himself even more famous and acclaimed, when director Quentin Tarantino cast him as a forlorn bail bondsman in "Jackie Brown" (1997), a role that boosted his career and earned him his first-ever Academy Award nomination. After "Jackie Brown," Forster appeared in numerous high-profile film and television projects like "Me, Myself & Irene" (2000) and "Heroes" (NBC, 2006-2010), proving that will and determination were equally as important to success as talent. Born on July 13, 1941 in Rochester, NY, Forster was raised by his father, Robert, a former elephant trainer for Ringling Bros. who later worked as an executive for a baking supply company, and his mother, Grace. When he was young, his parents divorced, while his mother later committed suicide in 1966. After attending Heidelberg College in Tiffin, OH, he spent a year at Alfred University, after which he transferred to the University of Rochester, where he earned his bachelor's in psychology in 1964. During this time, Forster was performing on local stages and moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. He made his Broadway debut as the much younger paramour of Arlene Francis in "Mrs. Dally Has a Lover" (1965). Meanwhile, his performance as Stanley Kowalski in a stock production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" led to his feature debut in John Huston's "Reflections in a Golden Eye," playing a young officer who is caught between a repressed homosexual major (Marlon Brando) and his nymphomaniac wife (Elizabeth Taylor). While critics compared the young Forster to John Garfield and Jack Palance, he garnered more attention for his nude scenes. He went on to co-star with Gregory Peck and Eva Marie Saint in the ponderous "The Stalking Moon" (1968) before receiving international attention for his starring turn as the detached cameraman in Haskell Wexler's arresting "Medium Cool," shot against the backdrop of the 1968 Democratic Convention, from which actual footage was used. His dark skin and ethnic look allowed him to branch out into other characters throughout his career, including playing an Arab in the period drama "Justine" (1969). Meanwhile, Forster continued to attract attention and controversy as a priest who falls in love in the maudlin "Pieces of Dreams" (1970). Following the lead role in "Cover Me Babe" (1970), an atrocious and amoral drama about obsession, he landed his first television starring role with "Banyon," a 1930s-set cop drama that followed the exploits of a tough, but honest private investigator in Los Angeles. Though the show was unceremoniously short-lived, Forster nonetheless bounced back with "Nakia," playing a Native American deputy in New Mexico who often finds his heritage at odds with the law he is supposed to uphold. Once again, however, the series was dropped from the schedule in short order. As Forster continued to work, he found himself struggling more and more to establish himself as a star. He continued playing various tough guys, including an alleged Mafia snitch in "The Don Is Dead" (1973), an Eastwood-esque detective rooting out bad cops in "The Death Squad" (ABC, 1974) and a Los Angeles cop hunting down a psychotic country music fan with his partner (Don Johnson) in the police drama pilot "The City" (NBC, 1977). By this time, Forster's career was entering a downturn that would last for a long time. Over the course of the next two decades, he appeared in B-movies that barely saw the light of day, like "Stunts" (1977), in which he delivered a solid performance as an ace stuntman who investigates the suspicious death of his brother on a movie set. In "Standing Tall" (NBC, 1978), he was a Depression-era rancher of mixed Native American and Caucasian ethnicity who defends his land from a ruthless cattle baron (Chuck Connors). He next co-starred in "The Black Hole" (1979), a futuristic sci-fi adventure about a team of space travelers who examine a ship sitting on the edge of a spiraling black hole. Following supporting turns in "The Darker Side of Terror" (CBS, 1979) and "The Lady in Red" (1980), Forster returned to hardboiled cop territory in the cult classic horror comedy, "Alligator" (1980), playing an everyman hero battling a giant reptile roaming the sewers in Chicago. But he continued his slide into mediocrity, thanks to films like "The Kinky Coaches and the Pom Pom Pussycats" (1981) and "Vigilante" (1983). In the latter film, he played a factory worker who joins a group of vigilantes on a vicious killing spree to clean up the streets after his wife and son are killed. After portraying a down-and-out cab driver who helps a woman exact revenge in "Walking the Edge" (1984), Forster produced, directed and starred as a poor man's Sam Spade in the detective spoof "Hollywood Harry" (1985), playing a shameless gumshoe who makes female clients pay for the privilege of sleeping with him while constantly drinking himself into a stupor. Using his ethnic looks to his advantage again, he was a militant Palestinian in "The Delta Force" (1986), which led to a voice role as a cartoon detective on "Once a Hero" (ABC, 1987), which lasted only three episodes. Forster's career was on a serious slide by the end of the decade, which included redundant turns in cop thrillers like "Dead Bang" (1989) and "The Banker" (1989). In a rare turn as a villain, he was a hit man from another planet in the straight-to-video release "The Peacemaker" (1990). After playing a maniacal Middle Eastern dictator in the made-for-television movie "Counterforce" (1991), he played yet another detective in the Fred Williamson-produced, "South Beach" (1993). Following a turn alongside a host of blaxploitation stars, including Pam Grier, Ron O'Neal and Richard Roundtree, in "Original Gangstas" (1996), Forster's career was resurrected from the grave by Quentin Tarantino when he was cast in "Jackie Brown" (1997), the director's adaptation of Elmore Leonard's crime novel, Rum Punch. As a down-on-his-luck bail bondsman who falls for a flight attendant (Grier) caught up in a money smuggling scam, Forster exuded a soft romantic side underneath a weariness brought on by a lifetime of longing and regret. Forster was the heart and soul of the movie and for his efforts, earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor - the first of his long career. The plump role and ensuing Academy Award nod pumped fresh blood into his career, which he parlayed into dozens of new roles in subsequent years. He appeared in two Hitchcock remakes, starring alongside Christopher Reeve as his detective pal in the television version of "Rear Window" (ABC, 1998), which he followed with a cameo as Norman Bates' psychotherapist in Gus van Sandt's unnecessary shot-for-shot regurgitation of "Psycho" (1998). The actor was characteristically low-key, but always dazzling in a slate of indie films, including "Outside Ozona" (1998) and "Diamond Men" (2000), in which he delivered a highly praised turn as a jewelry salesman who must mentor a young replacement (Donnie Wahlberg) when his company downsizes. He also made memorable supporting turns in diverse films such as the Jim Carrey/Farrelly Brothers comedy "Me, Myself & Irene" (2000), director David Lynch's hypnotic drama "Mulholland Drive" (2001), the kid-skewing basketball comedy "Like Mike" (2002), and the high-octane action sequel, "Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle" (2003). On television, Forster had notable turns in small screen movies including "Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes" (CBS, 2001), playing patriarch Ken 'Pappa' Kimes opposite Mary Tyler Moore and Gabriel Olds as the real-life mother-son murderers. He also portrayed Steve Carroll in the television adaptation of former detective Mark Fuhrman's book "Murder in Greenwich" (2002), the story of the long unsolved 1970s-era murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley. Returning to series television, Forster was particularly winning and showed tremendous paternal chemistry with co-star Carla Gugino when he played Marshall Sisco, the private investigator father of federal marshal "Karen Sisco" (ABC, 2003-04), a series adaptation of the Elmore Leonard characters first depicted on the big screen in "Out of Sight" (1998). Though a promising role for Forster, the series was canceled after its first season. Meanwhile, he continued to work steadily, turning in several episodes of "Huff" (Showtime, 2004-06), while appearing in high-profile features like "Firewall" (2006), "Lucky Number Slevin" (2006) and "Cleaner" (2007). He also landed the recurring role of Arthur Petrelli, grandfather of regenerating cheerleader Clair (Hayden Panettiere), during the third season of "Heroes" (NBC, 2006-2010). Back on the big screen, he ventured into romantic comedy territory playing a cop in "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" (2009) and starred opposite Luke Wilson in the crime comedy "Middle Men" (2010). In Alexander Payne's acclaimed comedy-drama, "The Descendents" (2011), Forster portrayed the mean-spirited father-in-law of a wealthy man (George Clooney) who goes in search of his wife's lover in Hawaii after she lapses into a coma. Forster continued working steadily into his 70s in character roles, including a military officer in the action drama "Olympus Has Fallen" (2013) and its sequal "London Has Fallen" (2016) and Sheriff Frank Truman in the rebooted "Twin Peaks" (Showtime 2017). Robert Forster died of brain cancer on October 11, 2019, the same day that his final performance, in "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie" (Netflix 2019), was released. He was 78.

Highest rated movies

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
89% 66% The Wolf of Snow Hollow Sheriff Hadley (Character) $183.2K 2020
91% 93% QT8: The First Eight Self - 2019
20% 79% Bigger Joe 2008 (Character) $45.8K 2018
68% 54% Damsel Old Preacher (Character) $282.8K 2018
86% 82% What They Had Bert (Character) $254.4K 2018
No Score Yet 45% The Big Take Detective Aborn (Character) - 2017
59% 31% Small Crimes Unknown (Character) - 2017
59% 80% The Case for Christ Walter Strobel (Character) $14.7M 2017
55% 25% Acts of Vengeance Chuck (Character) - 2017
78% 67% Small Town Crime Unknown (Character) - 2017
91% 57% The Confirmation Otto (Character) - 2016
No Score Yet 18% Bus Driver General Sorbin (Character) - 2016
28% 51% London Has Fallen General Edward Clegg (Character) $62.5M 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Bridge Partner Don Whalen (Character) - 2015
72% 62% Too Late Gordy Lyons (Character) - 2015
8% 32% Survivor Bill Talbot (Character) - 2015
31% 30% Automata Robert Bold (Character) - 2014
79% 80% The American Side Sterling Whitmore (Character) - 2014
56% 82% Somewhere Slow Chris McConville (Character) - 2013
49% 66% Olympus Has Fallen Gen. Edward Clegg (Character) $98.9M 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Coffee, Kill Boss Walt Ford (Character) - 2013
13% 28% Hotel Noir Jim (Character) - 2012
No Score Yet 58% Girl Walks Into a Bar Dodge (Character) - 2011
87% 79% The Descendants Scott Thorson (Character) $82.6M 2011
0% 31% Kalamity Tom Klepack (Character) - 2010
75% 71% American Grindhouse Narrator $4.6K 2010
No Score Yet 31% The Bannen Way Mr. B. (Character) - 2010
No Score Yet 25% The Trial Ray (Character) $19.2K 2010
28% 40% Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Sarge (Character) $52.2M 2009
40% 56% Middle Men Louie La La (Character) $723.7K 2009
20% 33% Thick as Thieves Lt. Weber (Character) - 2009
50% 72% Touching Home Jim "Perk" Perkins (Character) - 2008
30% 19% Dragon Wars: D-War Jack (Character) $11M 2007
33% 20% Rise: Blood Hunter Lloyd (Character) - 2007
25% 30% Jack and Jill vs. the World Norman (Character) - 2007
17% 40% Cleaner Arlo (Character) - 2007
No Score Yet 14% Wild Seven Wilson (Character) - 2006
18% 37% Firewall Harry Romano (Character) $48.7M 2006
No Score Yet 23% The Hunt for the BTK Killer Detective Jason Magida (Character) - 2005
No Score Yet 40% Undefeated Resto (Character) - 2003
42% 40% Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Roger Wixon (Character) $100.8M 2003
46% 52% Grand Theft Parsons Stanley Parsons (Character) - 2003
69% 70% Confidence Morgan Price (Character) $12.2M 2003
No Score Yet 51% Lone Hero Gus (Character) - 2002
57% 52% Like Mike Coach Wagner (Character) $51.4M 2002
No Score Yet 52% Murder in Greenwich Steve Carroll (Character) - 2002
No Score Yet No Score Yet Due East Jesse Rapple (Character) - 2002
No Score Yet No Score Yet Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes Ken "Pappa" Kimes (Character) - 2001
No Score Yet 44% Roads to Riches Jack Waters (Character) - 2001
60% 59% Finder's Fee Officer Campbell (Character) - 2001
49% 61% Human Nature Nathan's Father (Character) $695.9K 2001
83% 87% Mulholland Dr. Detective Mcknight (Character) $0 2001
No Score Yet 38% Family Tree Henry Musser (Character) $12.5K 2000
81% 58% Diamond Men Eddie Miller (Character),
Executive Producer
- 2000
47% 57% Me, Myself & Irene Colonel Partington (Character) $90.6M 2000
No Score Yet 0% The Magic of Marciano Henry (Character) - 2000
10% 17% Supernova A.J. Marley (Character) $14.2M 2000
83% 62% Lakeboat Joe Pitko (Character) $5.2K 2000
No Score Yet 36% Kiss Toledo Goodbye Sal Fortuna (Character) - 1999
27% 44% All the Rage Unknown (Character) - 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Method Christian's Father (Character) - 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet Night Vision Teak Taylor (Character) - 1998
25% 46% Outside Ozona Odell Parks (Character) $7.4K 1998
36% 27% Rear Window Detective Charlie Moore (Character) - 1998
39% 28% Psycho Dr. Fred Simon (Character) $21.5M 1998
No Score Yet 59% American Perfekt Jake Nyman (Character) - 1997
No Score Yet 22% Demolition University Gentry (Character) - 1997
87% 85% Jackie Brown Max Cherry (Character) $39.6M 1997
56% 26% Uncle Sam Congressman Cummings (Character) - 1997
53% 47% Original Gangstas Det. Slatten (Character) $3.3M 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Guns and Lipstick Unknown (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hindsight Michael Donahue (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet 34% Scanner Cop II Unknown (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cover Story Therapist (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet Body Chemistry 3: Point of Seduction Bob Sibley (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet 42% American Yakuza Littman (Character) - 1993
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sex, Love and Cold Hard Cash Sid (Character) - 1993
No Score Yet 0% South Beach Det. Ted Coleman (Character) - 1992
No Score Yet No Score Yet In-Between Vinnie (Character) - 1992
No Score Yet 12% Diplomatic Immunity Stonebridge (Character) - 1991
82% 87% 29th Street Sgt. Tartaglia (Character) $1.8M 1991
No Score Yet 17% Peacemaker Yates (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet Checkered Flag Jack Cotton (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet 17% Committed Dr. Desmond Moore (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet 57% Satan's Princess Lou Cherney (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet Esmeralda Bay Madero (Character) - 1989
No Score Yet 30% The Banker Dan (Character) - 1989
No Score Yet No Score Yet Once a Hero Gumshoe (Character) - 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet Crossbow: The Movie Aymong (Character) - 1986
17% 49% The Delta Force Abdul (Character) $15.9M 1986
No Score Yet 36% Walking the Edge Jason Walk (Character) - 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hollywood Harry Harold `'Harry'` Petry (Character),
Director
- 1985
20% 70% Vigilante Eddie Marino (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Kinky Coaches and the Pom-Pom Pussycats Coach Alan Arnoldi (Character) - 1981
80% 48% Alligator David (Character) - 1980
38% 45% The Black Hole Captain Dan Holland (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet Crunch Coach Alan Arnoldi (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Darker Side of Terror Paul Corwin/Clone (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet Standing Tall Luke Shasta (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Avalanche Nick Thorne (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet 14% Who Is Killing the Stuntmen? Glen Wilson (Character) - 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Pressure Point Don Carpenter (Character) - 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Stunt Men Glen Wilson (Character) - 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Deadly Game Glen Wilson (Character) - 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet The City Lieutenant Matt Lewis (Character) - 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Royce Royce (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Nakia Deputy Nakia Parker (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Death Squad Eric Benoit (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Deadly Kiss Frank Regalbuto (Character) - 1973
No Score Yet 23% The Don Is Dead Frank (Character) - 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Journey Through Rosebud Frank (Character) - 1972
No Score Yet No Score Yet Banyon Miles C. Banyon (Character) - 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet Pieces of Dreams Gregory Lind (Character) - 1970
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cover Me Babe Tony Hall (Character) - 1970
No Score Yet 36% Justine Narouz (Character) - 1969
96% 79% Medium Cool John Cassellis (Character) - 1969
40% 63% The Stalking Moon Nick Tana (Character) - 1968
55% 59% Reflections in a Golden Eye Pvt. L.G. Williams (Character) - 1967

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Rachael Ray Guest 2018
No Score Yet 81% Last Man Standing Bud Baxter (Guest Star) 2018 2012-2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Twin Peaks: The Return Sheriff Frank Truman (Character) 2017
36% 85% Backstrom Unknown (Guest Star) 2015
39% 66% Intruders Frank Shepherd (Guest Star) 2014
96% 97% Breaking Bad Ed (Guest Star) 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Soul Man Father James Ignatius (Guest Star) 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Transformers Prime General Bryce (Guest Voice) 2012
60% 38% Alcatraz Ray Archer (Character) 2012
No Score Yet 84% CSI: New York Joe Vincent (Guest Star) 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Bannen Way Mr. B. (Character) 2009-2010
53% 66% Heroes Unknown (Guest Star) 2008
No Score Yet No Score Yet Would Be Kings Unknown (Character) 2008
72% 89% Desperate Housewives Nick Delfino (Guest Star) 2007
No Score Yet 92% Numb3ers Unknown (Guest Star) 2006
No Score Yet No Score Yet Clubhouse Unknown (Guest Star) 2004
95% No Score Yet Karen Sisco Unknown (Character) 2003-2004
47% No Score Yet Fastlane Unknown (Guest Star) 2002-2003
No Score Yet No Score Yet Walker, Texas Ranger Unknown (Guest Star) 1997 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote Unknown (Guest Star) 1995 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet Jake and the Fatman Unknown (Guest Star) 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hotel Unknown (Guest Star) 1987
No Score Yet 88% Magnum, P.I. Unknown (Guest Star) 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Goliath Awaits Unknown (Character) 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Gibbsville Unknown (Guest Star) 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Police Story Sgt. Frank Dolan (Character) 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Snoop Sisters Writer 1974

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