Robert Forster, Movie Tough Guy and Oscar Nominee, Dead at 78
Robert Forster, known for his unflappable machismo and strong-but-silent depth in a variety of roles over the past 50 years, died Friday at his L.A. home, THR reports. He had been battling brain cancer.
Born July 13, 1941, in Rochester, New York, he began acting in college.
Handsome and wielding a gravitas that commanded attention in parts small and large, he made his Broadway debut in 1965 and his film debut in 1967's "Reflections in a Golden Eye." He was praised across the board for his career-launching performance in the highly regarded cinéma vérité-style film "Medium Cool" (1969).
He was equally adept in sci-fi, like Disney's "The Black Hole" (1979), as he was in action, like "Alligator" (1980) and "The Delta Force" (1986), as he was in the quirky dramas "Mulholland Drive" (2001) and "The Descendants" (2011).
It was as Max Cherry in Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" (1997), which came at a time when he considered himself a has-been, for which he is best remembered. It was a classic performance, one that netted him an Oscar nomination and rejuvenated his fortunes as an actor. Tarantino had written the part for the film — adapted from the Elmore Leonard novel "Rum Punch" (1992) — with Forster in mind.
On TV, he starred in "Banyon" (1971-1973) and "Nakia" (1974), and had roles on "Heroes" (2007-2008), "Last Man Standing" (2012-2018), and "Twin Peaks" (2017), among many others. He reprised his 2013 role on "Breaking Bad" in "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie," which began streaming on Netflix the day he died.
Forster had been making public appearances until the past few weeks.
Married and divorced twice, Forster is survived by his longtime partner Denise Grayson, by four children, and by four grandchildren.