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Robert Forster Dies: Academy Award Nominated ‘Jackie Brown’ Star Who Appeared In More Than 100 Films Was 78

Bruce Haring

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Robert Forster, an Academy Award nominee for his work as Max Cherry in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, died at his Los Angeles home today following a brief battle with brain cancer. His death was confirmed by his family and representatives.

Forster appeared in more than 100 films, including his latest, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, released today via Netflix.

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Born in Rochester, New York, Forster, a member of Triple Nine Society, graduated from the University of Rochester and then moved to New York City, where he was quickly cast in the Broadway production Mrs. Dally Has a Lover, opposite Arlene Francis.

Forster’s performance caught the eye of director John Huston, who cast him in his first film, Reflections in a Golden Eye, with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando. He then worked with renowned director Haskell Wexler on Medium Cool, which became a classic due to its filming during the riots at the 1969 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

He continued to make films and television series. Among his favorites were the series Banyon and films Alligator and American Perfekt. Other notable projects include The Descendants, Firewall, Me, Myself and Irene, the return of Twin Peaks, and last year’s What They Had. Forster also recently played Tim Allen’s father in Last Man Standing, a part he loved because the series was a comedy, a new genre for him. Forster’s career got a second wind when Quentin Tarantino remembered his terrific early work, and that of Pam Grier, and paired them in Jackie Brown, Tarantino’s adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch.

Forster completed three additional projects in 2019: El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories and Werewolf.

He is survived by his children: Bobby, Elizabeth, Kate and Maeghen; his grandchildren: Tess, Liam, Jack and Olivia; and long time partner, Denise Grayson.

Details of a memorial service have not yet been announced.

Deadline’s Pete Hammond interviews Robert Forster on his craft.


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