Jackie Brown star Robert Forster dies aged 78

Jackie Brown star Robert Forster dies aged 78

Robert Forster, the character actor who saw a career resurgence and Oscar nomination for playing bail bondsman Max Cherry in Jackie Brown, has died aged 78.

Publicist Kathie Berlin said Forster died of brain cancer following a brief illness.

He was at home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family, including his four children and partner Denise Grayson.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Quentin Tarantino and Robert Forster attend the 2011 Film Independent Screening Series: "Jackie Brown" at Bing Theatre At LACMA on September 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage)
FILE - In this Monday, March 18, 2013 file photo, Robert Forster arrives at the LA premiere of "Olympus Has Fallen" at the ArcLight Theatre in Los Angeles. Forster, the handsome character actor who got a career resurgence and Oscar-nomination for playing bail bondsman Max Cherry in "Jackie Brown," has died at age 78. Forster's agent Julia Buchwald says he died Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at home in Los Angeles of brain cancer. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
***FILE PHOTO*** Actor Robert Forster Has Passed Away at the age of 78. BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 8: Robert Forster at AARP's Movie For GrownUps Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on February 08, 2016. Credit: David Edwards/MediaPunch /IPX
***FILE PHOTO*** Actor Robert Forster Has Passed Away at the age of 78. HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 13: Robert Forster at the Magnolia Pictures' 'Damsel' Premiere at ArcLight Hollywood on June 13, 2018 in Hollywood, California. Credit: Faye Sadou/MediaPunch /IPX
Actor Robert Forster arrives for the international premiere of "What They Had" at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Actor Robert Forster from the Oscar nominated film "The Descendants" arrives at The Wrap Pre-Oscar party in Los Angeles, California February 22, 2012. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Actor Robert Forster listens to a question about his new fall 2003 drama series, 'Karen Sisco,' with television critics during the ABC television network presentation at the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Hollywood, July 15, 2003. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson LN
Actor Robert Forster, Academy Award nominee as Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Jackie Brown," arrives as a guest at the Publicist Guild of America awards luncehon March 20 in Beverly Hills.
U.S. actor Samuel L. Jackson (2ndR) gestures as he greets the press as U.S. actors Robert Forster (L), Pam Grier (2ndL) and producer Lawrence Bender (R) look on prior to a news conference to present their new film "Jackie Brown" at Berlin's 48th International Film Festival February 17. The Film is entered in the competition which ends on February 22.
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 10: Actors Robert Forster and Michael Madsen attend Sundance NEXT FEST After Dark at The Theater at The Ace Hotel on August 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images For Sundance )
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 09: (L-R) Actors Laura Dern, Kimmy Robertson, Madchen Amick, Kyle MacLachlan and Robert Forster of the television show 'Twin Peaks' speak onstage during the Showtime portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 9, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 09: (L-R) Actors Madchen Amick, Kyle MacLachlan and Robert Forster of the television show 'Twin Peaks' speak onstage during the Showtime portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 9, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 05: (L-R) Actors Robert Forster, Channing Tatum, Tim Roth, Christoph Waltz, writer/director Quentin Tarantino and actress Zoe Bell attend the ceremony honoring Quentin Tarantino with Hand and Footprint Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theater on January 5, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
BURBANK, CA - JUNE 25: Actors Robert Forster and James Remar pose for portraits at 41st Annual Saturn Awards held at The Castaway on June 25, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Jody Cortes/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor Robert Forster attends a Film Independent at LACMA Screening Of "Hotel Noir" at Bing Theatre At LACMA on September 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Actors Robert Forster (L) and Dev Patel attend a special screening of "Slumdog Millionaire" at the Landmark Auditorium on November 11, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Director Danny Boyle (L) and actor Robert Forster attend a special screening of "Slumdog Millionaire" at the Landmark Auditorium on November 11, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - JANUARY 4: ***Exclusive*** Actor Robert Forster and actor John Travolta attend a Q & A following a screening of New Line Cinema's "Hairspray" on January 4, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - MAY 2: Actors Jon Voight (L) and Robert Forster attend the after party following a special VIP screening of "September Dawn" at the Directors Guild of America on May 2, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Actors Michael Madsen (L) and Robert Forster attend the 57th annual ACE Eddie Awards cocktail reception held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 18, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Actors Judd Hirsch (L) and Robert Forster attend the ceremony to celebrate the gift of The Gregory Peck Collection at The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on November 20, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 23: Actor Robert Forster and Actress Danni Jensen attend the art gallery opening for Robert Graham's collective work of acclaimed female form pieces at ACE Gallery, Beverly Hills on February 23, 2005 in, California. (Photo by Marsaili McGrath/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 27: Actor Robert Forster and friend Kathryn Bello attend the film premiere of "Like Mike" on June 27, 2002 in Westwood, California. The film opens nationwide on July 3. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
395577 06: Director Quentin Tarantino (R) and actor Robert Forester attend the premiere of the film "Iron Monkey" October 10, 2001 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Actress Lainie Kazan and actor Robert Forster being photographed on February 21, 1986 at Nicky Blair's in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Actor Robert Forster attends the Runaway Train Premiere Party on December 5, 1985 at Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Actor Robert Forster and girlfriend Katherine Vallin attend the Me, Myself & Irene Westwood Premiere on June 15, 2000 at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Actor Robert Forster attends The American Diabetes Association's 11th Annual Celebrity Waiters Brunch and Auction on April 24, 1993 at Denim & Diamonds Restaurant in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Studio portrait of Robert Forster. (Photo by Siemoneit/Sygma via Getty Images)
CIRCA 1997: Actor Robert Forster in a scene from the Miramax movie "Jackie Brown", circa 1997. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Actor Robert Forster as Banyon from TV show Banyon.
Actor Robert Forster on set of the Warner Bros. movie "Reflections in a Golden Eye" in 1967. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
American actor Robert Forster holding a movie camera, circa 1965. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Quentin Tarantino, Robert Forster and Pam Grier attend the 2011 Film Independent Screening Series: "Jackie Brown" at Bing Theatre At LACMA on September 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage)
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Condolences have poured on social media.

Bryan Cranston called Forster a "lovely man and a consummate actor" in a tweet.

The two met on the 1980 film Alligator and then worked together again on the television show Breaking Bad and its spin-off film, El Camino, which launched on Netflix.

"I never forgot how kind and generous he was to a young kid just starting out in Hollywood," Cranston wrote.

His Jackie Brown co-star Samuel L Jackson tweeted that Forster was "truly a class act/Actor!!"

A native of Rochester, New York, Forster stumbled into acting when in college, intending to be a lawyer, he followed a fellow female student he was trying to talk to into an auditorium where "Bye Bye Birdie" auditions were being held.

He would be cast in that show, that fellow student would become his wife with whom he had three daughters, and it would start him on a new trajectory as an actor.

A role in the 1965 Broadway production Mrs Dally Has A Lover put him on the radar of Darryl Zanuck, who signed him to a studio contract.

He would soon make his film debut in the 1967 John Huston film Reflections In A Golden Eye, which starred Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor.

Forster would go on to star in Haskell Wexler's documentary-style Chicago classic Medium Cool and the detective television series Banyon.

It was an early high point that he would later say was the beginning of a "27-year slump".

He worked consistently throughout the 1970s and 1980s in mostly forgettable B-movies — ultimately appearing in over 100 films, many out of necessity.

"I had four kids, I took any job I could get," he said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune last year.

"Every time it reached a lower level I thought I could tolerate, it dropped some more, and then some more. Near the end, I had no agent, no manager, no lawyer, no nothing. I was taking whatever fell through the cracks."

It was Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film Jackie Brown that put him back on the map.

Tarantino created the role of Max Cherry with Forster in mind — the actor had unsuccessfully auditioned for a part in Reservoir Dogs, but the director promised not to forget him.

In an interview with Fandor last year, Forster recalled that when presented with the script for Jackie Brown, he told Tarantino, "I'm sure they're not going to let you hire me."

Tarantino replied: "I hire anybody I want."

"And that's when I realised I was going to get another shot at a career," Forster said.

"He gave me a career back and the last 14 years have been fabulous."

The performance opposite Pam Grier became one of the more heartwarming Hollywood comeback stories, earning him his first and only Academy Award nomination.

He ultimately lost the golden statuette to Robin Williams, who won that year for Good Will Hunting.

After Jackie Brown, he worked consistently and at a decidedly higher level than during the "slump", appearing in films like David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, Me, Myself And Irene, The Descendants, Olympus Has Fallen, and What They Had, and in television shows like Breaking Bad and the Twin Peaks revival.

He will also appear later this year in the Steven Spielberg-produced Apple+ series Amazing Stories.

Forster is survived by his four children, four grandchildren and Ms Grayson, his partner of 16 years.

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