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Robert Forster (1941 – 2019), actor was Oscar-nominated for “Jackie Brown”

Getty Images / FilmMagic / Jason LaVeris

After a comeback in the 1997 Quentin Tarantino film, he had notable later roles including on "Breaking Bad"

Robert Forster was known for his performances in movies including “Jackie Brown” and “Mulholland Drive” as well as TV shows “Breaking Bad” and “Twin Peaks.” The veteran actor began his career in the 1960s with a Broadway role in “Mrs. Dally Has a Lover” and early films including “Reflections in a Golden Eye” and “Medium Cool.” He had prominent roles in the TV series “Banyon” and “Nakia,” but after a promising start, his career began to stall, and he had trouble getting roles. After some years of struggle, Forster received a welcome career boost when director Quentin Tarantino cast him as bail bondsman Max Cherry in “Jackie Brown.” Forster’s performance earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

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Died: October 11, 2019 (Who else died on October 11?)

Details of death: Died at home in Los Angeles of brain cancer at the age of 78.


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Later success: Forster’s prominent role in “Jackie Brown” revitalized his career and brought him further work in later years, as he appeared in movies like “The Descendants” and “Me, Myself and Irene” and took notable television roles on “Heroes,” the 2017 “Twin Peaks” revival, “Last Man Standing,” and “Breaking Bad.” His 2013 “Breaking Bad” role was reprised in the 2019 sequel “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which was released on the day of Forster’s death.

Forster on his career just before Tarantino cast him in “Jackie Brown”: “I went 21 months without a job. I had four kids, I took any job I could get … Near the end I had no agent, no manager, no lawyer, no nothing. I was taking whatever fell through the cracks.” —from a 2018 interview with the Chicago Tribune

What people said about him: “Today the world is left with one less gentleman. One less square shooter. One less good man. One less wonderful father. One less marvelous actor. I remember all the breakfasts we had at silver spoons. All the stories. All the kind words. All the support. Casting Robert Forster in ‘Jackie Brown’ was one of the best choices I’ve ever made in my life. I will miss you dearly my old friends. Bye bye Max. Bye bye Miles. Bye bye Bob.” —Quentin Tarantino

“I’m saddened today by the news that Robert Forster has passed away. A lovely man and a consummate actor. I met him on the movie Alligator 40 years ago, and then again on BB. I never forgot how kind and generous he was to a young kid just starting out in Hollywood. RIP Bob” —Bryan Cranston

“RIP Robert Forster!! A truly class act/Actor!!” —Samuel L. Jackson

“Truly one of the kindest, most giving actors/human beings that I’ve ever worked with, and forever a dear friend. He’ll be missed.” —Donnie Wahlberg

Full obituary: The New York Times

Related lives:

  • Sid Haig (1939 - 2019), played Judge in “Jackie Brown”
  • Billy Drago (1945 - 2019), character actor known for “The Untouchables”
  • Seymour Cassell (1935 - 2019), recognizable character actor