May 27, 1941 - May 11, 2010
Nicole Carter-Forsythe was the quintessential "California Girl." Her birth, in Pasadena, on May 27, 1941, to parents Mike and Frances Carter, proved to be the right time and the right place for this beautiful, effervescent blonde to begin her remarkable life journey. One can almost hear The Beach Boys singing "Wouldn't It Be Nice" when reflecting upon her family's move to Orange County, where Nicole and her little sister Christy lived The American Dream. The extremely popular high school song leader was a "straight-A student" who worked weekends at Disneyland. Following high school graduation, only one college was the perfect fit for a girl like Nicole - UCLA - where she flourished - and received her degree in teaching. The rabid Bruins fan pledged Pi Beta Phi - the creme de la creme of college beauties - many of whom remained life-long, devoted friends.
When it was time to pursue a career, Nicole drove her powder blue Classic 1968 Ford Mustang to Beverly Hills where she joined the work force as a court reporter - but wound up sole proprietor of her very own wildly successful court reporting agency - Nicole Carter & Associates - where she dispatched her impressive team of in-demand Certified Shorthand Reporters from her offices on The Avenue of the Stars in Century City - for over thirty-five years.
Never one to settle for anything but the best, Nicole graciously declined marriage proposal after marriage proposal until she spotted the man of her dreams - a fellow member of The Hollywood Turf Club - the recently widowed John Forsythe - who fell head over heels in love with Nicole almost immediately after she boldly introduced herself, shook his hand, and told him he was the most handsome man she had ever seen. They married in July of 2002 in the Ballard Country Church. The Forsythe's were avid sports fans, and they traveled extensively, but Nicole and John seemed happiest at home "on the ranch" in Santa Ynez, with their horses, their cats, and a white poodle named Nicholas. Nicole exchanged her exquisite Beverly Hills pad for the "central coast wine-and-horse-country lifestyle" where she became the cherished friend of so many Santa Ynez folks, including Rona Barrett, Cheryl Ladd, and "next door neighbor" - the iconic Fess Parker. Clearly, this vivacious and handsome couple - John and Nicole - were meant to be - "till death do us part." The chemistry between them was remarkable. They even battled cancer together - in what can only be described as "the most cheerful and upbeat way." Their love sustained them. And when John died on April 1st, Nicole followed him - just weeks later - at home - on May 11th.
As America and the world morph into new configurations, and time marches on, Nicole's life, in retrospect, becomes symbolic in a way even she could never have imagined: Orange County, Disneyland, UCLA, Pi Phi, a Vintage Mustang, Beverly Hills, "Blake Carrington," a "Charlie's Angel," "Miss Rona," and "Davy Crockett!" It's a recipe of Classic Americana guaranteed to bring a wistful smile to Baby Boomers everywhere. "Oh ... wouldn't it be nice?" Oh yes - it certainly would. And for lovely, irreplaceable Nicole - it was. No one else on the planet was ever more perfect for a charming journey such as this. It was a Disneyland "E-Ticket" American Life - for a Classic American Girl.
Nicole's immediate survivors are her devoted sister Christy, and the Forsythe's family companion of 40 years - Toyoko Kida - as well as John's three adult children and numerous grandchildren. But they are not alone. Their grief is shared by the countless beneficiaries of Nicole's friendship, amazing wit, astonishing generosity, beauty, and style. All of us (whom she left behind - longing for the phone to ring - just one more time - with the greeting, "Hi, honey, it's Nicole...") are thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice - if we could have kept her in our lives ... forever ..."
- Michael Muffins Jamison & Samantha McCoy Caulfield, BH, CA (In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to colon cancer research can be made to UCLA Foundation. Please indicate in memory of Nicole Forsythe. To: Ian Jipp, UCLA Hospital System, 10945 Le Conte Avenue, Suite 3132, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1784)
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Published by Los Angeles Times on May 23, 2010.