Robert Forster, a prolific character actor who was nominated for an Oscar for Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and appeared in more than 100 films, died Friday in Los Angeles of brain cancer. He was 78.
Tarantino created the bail bondsman character Max Cherry with Forster in mind, and the role netted him his first Academy Award nomination.
Most recently Forster reprised his Breaking Bad role as Ed in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which was released Friday, and appeared in Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories and in Werewolf.
David Lynch cast the actor with a distinctive weathered look in Mulholland Dr. and in the rebooted Twin Peaks as Sheriff Frank Truman.
“I’ve done a lot of genre pictures in my career…I’ve always liked them,” Forster told the Bleecker Street blog upon the release of 2018’s indie drama What They Had.
Forster played Tim Allen’s father in Last Man Standing, a rare comedy appearance, and played the father of a comatose mom in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, which was nominated for ensemble acting prizes by SAG and the Gotham awards.
Born in Rochester, N.Y., Forster started his career on Broadway in Mrs. Dally Has a Lover before John Huston cast him in Reflections in a Golden Eye” opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.
He appeared in Medium Cool for director Haskell Wexler and starred in the TV series Banyon – reportedly the role that Tarantino remembered when casting him in Jackie Brown – and appeared in movies including Alligator, Olympus Has Fallen and American Perfekt.
Forster is survived by his children: Bobby, Elizabeth, Kate and Maeghen; his grandchildren: Tess, Liam, Jack and Olivia; and long time partner, Denise Grayson.