Robert Forster

  1. Tony Scotti, Valley of the Dolls, 1967.
  2. Tony Lo Bianco, God Told Me To, 1976.      Only memorable aspect of this film is when writer-director Larry Cohen asked composer Miklós Rózsa for a score, Rózsa replied, “God told me not to.”
  3. Chris Sarandon, Child’s Play, 1988. Actor-writer-director Tom Holland called up three guys  from his 1981 filmed script, Class of 1984 – Forster, Tom Berenger and Perry King –  to be the cop all but strangled by  Chucky, the killer-doll, in what Chicago critic Roger Ebert called “a cheerfully energetic horror film of the slam-bang school, but slicker and more clever than most.”
  4. Lawrence Tierney, Reservoir Dogs,  1991.

  5. Christopher Walken, True Romance, 1993.    
    “I’m the Anti-Christ. You’ve got me in a vendetta kind of mood…” Five or six years earlier, video store jockey Quentin Tarantino sold True Romance to a friend of the actor and said: “Make sure that the Coccotti role goes to Robert Forster.” Cut to an astonished Forster. “I’d never met this guy Tarantino, but he’d written this role for me! Well, the picture eventually got taken way from my friend. Tony Scott made it and Christopher Walken did a beautiful job of the role.” “Director and actor finally met up during the readings for Reservoir Dogs and From Dusk Til Dawn. “Quentin wanted to make good on his desire to use me,” Forster told me by a rooftop pool during the 50th  Cannes festival in 1997. “Then, he shows up where I have breakfast and tosses me a script: ‘Read this and we’ll talk.’ Jackie Brown! You’re looking at the guy who’s got a real job and a career again. Quentin’s doing for Pam Grier and me what he did for John Travolta. Putting us back in business!”  (Bob won an Oscar nomination).

  6. Bruce Dern, Nebraska, 2012.     Except for  Clooney and Nicholson, Nebraskan director Alexander Payne had a phobia with (some say, an hostility toward) casting stars. Not this time… While flirting with Bryan Cranston, the two Roberts (Duvall and Forster), Payne was really wooing Hackman back into movies – the perfect crotchety alcoholic who thinks he’s won a sweepstake.  But no, retired is what it said! Dernsie said it  was a relief not to be playing “some piece of piece of shit who wants to blow up the Superbowl.”   Result: He was voted the 2013 Cannes festival Best Actor  by Steven Spielberg’s jury. 



    “He played 186 screen roles but he was one of the most wasted actors in Hollywood.  Without any rancour on his part. “He took the blows,” as the song goes… just continued playing rhe spoons and gifting silver letter-openers to people he worked with. (“Everyone should have a letter-opener.”).  I have a fond memory of his  American Perfekt comeback at Cannes, 1997, where we spent an afternoon going through his career. From John Huston’s Reflections in a Golden Eye, with Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor, and Haskell Wexler’s devastating Medium Cool  to directing himself as Hollywood Harry. But, alas, also Aligator, Avalanche, The Black Hole, Maniac Cop 3, Satan’s Princess…  He talked about Tarantino, of course. Robert De Niro wanted to be Max Cherry in Jackie Brown. No, said QT, I wrote that for another Bob. (De Niro settled for ex-con Louis). But choosing Forster over De Niro  – that’s how good the guy was. Not enough directors understood that and just bitched about Maniac Cop 3, Satan’s Princess, etc.  And I told him about how Spanish actor Antonio Mayans was anglicised as Robert Foster (sic) in the posters and credits of ten movies – because  director Jess Franco  thought he resembled Bob!  And he kept saying: “But how do you know all this about me?”  Age, I said. And admiration.”   TC

    “Today the world is left with one less gentlemen. 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 friend. Bye bye Max. Bye bye Miles. Bye bye Bob.”– Quentin Tarantino

     “Oh, Dear Robert – beloved by all of us in our community of actors. Remembering our classic poker nights at Norby’s:  We’d joke “We’ll bury our friends and one day it will be me.” Today is your day. Fly with the angels dear friend. Blessings.” – Frances Fisher.

    “I feel so lucky to have had the chance to know and to work with Robert. He was a great actor and a great human being. He will really be missed.” – David Lynch.

    “I think of Bob as the Spencer Tracy of his generation. He’d never let anybody catch him at acting, but he was so damned great at it. Graceful yet substantial. In a just universe, he’d have a shelf full of Oscars. Even so, I can’t imagine him worrying much about that.” Breaking Bad boss Vince Gilligan

     “A lovely man and a consummate actor. I met him on the movie Alligator 40 years ago, and then again on Breaking Bad. I never forgot how kind and generous he was to a young kid just starting out in Hollywood.”  – Bryan Cranston 

    “I had the privilege of knowing this beautiful man and working along side of him. A true gentleman that loved to act. I love you my friend. Thank you for loving me. You are and always will be a legend.” – Aaron Paul, whose Breaking Bad film, El Camino, opened the day Bob died.

    “He stood for what is best in our industry; Grace, Class, Respect for his fellow artists. He will always be an inspiration.” – Lou Diamond Phillips


 Birth year: 1941Death year: 2019Other name: Casting Calls:  6