Robert Forster, the wonderful character actor who was nominated for an Oscar for Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,” died Friday in Los Angeles of brain cancer at the age of 78.
Forster appeared in more than 100 films, with quite a few time-capsule-worthy moments.
I can think of 1969’s landmark film “Medium Cool” and, especially, that opening shot with Forster’s cameraman getting out of the car. David Lynch cast the actor twice, in 2001’s “Mulholland Dr.” and 2017’s “Twin Peaks: The Return.” He also stole ever scene director Alexander Payne gave him as the grieving father in “The Descendants.”
However, it was his bail bondsman Max Cherry in “Jackie Brown,” a role which Quentin Tarantino specifically wrote with Forster in mind, that will forever cement his legacy. The role nabbed him his first and only Academy Award nomination. This kick-started a major comeback period for Forster who would go on to appear in more than two-dozen movies after that.
Most recently Forster reprised his “Breaking Bad” role as Ed in “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” and was indelibly brilliant in the 2018 indie drama “What They Had.”
The man exuded presence, there was an intensity to some of these roles, a mix of both tenderness and machoism, that only Forster could create. Actors like Robert Forster are indeed a dying breed, long may his legacy last.