Robert Forster, Oscar-Nominated Star Of ‘Jackie Brown,’ ‘El Camino’ & More, Dies At 78

One of Hollywood’s most prolific actors has died. Robert Forster passed away at his Los Angeles home on Friday amid a battle with brain cancer, according to multiple reports. He was 78.

With nearly 200 film and television credits to his name, Forster’s career spanned five decades and included an Oscar nomination for 1997’s “Jackie Brown.” The Quentin Tarantino-directed film was considered a welcome comeback for the showbiz veteran, who got his start thirty years earlier opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando in “Reflections in a Golden Eye.”

Though he always worked consistently, Forster reflected on his professional ups and downs with the Chicago Tribune in 2018 and noted how he was able to see the valuable lessons in even his lowest points.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31: Actor Robert Forster attends the premiere of Showtime's "I'm Dying Up Here" at DGA Theater on May 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Robert Forster on May 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

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“I went 21 months without a job. I had four kids, I took any job I could get,” he told the paper. “My career went like this for five years and then like that for 27. Every time it reached a lower level I thought I could tolerate, it dropped some more, and then some more. Near the end I had no agent, no manager, no lawyer, no nothing. I was taking whatever fell through the cracks. … [but] you know what, everything teaches you something. The job of real life is the job of caring for others. Everything you do in life is superfluous compared to that.”

Tarantino famously wrote the part of “Jackie Brown’s” Max Cherry with Forster in mind after first meeting him during the audition process for “Reservoir Dogs,” a gesture the actor told Fandor in 2018 had given him “another shot at a career.” Following his resurgence, Forster co-starred in the 2001 Naomi Watts breakout “Mullholland Drive” and opposite George Clooney in 2011’s “The Descendants.” His TV work included the “Twin Peaks” revival and “Last Man Standing.”

Most recently, he appeared in “El Camino,” the anticipated “Breaking Bad” movie which premiered on Friday.

Forster is survived by partner Denise Grayson and his four children Elizabeth, Kate, Maeghen and Robert Jr.

— Erin Biglow

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