“I was a senior,” Forster said. “I followed a girl into the auditorium, trying to think of something to say. They were doing auditions. This girl was already in the play. I said, ‘That’s how I’m gonna meet the girl!’ “
That audition was for Bye Bye Birdie and that girl, June Provenzano, would then become his wife and they would have three kids together.
He graduated in 1964 and made his Broadway debut in Mrs. Dally, which led him to his first screen test at 20th Century Fox, which led to his first film in 1967, Reflections in a Golden Eye.
That first step would lead to a successful career in television and film that saw Forester star and appear in Twin Peaks, Breaking Bad, The Descendants, Mulholland Dr., Medium Cool, The Delta Force, Heroes, Olympus Has Fallen, and many more.
He auditioned for the role of Joe Cabot in Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs but ended up losing to Lawrence Tierney. However, Tarantino never forgot him and crafted the screenplay of Jackie Brown and the character of Max Cherry with Forster in mind before ultimately casting him and also saving his career.
“Years had gone by and I ran into him in a coffee shop. By then my career was really, really dead,” Forster said in an interview with Fandor. “And we blah-blah’d for a few minutes, and then six months later he showed up at the same coffee shop with a script in his hands and handed it to me. When I read it I could hardly believe that he had me in mind for Max Cherry, except that nothing else made any sense. So when I asked him about it, he said, ‘Yes, it’s Max Cherry that I wrote for you.’ That’s when I said to him, ‘I’m sure they’re not going to let you hire me.’ He said, ‘I hire anybody I want.’ And that’s when I realized I was going to get another shot at a career.”
Forster is “survived by his longtime partner Denise Grayson; his children Elizabeth, Bobby, Kate, and Maeghen; and his grandchildren Tess, Liam, Jack and Olivia.”
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.