When pundits say that just being nominated for an Academy Award is tantamount to winning, they must have had actor ROBERT FORSTER in mind. His role as Max Cherry in Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" was a landmark performance and helped revive a career, which Forster has described as having "a five year upwards first act and a 25 year sliding second act." His performance garnered universally great critical acclaim, but even more importantly, he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. It has turned around a career that started over 35 years ago and put him suddenly in great demand.
He has not stopped working since he co-starred with Samuel Jackson, Pam Grier and Robert DeNiro, as the innately decent bail bondsman in “Jackie Brown”, performing in a roster of roles in films and television which run the gamut of both high profile and independent projects. This year he has again won accolades from film critics including those in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Philadelphia praising his work in David Mamet’s “Lakeboat,” directed by Joe Mantegna, and the up coming “Diamond Men,” with Donnie Wahlberg, as the traveling salesman forced to mentor his young replacement. Also Forster recently starred in “Strange Hearts” with Rose McGowan, a modern-day film noir. On the small screen he co-starred in the recent CBS TV film, “Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes,” with Mary Tyler Moore.
After “Jackie Brown,” Forster starred in a quartet of independent films "Outside Ozona," "Family Tree," "The Magic of Marciano," co-starring Nastassja Kinski and "It’s the Rage," with an all-star ensemble including Joan Allen, Gary Sinise and Andre Braugher, as well as the updated versions of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," directed by Gus Van Sant and a television version of "Rear Window," with Christopher Reeve. In 1999 Forster was featured in the MGM sci-fi film "Supernova," co-starring Angela Basset and James Spader, and did an audio reading of the best-selling book, "Hit Man," for Dove Audio.
Forster blazed on the scene in his debut film, in l966, in "Reflections in a Golden Eye," co-starring with Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor, directed by John Huston. He followed this in l968, with the seminal film, "Medium Cool," by Haskell Wexler, playing the TV newsman, whose carefully guarded objectivity is undercut by the events at the Democratic convention in Chicago. Forster also starred in several television series, including the tv noir series, "Banyon," which according to Forster, was filled with "fast cars and even faster women.”
He figured that if he persisted, someday a young hotshot filmmaker, familiar with his work, would create a role for him. What he didn't realize was, there would be two young guys, anxious to cast him. One was Quentin Tarantino, who had thought of him for two earlier films, but then wrote the Max Cherry role with Forster in mind. The second young director was Englishman Paul Chart, who created the role of Dr. Jake Nyman, in the thriller "American Perfekt," for Forster, after carefully following his career. This film also stars Amanda Plummer, David Thewlis and Paul Sorvino.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Forster began his acting career in local theater, moving to New York City in 1964, where he made his professional debut in the two-character Broadway production of "Mrs. Dally Has A Lover." Other stage credits include "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The Glass Menagerie," and productions of "Twelve Angry Men," "The Sea Horse," and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Over the years, he has done consistently well-received work in small films, including his stand-out performances in "The Don Is Dead," "Stunts," "Avalanche," "Alligator," and "Delta Force."