Friday, April 2, 2010

John Forsythe, 1918-2010

Another week, and another big TV star has passed John Forsythe passed on yesterday at the age of 92.

TV greats Forsythe, Peter Graves, Fess Parker, and Robert Culp have all died in a span of two and a half weeks.

Forsythe starred in several TV series, including BACHELOR FATHER, TO ROME WITH LOVE, and CHARLIE'S ANGELS, where he was only heard -- never seen -- as the titular Charlie.

Forsythe's most famous TV role was as oil tycoon Blake Carrington on the classic '80s primetime soap opera DYNASTY, which ran from 1981-89. It was part of the primetime soap craze about the wealthy which was initiated by DALLAS, but it had a style all its own and, in a word, it was fun. I especially enjoyed it as a diversion from studying during my college years.

Forsythe's early career included serving as a P.A. announcer for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. He broke into films with bit parts in NORTHERN PURSUIT (1943) and DESTINATION TOKYO (1943).

After service in WWII, Forsythe simultaneously acted in both TV and movies. His notable films included the Robert Wise film noir THE CAPTIVE CITY (1952), IT HAPPENS EVERY THURSDAY (1953) with Loretta Young, John Sturges' ESCAPE FROM FORT BRAVO (1953), THE AMBASSADOR'S DAUGHTER (1956) with Olivia de Havilland, and IN COLD BLOOD (1967).

He appeared in two films for Alfred Hitchcock, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (1955) and TOPAZ (1969).

Another tribute is at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.

Update: Here is the L.A. Times obituary.

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