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Frederic Forrest, Actor in ‘The Rose’ and ‘Apocalypse Now,’ Dies at 86

Frederic Forrest, the Oscar-nominated character actor noted for his performances in Apocalypse Now and The Rose, has died in Santa Monica at the age of 86.
News of his passing brought tributes from leading Hollywood figures who had worked with him over the years, including director Francis Ford Coppola and actor Bette Midler.

Coppola, who directed Forrest in Apocalypse Now, called the actor a sweet, much beloved person, a wonderful actor and a good friend,” adding that “His loss is heartbreaking to me.” Midler, who had co-starred with Forrest in The Rose, tweeted: “Thank you to all of his fans and friends for all their support these last few months. He was a remarkable actor, and a brilliant human being, and I was lucky to have him in my life. He was at peace.”

In the 1979 film The Rose, Forrest played the role of Huston Dyer, Midler’s limousine driver, earning him both an Oscar and Golden Globe for best supporting actor. In that same year, he starred as Jay “Chef” Hicks in Coppola’s Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now, whose cast also included Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Martin Sheen.

Frederic Forrest was born in Waxahachie, Texas two days before Christmas, 1936. After receiving a degree in radio and television studies at Texas Christian University, he moved to New York, where he studied under Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg. During the tumultuous 1960s, he appeared in a number of countercultural Off-Broadway productions, including Viet Rock and Futz! One of his first film roles, When Legends Die, earned him a 1973 Golden Globe nomination for most promising newcomer.

Around the time of his 1979 breakthroughs, Forrest was quoted in The New York Times as saying: “I don’t expect much. I’ve been around too long to have expectations.” He added “This [Hollywood] is a fickle town, no rhyme or reason to it. By the time you go down the driveway to pick up your mail, you’re forgotten.”

“They told me to hire a public relations firm to try to get an Emmy,” he continued. “There was no way I could do that. It goes against my grain to buy ads. I don’t want to buy a prize. I want someone to give me one. Who wants a prize if you have to hustle it?”

Other of Forrest’s film roles included Falling Down, The Missouri Breaks, The Two Jakes, Point Blank, Valley Girl, Hammett, and Trauma. He also appeared in several TV series, including Lonesome Dove, Quo Vadis, and 21 Jump Street. Forrest’s final film appearances was in All the King’s Men (2006).

Forrest was married twice, to Nancy Ann Whittaker and Marilu Henner. He is survived by his sister, Ginger Jackson.

Check out more of Edward’s articles.

Edward Moran
Edward Moranhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to hosokinema.com and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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