Actor Robert Forster died of brain cancer on Oct. 11, the same day his latest movie was released on Netflix. He was 78.
Forster possessed the talent to don the hat of virtually any character, and he left remarkable impressions on people with whom he had little interaction. He played a key supporting role in the newly released Netflix movie El Camino, a standalone continuation of the hit A&E drama Breaking Bad.
Forster appeared in just one of the 66 episodes of the original Breaking Bad, but his performance left the show’s creator and director, Vince Gilligan, starstruck. “He was one of the coolest people I’ve ever met,” Gilligan told Entertainment Weekly. “He reminded me of my dad. He always did.”
Others in Hollywood made similar remarks about their time with Forster. Breaking Bad stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston described him as a “beautiful” and “lovely” man, respectively.
His performance as Max Cherry, a bail bondsman in pursuit of love in the 1997 movie Jackie Brown, earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. He also played the disappointed and frustrated father of Lee Strobel in the 2017 movie The Case for Christ. Strobel was an atheist journalist for The Chicago Tribune who became a believer while on a mission to disprove Christianity. The real-life Strobel tweeted this remembrance of Forster after his death: “After filming [the] scene for The Case for Christ in which my dad told me he didn’t love me, actor Robert Forster stayed in character as my dad, put his hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye and said, ‘I’m so sorry.’ It was such a kind and healing moment.” —L.S.