Robert Forster Sampler

(Above: Robert Forster in 2009. Photo © Glenn Francis,

Robert Forster, who passed away Friday at 78, primarily played supporting roles during his five-decade career — including an Oscar-nominated turn as bail bondsman Max Cherry in Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 flick, Jackie Brown.

Here’s a scene, with Pam Grier in the title role:

But earlier in his career, Forster was a leading man — including a breakout performance as a TV reporter in Haskell Wexler’s Medium Cool (1969).

Forster then starred in two short-lived TV series: as a private eye in NBC’s Banyon (15 episodes, 1972-1973) and a Navajo deputy sheriff in ABC’s Nakia (13 episodes, 1974).

Here’s the opening of a Banyon episode and a complete episode of Nakia:  

Forster died the same day that his last film debuted on Netflix. In El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, he returns as vacuum salesman Ed (“The Disappearer”), a role he first played in the next-to-last episode of Breaking Bad in 2013. (Quasi spoiler: One of his scenes includes a cameo by an actress best known for The Jeffersons.)

Want to stream the above movies and TV series?

Jackie Brown, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie and the Breaking Bad series are all available to Netflix subscribers.

You can also rent Jackie Brown from numerous providers for $3.99 and buy Forster’s Breaking Bad episode (and all other episodes of that series) for $1.99 from a similar array of sources.

Medium Cool, Banyon and Nakia aren’t available to stream, except for the one episode of the latter above.

What’s your favorite Robert Forster role? Let us know in the comments section below.

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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