Some sad news is coming out tonight — Robert Forster, a legendary actor known for Jackie Brown as well as recent roles like Last Man Standing and Breaking Bad, has died. He was 78 years old, and he passed away following a battle with brain cancer.
For most of his career, Forster was a true actor’s actor, someone who sought out interesting, exciting roles and flew somewhat under the radar. Roles like he received in Jackie Brown changed that. Some of his earlier television credits include the original Magnum PI, Tales from the Darkside, and then in the 1990’s Murder, She Wrote. He also appeared in Walker, Texas Ranger, Huff, Army Wives, and a number of other shows.
Even though his Breaking Bad role as Ed, a man tasked with creating alternate personas and new lives for people, was short-lived, it may still go down as one of his finest. It was one of the most devastating installments of late within the series’ run, as Walt had an opportunity through him to start over elsewhere — one that did not ultimately take. (There is a sad coincidence in that Forster died the same day that El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie premiered.) The episode featuring Forster has to go down as recommended viewing.
In a post on Twitter, Bryan Cranston himself paid tribute to Robert with the following message.
On the comedy side, Forster had a standout role as Mike Baxter’s father Bud (pictured at the top of this article) on Last Man Standing for ten episodes over the series’ run. His last appearance came in 2018 early on in the show’s seventh season — Bud as a character died prior to Forster, but we like to think that his legacy and lessons will live on both with Mike and also Tim Allen, who did such great work with him alongside the rest of the sitcom’s cast.
In a separate Twitter post of her own, Nancy Travis paid her own tribute to the actor.
One of the things we often say is that actors are not judged by the quality of the work; instead, it’s the quality of the person. The fact that Robert Forster was still working leading up to his passing shows you the amount of love and admiration his colleagues had for him, and also the amount of love he had personally to the craft.
Today, our thoughts go out to Forster’s and all who loved him during what must be a difficult time.