John Forsythe: Remembering a Class Act

The actor who is probably best known as the voice of Charlie in “Charlie’s Angels” and as Blake Carrington in the night time soap opera “Dynasty” died on April 1, 2010 at age 92 in Santa Ynez, California.

Remarkably, the career of John Forsythe spanned 60 years starting in an uncredited role in the film Northern Pursuit and ending in 2003 when he returned for the second time to reprise his role as the voice of Charles Townshend, the Charlie in Charlie’s Angels.

He was know for his television role in “Bachelor Father” from 1957-1962. It was a hallmark of his career that he went from television to film and back again. He starred in “The John Forsythe Show” from 1965-1966 and then went back into film roles only to return to television again and again becoming best known to most audiences for “Dynasty” which ran from 1981-1989.

But that’s not the role that I”ll remember.  I’ll remember him in Richard Brooks film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” in which he played Alvin Dewey. Dewey was the chief investigator into the killings that are the focus of Capote’s book. In the film In Cold Blood Forsythe gives the smooth performance he was always known for. He’s unflappable and you never see  rage, but you see Dewey’s quiet determination to bring the killers to justice.  Understated and real he does fine work in the film.

A sixty year career as an actor is a remarkable thing. Forsythe worked with Hitchcock in Topaz and years later boarded “The Love Boat”. His credits include those early days when television dramas were performed live. He played Amelia Earhart’s husband, George Putnam and starred in one of the grand old movie soap operas Madame X opposite Lana Turner.

John Forsythe had a long, fruitful career as an actor and will be remembered as a class act who made it all look effortless.

Robin Ruinsky has been a writer since penning her autobiography in fourth grade. Along the way she's studied theater at Syracuse University, worked with Woody Allen starring most of the time on the cutting room floor. A segue into the punk rock scene followed but writing was always the main focus. She writes for various crafty, artsy magazines about people who make craftsy, artsy collectible things. But her first love is writing fiction and film criticism which some people think are the same thing.

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