Bryan Forbes - Actor, Producer, Director Jul 31, 2013 14:04:35 GMT 1
Post by Laurence on Jul 31, 2013 14:04:35 GMT 1
Bryan Forbes, CBE born 22 July 1926 was an English film director, screenwriter, film producer, actor and novelist, described as a "Renaissance man" and "one of the most important figures in the British film industry".
Best known as the director of the film The Stepford Wives (1975), he wrote and directed several other critically acclaimed films, including Whistle Down the Wind (1961), Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964), and King Rat (1965). He also scripted several films directed by others The League of Gentlemen (1959), The Angry Silence (1960) and Only Two Can Play (1962).
Forbes was born John Theobald Clarke in Stratford, London, on 22 July 1926 in Queen Mary's Hospital, Stratford, East London. His father was a salesman and he grew up at 43 Cranmer Road, Forest Gate, where he attended West Ham Secondary School and Horncastle Grammar School after he was evacuated during World War II to Lincolnshire. Lionel Gamlin of the BBC took him on as the host of Junior Brains Trust, and invented Clarke's pseudonym of Bryan Forbes.
Forbes trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from age 17, but completed only three terms. He did four years of military service in the Intelligence Corps and Combined Forces Entertainment Unit, during which time he started to write short stories. After completing his military service in 1948, following British Equity rules, he was obliged to change his name to avoid confusion with actor John Clark. Forbes began to act, appearing on stage and playing numerous supporting roles in British films, in particular An Inspector Calls (1954) and The Colditz Story (1955).
Forbes's directorial debut came with Whistle Down the Wind (1961), a critically acclaimed film about three northern children who conceal a criminal in their barn, believing him to be a reincarnated Jesus Christ. It starred child actor Hayley Mills and Alan Bates, in one of his earliest film roles. The film was nominated for four BAFTA awards, including Best Film from any Source. It was the basis for a 1996 musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The L-Shaped Room (1962), his next film as director, with Leslie Caron in the female lead, led to her gaining a nomination for an Oscar, and winning the BAFTA (Best British Actress) and Golden Globe awards.
In May 2007, he was the recipient of a BAFTA tribute, celebrating his "outstanding achievement in filmmaking."
Forbes died at his home in Virginia Water, Surrey, on 8 May 2013 at the age of 86, following a long illness.