The actor, who played Blake Carrington in the hit 1980s soap and provided the voice of the mysterious Charles Townsend in TV crime series Charlie’s Angels, died of complications from pneumonia in Santa Ynez, California on Thursday (01Apr10).
Born in New Jersey, Forsythe started out as a baseball announcer and drama teacher. He began his acting career on Broadway and signed a deal with Warner Bros. just before World War Two.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
After the war, he co-founded the Actors Studio, where his students included a young Joan Collins – who was to become his Dynasty co-star – and appeared in a series of TV plays.
By the mid-1950s he was among the most in-demand TV and radio thespians, and landed a big deal in 1957 when he signed up to play Bentley Gregg in hit show Bachelor Father.
He continued making appearances in top-rated TV theatre projects and was given his own show, The John Forysthe Show, in the mid-1960s. He also landed a long run in To Rome With Love.
But his heyday as a TV icon was yet to come – he voiced Charlie in Charlie’s Angels on television from 1976 to 1981 and then became the star of soap phenomenon Dynasty throughout the 1980s after George Peppard quit as Blake Carrington.
According to imdb.com, he was the only actor to appear in all 220 episodes of Dynasty.
Forsythe had one more successful TV run in the early 1990s as Senator William Franklin Powers in The Powers That Be.
He returned to the spotlight at the beginning of the new century to reprise his Charlie voice in the Charlie’s Angels movie and sequel Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.
Forsythe spent the last four years of his life battling cancer. His family has asked that fans donate cash to the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.
Flowers will be placed on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to mark his passing.