Academy Award nominee Robert Forster (Foster) is a stage, television and screen actor born in Rochester in 1941. Forster attended Madison High School where he performed song-and-dance in musical reviews. After graduating from Madison in 1959, he attended attended Heidelberg College, Alfred University, and the University of Rochester on football scholarships and continued to perform in student theatrical revues. In 1963, he graduated from the U of R with a BA in Psychology. Forster took an apprenticeship at an East Rochester theater where he performed in such plays as West Side Story.
In a letter from Mr. Forster to the Theater Association of New York State, dated August 21, 2007, Mr. Forster said: "I got my first laugh in Community Theater - an intoxicating event. The play was "Come Blow Your Horn," the moment was when the showgirl asks whether she should massage my think muscle. A panicked look and quick closing of my legs brought down the house. I'd already been hooked - now I was landed. Hattie and George Warren of the Rochester Community Players gave me an opportunity to test myself; to learn the rules, fight the fears and thrill to the satisfactions."
Forster moved to New York City in 1965 where his first big break came when he landed the lead in a two-character play opposite Arlene Francis in the play Mrs. Dailey Has a Lover. But after the play ran its course, work was hard to find in the theater. Forster returned to Rochester where he worked as a substitute teacher and construction worker until an agent from 20th Century Fox Pictures offered him a five-picture deal. His film career really began in 1969 with the classic movie Medium Cool. Although he continued to work steadily through the 70s and 80s he never became a top star. His role in Jackie Brown (1997) with the wonderful Pam Grier is considered his comeback role (although he never really left). His television career began in the 1970s. He has also produced and directed.
In addition to his acting work, Robert has a motivational speaking program, Interacting and occasionally visits Rochester to speak.
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