John Forsythe

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, John Forsythe (1918-2010) talks about his early years, his time as a baseball announcer, and his studies at the Actors Studio in New York City. He discusses appearing in several live broadcasts in the 1950s, including Studio One, Suspense, and The U.S. Steel Hour. He details his relationship with Alfred Hitchcock, who directed him in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, as well as the feature "The Trouble with Harry." Forsythe recalls his role in several feature films, most notably "In Cold Blood," and speaks of his series role as "Bentley Gregg" on Bachelor Father. He chronicles his work on two other series, The John Forsythe Show and To Rome with Love, as well as numerous made-for-television movie roles. He discusses his voice-only role as "Charlie" on Charlie's Angels and his role as "Blake Carrington," the patriarch of the popular long-running series, Dynasty, opposite actresses Linda Evans and Joan Collins. Don Carleton conducted the interview on July 24, 2000 in Los Olivos, CA.

"If you were playing a part where you were shot and killed and didn't move and you stayed still during that period when you were supposed to be lying down, then you were a genius. Because the instinct was that you were finished and you ran across the set to another scene. So, technically I was perfect. As an actor, less than perfect."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
John Forsythe on working with Joan Collins as "Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter" on Dynasty
John Forsythe on acting on Alfred Hitchcock Presents  and working with Alfred Hitchcock
John Forsythe on providing the voice of "Charlie" on Charlie's Angels for producer Aaron Spelling
John Forsythe on appearing in the feature "In Cold Blood" 
John Forsythe on how he'd like to be remembered 
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on radio he listened to growing up and politics in his household; on his earliest memories of television
On announcing for the Brooklyn Dodgers; on studying at the Actors Studio; on his early stage and film roles

Chapter 2

On his early experiences on live television including Studio OneSuspense, and The  U.S. Steel Hour;  on the difference between acting on filmed or taped television and live television; on the quality of the live shows in the '50s and his first Emmy nomination 
On producing the live production The First Hundred Years;  on acting on Alfred Hitchcock Presents  and working with Alfred Hitchcock
On the Hollywood Blacklist; on how Bachelor Father came about; on his character "Bentley Gregg" on Bachelor Father

Chapter 3

On the premise of Bachelor Father;  on Noreen Corcoran as "Kelly Gregg" on Bachelor Father;  on Sammee Tong as "Peter Tong" on the show
On the guest stars on Bachelor Father  including Linda Evans; on Bachelor Father  switching between the three networks and on the sponsorship of the show; on acting drama as opposed to acting comedy
On performing in Teahouse of the August Moon  on television; on starring in See How They Run, the first made-for-television movie; on starring in the made-for-television movie "A Bell for Adano" for Hallmark Hall of Fame
On appearing in the feature "In Cold Blood"; on starring on The John Forsythe Show

Chapter 4

On The John Forsythe Show; on appearing on To Rome with Love; on hosting the documentary series The World of Survival, and appearing in various made-for-television movies
On appearing in the feature film "...And Justice for All"; on providing the voice of "Charlie" on Charlie's Angels for producer Aaron Spelling; on getting involved with the movie version of "Charlie's Angels"
On being cast as "Blake Carrington" on Dynasty; on the premise of Dynasty; on working with Joan Collins as "Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter" on Dynasty

Chapter 5

On working with Linda Evans as "Krystle Carrington" on Dynasty; on the cast of Dynasty; on the producers of Dynasty and the plots of the show
On the sets of Dynasty; on the popularity of Dynasty; on shooting the show
On the decline in quality of Dynasty and on the spin-off The Colbys; on the 1991 Dynasty reunion
On researching his acting roles and playing in front of a live audience; on advice to aspiring actors; on various people he's worked with in his career and how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Alfred Hitchcock Presents aka The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

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John Forsythe on acting on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and working with Alfred Hitchcock

Bachelor Father

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John Forsythe on how Bachelor Father came about
John Forsythe on his character "Bentley Gregg" on Bachelor Father
John Forsythe on the premise of Bachelor Father
John Forsythe on Noreen Corcoran as "Kelly Gregg" on Bachelor Father
John Forsythe on Peter Tong as Sammee Tong on Bachelor Father
John Forsythe on the guest stars on Bachelor Father including Linda Evans
John Forsythe on Bachelor Father switching between the three networks and on the sponsorship of the show

Charlie's Angels

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John Forsythe on providing the voice of "Charlie" on Charlie's Angels for producer Aaron Spelling
John Forsythe on getting involved with the movie version of Charlie's Angels

Colbys, The

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John Forsythe on the decline in quality of Dynasty and on the spin-off The Colbys

Dynasty

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John Forsythe on being cast as "Blake Carrington" on Dynasty
John Forsythe on the premise of Dynasty
John Forsythe on working with Joan Collins as "Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter" on Dynasty
John Forsythe on working with Linda Evans as "Krystle Carrington" on Dynasty 
John Forsythe on the cast of Dynasty
John Forsythe on the producers of Dynasty and the plots of the show
John Forsythe on the sets of Dynasty
John Forsythe on the popularity of Dynasty
John Forsythe on shooting Dynasty
John Forsythe on the decline in quality of Dynasty and on the spin-off The Colbys
John Forsythe on the 1991 Dynasty reunion

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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John Forsythe on the quality of the live shows in the '50s and his first Emmy nomination 

Hallmark Hall of Fame

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John Forsythe on starring in the made-for-television movie "A Bell for Adano" for Hallmark Hall of Fame

John Forsythe Show, The

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John Forsythe on starring on The John Forsythe Show
John Forsythe on The John Forsythe Show

See How They Run

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John Forsythe on starring in See How They Run, the first made-for-television movie

Studio One

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John Forsythe on his early experiences on live television including Studio OneSuspense, and U.S. Steel

Suspense

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John Forsythe on his early experiences on live television including Studio OneSuspense, and U.S. Steel
John Forsythe on acting on the series Suspense and the challenges of acting on live television

To Rome With Love

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John Forsythe on appearing on To Rome with Love

United States Steel Hour, The

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John Forsythe on his early experiences on live television including Studio OneSuspense, and The  U.S. Steel Hour
Topics

Advertising and Sponsorship

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John Forsythe on Bachelor Father  switching between the three networks and on the sponsorship of the show

Advice

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John Forsythe on advice to aspiring actors

Characters & Catchphrases

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John Forsythe on providing the voice of "Charlie" on Charlie's Angels  for producer Aaron Spelling

Emmy Awards

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John Forsythe on the quality of the live shows in the '50s and his first Emmy nomination 

Hollywood Blacklist

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John Forsythe on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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John Forsythe on the Hollywood Blacklist

Pop Culture

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John Forsythe on providing the voice of "Charlie" on Charlie's Angels  for producer Aaron Spelling

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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John Forsythe on his early experiences on live television including Studio OneSuspense, and The  U.S. Steel Hour

Television Industry

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John Forsythe on the Hollywood Blacklist
John Forsythe on Bachelor Father  switching between the three networks and on the sponsorship of the show
John Forsythe on advice to aspiring actors
Professions

Actor

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John Forsythe on studying at the Actors Studio
John Forsythe on the difference between acting on filmed or taped television and live television
John Forsythe on advice to aspiring actors
John Forsythe on researching his acting roles and playing in front of a live audience 

Performers

View Profession
John Forsythe on studying at the Actors Studio
John Forsythe on the difference between acting on filmed or taped television and live television
John Forsythe on advice to aspiring actors
John Forsythe on researching his acting roles and playing in front of a live audience 
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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John Forsythe on his early experiences on live television including Studio OneSuspense, and U.S. Steel
John Forsythe on acting on Alfred Hitchcock Presents  and working with Alfred Hitchcock

Comedy Series

View Genre
John Forsythe on playing "Bentley Gregg" on Bachelor Father
John Forsythe on starring on Bachelor Father
John Forsythe on starring on The John Forsythe Show
John Forsythe on The John Forsythe Show
John Forsythe on appearing on To Rome with Love

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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John Forsythe on providing the voice of "Charlie" on Charlie's Angels

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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John Forsythe on playing "Blake Carrington" on Dynasty

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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John Forsythe on starring in See How They Run, the first made-for-television movie
John Forsythe on starring in the made-for-television movie "A Bell for Adano"  for Hallmark Hall of Fame
John Forsythe on playing "Blake Carrington" on Dynasty
People

Diahann Carroll

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John Forsythe on the cast of Dynasty: Diahann Carroll

Jack Coleman

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John Forsythe on the cast of Dynasty: Jack Coleman

Joan Collins

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John Forsythe on working with Joan Collins as "Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter" on Dynasty

Noreen Corcoran

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John Forsythe on Noreen Corcoran as "Kelly Gregg" on Bachelor Father

Al Corley

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John Forsythe on the cast of Dynasty: Al Corley

Linda Evans

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John Forsythe on the guest stars on Bachelor Father  including Linda Evans

Alfred Hitchcock

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John Forsythe on acting on Alfred Hitchcock Presents  and working with Alfred Hitchcock

Rock Hudson

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John Forsythe on the cast of Dynasty: Rock Hudson

John James

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John Forsythe on the cast of Dynasty: John James

Heather Locklear

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John Forsythe on the cast of Dynasty: Heather Locklear

Ali MacGraw

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John Forsythe on the cast of Dynasty: Ali MacGraw

Pamela Sue Martin

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John Forsythe on the cast of Dynasty: Pamela Sue Martin

Aaron Spelling

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John Forsythe on working with Aaron Spelling

Sammee Tong

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John Forsythe on Sammee Tong as "Peter Tong" on Bachelor Father

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