Guest Actor Biography
Page 37 of 127


Michael Forrest

Rico, Death Dispatch
Peters, The Hidden Tiger

by Pete Stampede

The Michael Forrest in this case is a British bit-part actor whose credits include Harold Pinter's The Lover (1963), and is not to be confused with an American actor of the same name (whom I recall being in the original Star Trek once.) Forrest's earliest TV work was a serial of How Green Was My Valley (BBC Wales, 1960), as Dai Bando. Soon, however, he was started on a constant run of third-villain-from-the-left roles, some of which, due to his dark hair and colouring, were of the foreign variety. Such as: Sir Francis Drake, "Beggars of the Sea", (ATV/ITC/ABC, 1962); The Sentimental Agent, "Finishing School", (ATV/ITC, 1963), also with Annette André; Ghost Squad, "The Heir Apparent" (ATV, 1963), as a dodgy nightclub manager; The Spies, "If He Runs, I Want You There", (BBC, 1966), Danger Man/Secret Agent, "The Man With the Foot" (ATV/ITC, 1966), The Baron, "Long Ago and Far Away" (ATV/ITC, 1966), and The Saint, "The Man Who Liked Lions" (ATV/ITC, 1966): the latter saw a performance of decadent villainy from Peter Wyngarde, as a smoothie with a Roman obsession, that almost made his turn in "A Touch of Brimstone" seem restrained by comparison! Then, Strange Report, "Report 4977: Swindle: 'Square Root of Evil'" (ATV/ITC, 1968), just for once as a police inspector; The Gold Robbers, "Crack Shot" (LWT, 1969), starring "My Wildest Dream"'s Peter Vaughan as a Scotland Yard man on the trail of the titular villains, and the strongly cast Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased), "The Ghost Who Saved the Bank at Monte Carlo" (ATV/ITC, 1969), as one of several knockabout French villains.

Apart from The Lover, Forrest had notable dramatic roles in The Wednesday Play, "The Big Flame" (BBC, 1969) and Play For Today, "Rank and File" (BBC, 1971), both directed by Ken Loach and written by the late Jim Allen, and both sympathetically dealing with striking workers. His guest appearances in series continued: a very small role in a soapy episode of UFO, "Confetti Check A-OK" (ATV/ITC, 1970); the economic WW2 thriller Manhunt, "The Ugly Side of War" (LWT, 1970), as a French Resistance worker; Paul Temple, "Corrida" (BBC, 1971), The Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes, "The Case of the Mirror of Portugal" (Thames, 1971), again with Peter Vaughan, as detective Horace Dorrington, plus a young Jeremy Irons; The Adventurer, "Has Anyone Here Seen Kelly?" (ATV/ITC, 1972); Sexton Blake And The Demon God (BBC, 1978), as a Greek police chief in an unsuccessful Sunday teatime revival of the junior Holmesalike, here played by former pop star Jeremy Clyde (does anyone remember Chad and Jeremy?): and the boring but popular Juliet Bravo, "The Anastasia Syndrome", (BBC, 1980). He turned up in a couple of 70's soap operas, the primetime The Brothers, "Confrontation", (BBC, 1972) starring Gabrielle Drake, and the daytime Marked Personal (Thames, 1974), starring Stephanie Beacham. Occasional films included what was probably Morecambe and Wise's best big screen effort, That Riviera Touch (1966), in which he again played a Frenchman, and Number One (1984), a now-forgotten Cockney gangster tale involving snooker (!), starring Bob Geldof of all people. Off-screen, Forrest was a friend of Michael Aspel, smooth presenter of This Is Your Life, and latterly The Antiques Roadshow, who once recalled swapping horror stories about military service. Forrest, whom Aspel described as not being the tidiest person in the world, said that when he was on parade once, the sergeant major roared at him, "Get your hair cut! Stand up straight! You're like a f—-in' actor!" Forrest proudly replied, "I am a f—-ing actor, sir." Nice line, but he got put in the military prison as a result.

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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