Bryan Forbes

Bryan Forbes

Infobox Person

image_size = 150px
name = Bryan Forbes CBE
caption =
birth_date = Birth date and age|1926|7|22|df=y
birth_place = Stratford, London
death_date =
death_place =
occupation = Actor
Film producer
Film director
spouse = Constance Smith (1951-1955)
Nanette Newman (1955-present)
parents =
children = Sarah Standing
Emma Forbes

Bryan Forbes, CBE (born John Theobald Clark on July 22 1926 in London) is an English film director, actor and writer.


Forbes trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts but did not complete his studies. After military service from 1945 to 1948, he played numerous supporting roles in British films as well as appearing on the stage, but was forced to change his name by British Equity as there was already another John Clark ("Just William") in its membership. He began also to write for the screen, receiving his first full credit for "The Cockleshell Heroes" in 1955. Another noted screenplay of his from this period was for "The League of Gentlemen" in 1959, in which he also acted.

He formed a production company with his frequent collaborator Richard Attenborough in 1959, which went on to make "The Angry Silence" in 1960, a screenplay by Forbes in which Attenborough took the lead role, and both shared production responsibilities. He followed this up in 1961 with his directorial debut "Whistle Down the Wind", again produced by Attenborough. In 1964, Forbes wrote and directed "Seance on a Wet Afternoon", for which he won a 1965 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Foreign Film Screenplay. That same year he wrote the third screen adaptation of the Somerset Maugham novel "Of Human Bondage". In 1965 he went to Hollywood to make "King Rat".

In 1969 he was appointed chief of production and managing director of the film studio Associated British (EMI), but the experience was not a success and he resigned the post in 1971. After this experience his film output reduced, although he did enjoy success as the director of "The Stepford Wives" (1974), "The Slipper and the Rose" (1976) and "International Velvet" (1978).

Personal life

Born in London E.15, he is a West Ham United supporter. Forbes has been married to his second wife, actress Nanette Newman, since 1955, and has often directed her. Roger Moore was their best man, and the couple have two daughters: Emma Forbes and Sarah Standing (born 21 May 1959), the latter married to actor John Standing.

He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1975, though he is currently in remission, and since the early 1970s he has divided his energies between cinema, television, theatre and writing a number of successful novels and two volumes of autobiography.

In 2004, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the arts and he currently serves as president of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.

External references

* [ BFI Screenonline article]
* [ Britmovie article]
* [ Bryan Forbes at]
* [ Bibliography of Forbes' fiction and non-fiction]
* [ BBC News report on awarding of CBE]
* [,170,BA.html A Tribute to Bryan Forbes] , BAFTA webcast, May 2007

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