John Forsythe was born John Lincoln Freund on January 29, 1918 in Penns Grove, New Jersey. The son of Samuel Jeremiah Freund, a stockbroker and Blance Materson. John grew up in Brooklyn, New York.
During World War II, John Forsythe served with the US Army Corps. During World War II he also worked with injured soldiers who had developed speech problems.
After World War II, he became a baseball announcer and a drama teacher. Joan Collins would co-star opposite him on Dynasty (1981), was one of his drama students.
In 1943, he signed a contract with Warner Brothers and made his film debut in Northern Pursuit (1943) and his second film was Destination Tokyo (1943). During the 1940s and 1950s he also appeared in The Captive City (1952), The Glass Web (1953), Escape from Fort Bravo (1953), The Trouble With Harry (1955), and The Ambassador's Daughter (1956).
During the 1950s, John Forsythe was a familiar face on television appearing in episodes of Robert Montgomery Presents, Suspense, Kraft Television Theater, and Studio One.
In 1957, John Forsythe was cast to play single father Bentley Gregg in the sitcom Bachelor Father. The show would run for 157 episodes and four seasons ending in 1962.
During the 1960s, John appeared in such films as Madame X (1966), In Cold Blood (1967) and Topaz (1969). He also frequently appeared on television, making appearances in Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The Dick Powell Show and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
In 1965, John Forsythe starred in the short lived The John Forsythe Show.
The 1970s brought John Forsythe one of his most famous roles, as the unseen millionaire Charles Townsend on the 1970s crime drama Charlie's Angels (1976–1981).
The 1980s brought John Forsythe another famous role, as patriarch Blake Carrington in Dynasty (1981-1989). This role would bring Forsythe three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He was also nominated six times for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Series, winning in 1983 and 1984. In 1984, he also won a Soap Opera Digest Award for his performance as Blake Carrington.
During the 1990s, he appeared as Sen. William Franklin Powers in the short lived series The Powers That Be.
At age 82, he would once again play Charles Townsend in the movie Charlie's Angels (2000) and would reprise the role in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003).
John Forsythe owned and bred Thoroughbred racehorses for many years and was a member of the Board of Directors of Hollywood Park Racetrack. He was the recipient of the 1988 Eclipse Award of Merit for his contibution in promoting the sport of Thoroughbred racing.
John Forsythe has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television.
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