John Forsythe, best known for Dynasty and as the voice of Charlie in Charlie’s Angels, has died aged 92.
He died of pneumonia at his home in California, following a long battle with cancer. In a statement, his family said he died on Thursday, “as he lived his life … with dignity and grace”.
His career in film, theatre and television spanned more than five decades, but he is likely to be best remembered for playing Blake Carrington, the Denver oil tycoon in Dynasty, which ran from 1981-89. Joan Collins and Linda Evans played the women in his life and helped to make hin a sex symbol in his 60s.
Forsythe won three Emmy nominations for his portrayal of the conniving and debonair Carrington, although he never won the award, and appeared briefly as Carrington in The Colbys.
“The producers didn’t know what the hell they wanted,” Forsythe once recalled. “They talked to me in terms of J.R. in Dallas. I said, ‘Look, fellas, I don’t want to play J.R. Part of my strength as an actor comes from what I’ve learned all these years: when you play a villain, you try to get the light touches; when you play a hero, you try to get in some of the warts.”
He was also well known as the voice of millionaire private eye Charlie in Charlie’s Angels. Forsythe was heard in each episode but never seen as the boss who instructed three glamorous female detectives on their mission over a speakerphone. He revived the role for the film remakes under director McG.
Other TV appearances included The Love Boat, Police Story, Medical Story, The Red Skelton Show, Bachelor Father, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Studio One, Suspense and his own The John Forsythe Hour.
“He was one of the last of the true gentlemen of the acting profession,” Joan Collins said in a statement. “I enjoyed our nine years of feuding, fussing and fighting as the Carringtons.”
Heather Locklear called him “a gentleman in every sense of the word,” and a “gifted actor who knew the true meaning of being gracious and kind.”
Cheryl Ladd noted, “I’m mourning with the rest of the world for the talented, gorgeous, funny, intelligent John Forsythe.”
He is survived by his third wife, Nicole, son, two daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.