John Forgeham, popular British character actor of TV and film, has sadly passed away at the age of 75.
Forgeham suffered a fall at home earlier this week, breaking his collarbone and sadly died yesterday (Friday, 10th March) afternoon in hospital from internal bleeding.
Midlander Forgeham was RADA trained, having been bitten by the am dram bug whilst working in a factory. With his lugubrious, brooding demeanour and heavy Brummie brogue, he was often cast as heavies in a career that spawned over fifty years. He starred in films such as the cult classic The Italian Job, the adaptation of Spike Milligan's wartime memoir Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall, an adaptation of Len Deighton's thriller Spy Story, Sheena, The Young Americans, Staggered, Kiss of the Dragon alongside Jet Li, and Mean Machine with Vinnie Jones, whilst his TV career included roles in classics such as The Avengers, The Sweeney, The Bill, Casualty, Bergerac, London's Burning, Lovejoy, Big Deal, Minder, Juliet Bravo and The Professionals.
He also appeared in Dennis Potter's Cold Lazarus, Nigel Kneale's The Stone Tape, the BBC's adaptation of Malcolm Bradbury's Nice Work and as DCI John Shefford in the first Prime Suspect, whose fatal heart attack paved the way for Helen Mirren's Jane Tennison to take over the investigation. He also starred as the vicious LeJaune in the BBC's 1982 adaptation of Beau Geste, and was a regular in Making Out, playing Rachel Davies' miner and NUM rep hubby Frankie, Crossroads and Footballers Wives. It was following his exit from the latter in 2006 that the alcoholic Forgeham fell into a deep depression as work became increasingly scarce. Speaking to the news today, his daughter Jonesta Forgeham describes the last few years of his life as difficult and tragic, detailing some time spent under section in a mental health unit as well as a care home following a deterioration in his health and mobility. However, he had turned a corner enough to reside by himself in a flat which is where the now fatal fall in his bedroom took place on Wednesday evening.