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LOS ANGELES — Select offerings from the estate of award-winning stage, television and film actor John Forsythe will be sold at Bonhams & Butterfields’ Sept. 25, 2011, Sunset Estate Auction in Los Angeles.
Highlights from the Estate of John Forsythe include a Steinway mahogany baby grand piano (estimate $6,000-$8,000); a harlequin set of late George III ladder-back chairs ($2,000-$3,000); a George I style carved walnut armchair ($500-$700); and a Regency faux rosewood and parcel gilt stool ($700-$1,000), among others.
Additional items of note from the Forsythe Estate will be featured during Bonhams & Butterfields’ Wine Auction Sept. 24, 2011, and the Entertainment Memorabilia auction in December of 2011. The auction catalog will be available online at www.bonhams.com for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale.
Forsythe was best known for his roles in three television series: in the 1950s sitcom “Bachelor Father,” as single playboy father Bentley Gregg; as Charles “Charlie” Townsend, the unseen millionaire on the 1970s crime drama “Charlie’s Angels,” and as Blake Carrington on the 1980s soap opera “Dynasty.”
Forsythe was born the eldest of three children in Penns Grove, N.J., to Blanche Materson and Samuel Jeremiah Freund. He was primarily raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., where his father worked on Wall Street during the Great Depression. At the age of 16, Forsythe graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1936, he took a job with the Brooklyn Dodgers as the public address announcer for games at Ebbets Field.
Forsythe began acting at the suggestion of his father, despite showing initial reluctance. As a player for Warner Brothers, he appeared in several small roles. As a result, he was given a small part in “Destination Tokyo” (1943). Forsythe left his film career to serve in World War II, where he appeared in the U.S. Army Air Force’s play and film “Winged Victory.” After returning from WWII, Forsythe joined the first class of the soon-to-be prestigious Actors Studio in 1947. In 1955, Forsythe was cast in the classic Alfred Hitchcock film “The Trouble with Harry.”
During the 1950s, Forsythe appeared in the new medium of television regularly on all of the networks, especially as a guest star. It was during this period that Forsythe notably appeared in the popular anthology “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” In 1957, Forsythe took a leading role as Bentley Gregg, a playboy lawyer who has to become a father to his niece, Kelly, upon the death of her biological parents in the CBS sitcom “Bachelor Father.” The show was an immediate ratings hit.
By the early 1960s, Forsythe had returned to acting in films, including “Kitten with a Whip” (1964) and “In Cold Blood” (1967). In 1964, he starred in the made-for-television movie “See How they Run,” which is notable for being one of the first films made specifically for television.
In 1976, Forsythe was cast in the role of mysterious, unseen millionaire Charles “Charlie” Townsend in the crime drama “Charlie’s Angels,” which led to Forsythe’s 13-year association with Aaron Spelling. In 1981, Forsythe was selected for the role of patriarch Blake Carrington in “Dynasty.” An Aaron Spelling production, “Dynasty” was ABC’s answer to the highly successful “Dallas” series on CBS.
For more visit Bonhams.
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