S.W.A.T. star dies, TV and movie star Steve Forrest, best remembered for his role on the Aaron Spelling-produced cop drama "S.W.A.T.," died May 18 at his home in Thousand Oaks, California, at age 87.
"S.W.A.T." aired for just two seasons on ABC in 1975-76, but the concept proved so popular that a big-screen adaptation starring Colin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson was released in 2003. Forrest made a cameo appearance in the movie, while the role he played in the series — S.W.A.T. leader Lt. Dan "Hondo" Harrelson — was played by Jackson.
Forrest had a prolific TV career in addition to "S.W.A.T.," starring in many of the most popular series in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, including "The Twilight Zone," "The Virginian," "Rawhide," "The Fugitive," "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke," "Mission: Impossible," "The Streets of San Francisco," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Cannon," "Kojak," "Columbo," "Hotel," "L.A. Law," "Murder, She Wrote," and "Dallas."
The actor, the younger brother of "The Best Years of Our Lives" movie star Dana Andrews, also won a Golden Globe for the 1953 big-screen drama "So Big" and had roles in "The Longest Day," "North Dallas Forty," "Flaming Star," "Spies Like Us," and "Mommie Dearest," among others.
Forrest was born in 1925 in Texas, the youngest of 13 children born to a Baptist minister and his wife. He fought with the Army in World War II, graduated from the theater arts department at UCLA, and got a career break when Oscar-winning actor Gregory Peck saw him perform in a play and helped him land a screen test and contract at MGM.
Forrest, whose birth name was William Forrest Andrews, is survived by his wife of 64 years, Christine Carilas, as well as three sons (including one named Forrest, who presumably uses his father's birth surname).
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