Bryan Forbes, the director behind such British classics as Whistle Down the Wind and The Stepford Wives, died earlier this month at the age of 86.
Forbes was born in East London in 1928, making his debut in film as an actor twenty years later. Despite finding success in notable British productions such as An Inspector Calls, Forbes’ true calling was behind the camera.
Starting as a screenwriter, Forbes made the move to directing in 1961, taking the helm on the enduring classic Whistle Down the Wind. Numerous other films followed, including Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964), The Wrong Box (1966) and The Raging Moon (1971), as did a short spell as head of production and managing director of EMI-MGM Elstree.
Forbes couldn’t keep away from directing for long however, and he was to find further success in the role with The Stepford Wives in 1975, a work of satire so effective that the phrase is now part of our lexicon, and drama International Velvet in 1978.
Forbes continued to direct, write and act throughout the eighties and nineties. He was made a CBE in 2004 for services to the arts and to the National Youth Theatre, and awarded the Dilys Powell Award for outstanding contribution to cinema in 2006. He also sat on the board of DPRS, which became Directors UK in 2008.
Forbes is survived by his wife, British actress Nanette Newman and their two daughters, TV presenter Emma Forbes and journalist Sarah Standing. Directors UK would like to pass on our condolences to the family.