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May 23, 2013

Steve Forrest, Rugged Star of TV's S.W.A.T., Much More

Forrest also appeared in many feature films and many other television programs in a five-decade career.

Steve Forrest, an actor best known for the role of Lt. Dan "Hondo" Harrelson on the 1970s TV drama S.W.A.T., died May 18, 2013, in Thousand Oaks, California. He was 87.

According to news reports, he died of natural causes.

The youngest of 13 children, he was born William Forrest Andrews on September 25, 1925, in Huntsville, Texas. His older brother, Dana Andrews, was a Hollywood star for many years.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 18, rose to the rank of sergeant and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. When World War II ended he moved to Los Angeles, where he graduated from UCLA with a degree in theater arts.

Later, while performing in summer stock at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, he was noticed by actor Gregory Peck, who helped him to score a screen test at MGM, which resulted in a studio contract.

Over the next several years he appeared in many feature films, including the literary adaptation So Big, for which he was named New Star of the Year award at the 1953 Golden Globes. Other films of note included Prisoner of War, Rogue Cop, It Happened to Jane, Flaming Star, Heller in Pink Tights, The Longest Day, North Dallas Forty, Mommie Dearest and Spies Like Us.

He worked in TV from the early 1950s onward, beginning with roles in such programs as Playhouse 90, Climax! Theater, Lux Video Theater and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1965 he relocated to London, where he starred in the BBC crime drama The Baron, the first color series on British television.

On S.W.A.T., which aired on ABC from 1975-76, he starred as the leader of an elite five-man special weapons and tactics unit. Co-stars included Robert Urich. As a nod to the show, Forrest had a small role as a van driver in the 2003 feature film version of S.W.A.T., which starred Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell.

Forrest lengthy list of other TV credits included the miniseries Hollywood Wives as well as the series Bonanza, The FBI, Mission: Impossible, Ironside, Medical Center, Gunsmoke, Love, American Style, The Six Million Dollar Man, Cannon, Dallas, L.A. Law, Columbo, Murder, She Wrote and many others.

Read more at:

Hollywood Reporter

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