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Veteran British director Bryan Forbes dies aged 86

Bryan ForbesProbably best known for his films The Stepford Wives (1975) and Whistle Down the Wind (1961), Forbes was considered a giant of international cinema, with an acting, writing and directing career spanning over six decades.  

Bryan Forbes trained at RADA and, after three years’ military service, began his screen career as an actor with roles in films such as Hour of Glory (1949) and An Inspector Calls (1955).

He soon ventured into screenwriting, with The Cockleshell Heroes released in 1955, before forming the production company Beaver Films with his good friend Richard Attenborough. Their film Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) won a best actor BAFTA for Attenborough.

A year later in 1961 Forbes directed his first feature, Whistle Down the Wind, which would become one of his best known works. After many more credits as writer and director, he took the helm of The Stepford Wives in 1975, based on the satirical thriller by Ira Levin. The film was an international hit.

Forbes continued to make popular films such as International Velvet (1978), on which he was writer, producer and director, and in 1992 wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated Chaplin.

Film critic Mark Kermode said on Twitter: “He was charming and self effacing. A great loss.”

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