Forrest Tucker Early Life
Forrest Tucker (Forrest Meredith Tucker) born 12 February 1919, in Plainfield, Ind., but came to Washington as a boy. He lived at 14th Street and Park Road for a time, and went to junior high school here. Forrest Tucker, who grew up in Washington, played football at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, and, aided by rugged good looks, won success as an actor on stage, in the movies and on television, died October 25, 1986, in a Woodland Hills, Calif., hospital. At 6 feet 4 inches tall, the athletically built Mr. Tucker rode the range for years in Hollywood westerns and dished out and received plenty of punishment in a variety of action melodramas, in which he played both good guys and bad.
The Music Man
Subsequently, in a demonstration of his versatility an entertainer, Forrest Meredith Tucker burst into song as the star of road company productions of “The Music Man.” Still later, as his career turned toward comedy, he hatched devious schemes as a free-spirited cavalry sergeant in the television series “F Troop.”
Forrest Meredith Tucker, who died at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital, had suffered from lung cancer for about a year, a family spokesman said. He entered a hospital on Aug. 21 for the second time in a week after he collapsed before a ceremony in which he was to receive the 1,830th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Who is Forrest Tucker?
Forrest Tucker, a veteran actor of film, stage and television, born 12 February 1919, played in more than 50 films in a motion-picture career that began in 1939 and spanned almost four decades. In an early display of his affinity for show business, he concealed his age and found work as a master of ceremonies at the old Gayety Burlesque Theater here. After his ruse was discovered, he again used his height to disguise his youth and enlisted in the Army as an underage teen-ager.
In recent years he was probably best known for his portrayal of the comicly scheming Sgt. Morgan O’Rourke, a cavalry soldier, in the 1960’s television series ”F Troop.”
As a stage actor his feats included three and a half years of touring with a national company of ”The Music Man” in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, in the starring role of Prof. Harold Hill.
Subsequent films in a career interrupted by his reentry into the Army during World War II included “Keeper of the Flame,” “Renegades,” “The Yearling,” “Sands of Iwo Jima,” “Rock Island Trail” “Bugles in the Afternoon,” “Warpath,” “Trouble in the Glen,” “Three Violent People,” “The Night They Raided Minsky’s” and “Auntie Mame.”
From Sept. 14, 1965, to Sept. 7, 1967, he became known to prime-time television audiences as one of the stars of “F Troop,” a lively farce in which he played Sgt. Morgan O’Rourke, who served in the cavalry and ran an illicit souvenir business on the side.
“If you don’t think I get a thrill out of that you’re crazy,” he said at the time. “When I was a boy going to this theater I used to dream about it . . . . This really is it. The star of a big musical . . . in my own home town.”
His long movie career saw him in a variety of films ranging from light comedy (”Auntie Mame” with Rosalind Russell) to war (”Sands of Iwo Jima” with John Wayne). Many Roles in Westerns Tall (6 feet 5 inches) and ruggedly handsome, he was frequently cast in Western films and in fact got his start in ”The Westerner,” with Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan.
Four months after arriving in the film capital, Mr. Tucker, aided by acknowledged talent and a movie-star appearance, made some key connections, hooked up with an agent and found himself playing the second romantic lead in “The Westerner,” which starred Gary Cooper.
Forrest Tucker did a two-year stint in the Army in the field artillery before returning to the Gayety and deciding to work there nights while he attended high school in Arlington, Va.
His wandering spirit eventually took him to Hollywood, where a screen test landed him in ”The Westerner”.
Mr. Tucker’s film credits included ”The Yearling,” ”Never Say Goodbye,” ”Keeper of the Flame,” ”Canal Zone,” ”Chisum” and ”Fighting Coast Guard.” His Latest Films
His more recent films included such comedies as ”The Night They Raided Minsky’s,” with Elliott Gould, in 1968, and ”The Wackiest Wagon Train in the West,” in 1976.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at the Church of the Hills in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Burbank, Calif.
Forrest Tucker Family
Forrest Tucker was married. The first marriage ended in divorce. His second wife died. Later, Tucker married his fourth wife, Sheila Parker. He is survived by his two daughters, Brooke and Cynthia of Los Angeles; a son, Sean, of Los Angeles; a sister, Mrs. Betty Hitchcock of Los Angeles; his mother, Mrs. Doris Patton of Los Angeles and a granddaughter.
Forrest Tucker Actor Death
Forrest Tucker died October 25, 1986, in a Woodland Hills, California, hospital.
Forrest Meredith Tucker Biography and Profile