Frederic Forrest, ‘The Rose’ Star and Oscar-Nominated Actor, Dead at 86

Frederic Forrest

Bette Midler announced the tragic news of her 1979 co-star.

Frederic Forrest, best known for his Oscar-nominated role as Sgt. Huston Dyer while starring opposite Bette Midler in The Rose, has died. He was 86.

It was Midler who announced the tragic news on Friday night, tweeting, "The great and beloved Frederic Forrest has died. Thank you to all of his fans and friends for all their support these last few months. He was a remarkable actor, and a brilliant human being, and I was lucky to have him in my life. He was at peace."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Forrest died Friday at his Santa Monica home following a long illness. The cause of death has not been disclosed. His friends organized a GoFund Me page back in September to help continue paying his caregiving costs while he battled his undisclosed illness. The fundraising post stated that contributions helped "maintain Fredric's home care for the past six months by paying caregivers to be with him 8 hours a day, 7 days a week."

In the 1979 musical drama, Midler -- in her silver screen debut -- played Mary Rose Foster, a rock star who battled her own demons. She ultimately falls for Forrest's character, an Army sergeant who went AWOL, though their relationship also was met with a number of challenges.


The Rose, directed by Mark Rydell, would go on to be nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Midler) and Best Supporting Actor (Forrest). The film also earned Best Film Editing and Best Sound noms. Forrest also earned a Golden Globe nomination for The Rose but was edged out on both awards to Melvyn Douglas (Being There).

Some of his other movie roles included When the Legends Die (his film debut), Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, One From the Heart, Tucker: The Man and His Dream (these four directed by Francis Ford Coppola), The Missouri Breaks, It Lives Again, The Two Jakes and Point Blank, among others. He last appeared on the big screen in All the King's Men.

Forrest also made a name for himself in the small screen with appearances in Larry, Quo Vadis?, Lonesome Dove and 21 Jump Street

He was born on Dec. 23, 1936, in Waxahachie in northeast Texas, where, as a kid, he made sure to take advantage of the three movie theaters in his small town.

"I would act out movies when I was a kid. All we had was the picture show. There was no television so we'd go see all the movies," he told Alan Mercer in July 2014. "We had three movie theaters in Waxahachie. Back in those days, actors would tour with the movies, so we’d get some cowboy stars that would come through. 'B' movies were big in little towns because you had the Saturday matinee."

Forrest is survived by his sister.