Back to :- Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills - Celebrity Graves.
The Final Resting Place of Forrest Tucker.
February 12, 1919 - October 25, 1986
Located in the Court of Remembrance.
Cause of Death - Throat Cancer.
Forrest Tucker was an American actor in both movies and television from the 1940s to the 1980s. Tucker, who stood 6'5" and weighed 200
lbs, excelled as both hero and villain in nearly 100 action films throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
Tucker was born in Plainfield, Indiana. He began his performing career at age 14 at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, pushing the big wicker tourist's chairs by day and singing "Throw Money" at night. After his family moved to Washington, D.C. the young Tucker came to the attention of Jimmy Lake, the owner of the Old Gayety Burlesque Theater, by winning the Saturday night amateur contest there on consecutive weeks. After his second win he was hired full time as Master of Ceremonies at the theatre. However, his initial employment there was short-lived, for it was soon discovered that Tucker was underage. Again lying about his age, Tucker then joined the United States Cavalry, stationed at Fort Meyer in Virginia, and returned to work at the Old Gayety after his 18th birthday.
When the theatre closed for the summer of 1939, Tucker took a vacation to California, and he soon began auditioning for movie roles. He was cast as Wade Harper in The Westerner (1940), which starred Gary Cooper. He stood out in a fight scene with Cooper and was signed to Columbia Pictures.
In 1941, he played his first lead in Emergency Landing, and the following year he co-starred in the classic Keeper of the Flame. From 1942 to 1945, Tucker served in World War II, reaching the rank of Second Lieutenant during his second stint in uniform. Tucker resumed his acting career after the war, appearing in the classic 1946 film The Yearling and stealing a few scenes from Errol Flynn in Never Say Goodbye the same year.
In 1948, Tucker left Columbia and signed with Republic Pictures. At Republic he made his breakthrough in Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), as Corporal Thomas, a soldier with a score to settle with John Wayne's Sergeant Stryker. Graduating to top billing, Tucker starred in numerous action films during the 1950s, including Rock Island Trail (1950), California Passage (1950), The Abominable Snowman (1957), and The Crawling Eye (1958). Also in 1958, he played Beauregard Burnside, Mame's first husband in Auntie Mame, which was the highest grossing U.S. film of the year. This film marked another turning point in his career, as he showed a flair for light comedy under the direction of Morton Da Costa.
Tucker then was cast as "Professor" Harold Hill by director Da Costa in the national production of The Music Man, and he played the role 2,008 times over the next five years. Following his "Music Man" run, Tucker starred in the Broadway production of Fair Game for Lovers (1964) and then turned to television for his most famous role, starring as frontier capitalist Sgt. Morgan O'Rourke in F Troop (1965 - 1967). Though the network run on ABC lasted only two seasons, the series has been in constant syndication since, reaching three generations of viewers.
Ironically in Gunsmoke he played "Sgt Emment Holly" a conniving rogue/hero like "Sgt O'Rourke"-who in one epsiode "marries" Miss Kitty Russell!
Following F Troop, Tucker returned to films in character parts (Barquero and Chisum, both 1970) and occasional leads (1975's The Wild McCullochs). On television Tucker was a frequent guest star, including 6 appearances on Gunsmoke and the recurring role of Jarvis Castleberry, Flo's estranged father on the 1976-1985 TV series, Alice and its
spin off, Flo. Tucker was a regular on three series after F Troop: Dusty's Trail (1973) with Bob Denver; The Ghost Busters (1975-76) which reunited him with F Troop co-star Larry Storch; and The Filthy Rich (1982-83). He continued to be active on stage as well, starring in the national productions of "Plaza Suite", "Show Boat", and "That Championship Season".
Tucker returned to the big screen after an absence of several years in 1986, playing the hero, trucker Charlie Morrison, in Cannon's action film Thunder Run (1986). He died from lung cancer on October 25, 1986, 5 months after the film's release. He was 67 years old.