He later joked about his early career high and later “27-year slump”.
During the 1970s and 1980s he appeared in more than 100 films, many of which were B-films.
He said he took many roles out of necessity, telling the Chicago Tribune last year: “I had four kids, I took any job I could get.
“Every time it reached a lower level I thought I could tolerate, it dropped some more, and then some more. Near the end, I had no agent, no manager, no lawyer, no nothing. I was taking whatever fell through the cracks.”
But everything changed in 1997, after Tarantino created the role of bail bondsman Max Cherry for him in his crime thriller Jackie Brown.
Forster had come to the director’s attention after unsuccessfully auditioning for Reservoir Dogs.
Forster later credited Tarantino with changing his life, saying “he gave me a career back and the last 14 years have been fabulous”.
Forster went on to appear in much higher-profile films including David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Me, Myself and Irene, and The Descendants.
On TV, as well as Breaking Bad and El Camino, he was also part of the Twin Peaks revival, and in a comedy role as Tim Allen’s father in Last Man Standing.
Forster will appear later this year in the Steven Spielberg-produced Apple+ fantasy series Amazing Stories.
He leaves behind three daughters and one son, and his partner of 16 years, actress Denise Grayson.