Robert Forsch was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire on November 21, 1870. In 1894, he started his theater career working as actor, director and dramaturg at theaters in Leipzig, Berlin and Cologne. Throughout his career, he continued to play smaller roles on stage, including at the Deutsches Theater and Renaissance Theater in Berlin. Forsch was on the executive board of the Kleines Theater in Berlin with actor and film director Lupu Pick and actor and theater director Paul Bildt. In 1921, he co-founded the Schloßpartktheater in the Steglitz district of Berlin.
Forsch, almost 50 years old, first appeared on camera in the silent film Die Nacht des Grauens. During his film career, he mainly played supporting roles in over thirty films and shared the screen with popular actors, including Eduard von Winterstein, Hildegard Knef, Magda Steiner, Willy Birgel and Paul Wegener.
In 1928, director Gerhard Lamprecht cast him as Hofrath Collenbach in Der alte Fritz, a biographical story about Kaiser Friedrich II. This production was the beginning of a long working relationship with the director. Forsch played a pharmacist in Der höhere Befehl, a guest at the Marquis d’Andervilliers’s ball in Lamprecht’s film adaption of Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary and a city councilman in Die Brüder Noltenius.
Forsch also worked with leading film directors during the Nazi years, including Hans Deppe, Robert A. Stemmle and Helmut Käutner. In 1936, Forsch performed in Douglas Sirk’s Schlußakkord about a young, impoverished German woman who gives her infant up for adoption and emigrates to America to live with her husband.
His name is also credited in Wolfgang Liebeneiner’s biographical film Bismarck and Veit Harlan’s Die goldene Stadt, which competed in the Best Foreign Film program at the 1942 Venice Film Festival.
After WWII, Forsch played alongside Hildegard Knef in Wolfgang Staudte’s Die Mörder sind unter uns. There he gave his most memorable film performance as the sympathetic optician Mondschein, an old man who has survived the war and is waiting for his son to return home.
Robert Forsch died in Berlin on September 8, 1948.
|1948||Unser Mittwochabend (Our Wednesday Evening)|
|1946||Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are Among Us)|
|1945||Die Brüder Noltenius (The Noltenius Brothers)|
|1945||Der Puppenspieler (The Puppeteer)|
|1943||Du gehörst zu mir (You Are Mine)|
|1942||Wir machen Musik (We Make Music)|
|1942||Die goldene Stadt (The Golden City)|
|1940||Mädchen im Vorzimmer (The Private Secretary)|
|1938||Am seidenen Faden (Missing Pieces)|
|1938||Kleiner Mann – ganz gross! (Little Man on Top)|
|1938||Urlaub auf Ehrenwort (Furlough on Parole)|
|1936||Schlußakkord (Final Accord)|
|1935||Lady Wintermeres Fächer (Lady Wintermere’s Fan)|
|1935||Der höhere Befehl (The Higher Command)|
|1928||Der alte Fritz (Old Fritz)|
|1921||Ich und Du (You and I)|
|1919||Die Nacht des Grauens (The Night of Horror)|