British actor John Forgeham, probably best known to Australians from UK drama Footballers’ Wives, has died.

The 75-year-old passed away after breaking his collarbone from falling out of bed.

The actor was well known in the UK, with numerous TV acting credits including No Hiding Place, The Sweeney, Crossroads, CATS Eyes, Prime Suspect, Birds Of A Feather and The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, but also appeared in Australian dramas in the 1970s.

Forgeham had come to Australia in 1970 for a season of Shakespeare plays and while he was here scored a guest role as magazine publisher Jason Werner in an episode of the ABC series Dynasty. This led to him playing the same role, re-named Saxon Wells, in a spin-off series, Catwalk, for the Seven Network.

Catwalk, set in the office of a fashion magazine of the same name, made its first appearance with a pilot going to air on Seven early in 1971. It was one of five pilots commissioned by the network and viewers were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite to be turned into a series.

Catwalk and a situation comedy called The Group topped the viewers’ poll.


Seven commissioned Catwalk for a 13-episode series to air in 1972. Starring with Forgeham (pictured above, second from left, in the series were John Wood, Cecily Polson, Cornelia Frances and June Salter.

The series was not renewed beyond its first year and Forgeham’s only other Australian TV role was a guest appearance in an episode of Homicide.

YouTube: Classic Australian TV

Source: Classic Australian Television, Evening Standard, IMDB



2 thoughts on “Obituary: John Forgeham

  1. A series that at least in the UK would’ve never been sold–as soon as any programming executive would’ve heard the theme, they would’ve recognized the music as used for the UK version of “This Is Your Life” and asked for another theme.

    And what exactly was the “ATN E-Cam System?” Were people at ATN-7 watching reruns of “The Honeymooners,” saw the “DuMont Electronicam” credit (a legitimate attempt at a film system using live video before videotape came in) and thought that kinescopes could be called something else and made classier?

    1. Unfortunately I don’t know what the “E-Cam” was. (ATN was the television station where the series was produced)

      The series would have also been unlikely to sell to the UK as it was recorded in black-and-white. Some late 60s/early 70s series were taped in colour for overseas sales, but this was not one of them.

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