- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 22, 2006

WILLIAMSBURG (AP) — Henderson Forsythe, a Tony Award-winning character actor who played the sheriff in “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and spent 31 years on the soap opera “As the World Turns,” died April 17 at the upscale retirement community Williamsburg Landing. He was 88.

Mr. Forsythe won the Tony Award for outstanding featured actor in a musical in 1979 for his portrayal of Ed Earl Dodd, the profane sheriff in “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” He later reprised the role in London and was nominated there for actor of the year in a musical.

Mr. Forsythe played Dr. David Stewart on “As the World Turns” from 1960 to 1991. In a 1979 interview with the Associated Press, he said he didn’t consider soap opera acting to be beneath him.

“It’s the variety that makes it interesting,” Mr. Forsythe said.

He had roles in movies, including “Silkwood” in 1983 and “End of the Line” in 1988. On the small screen, he appeared in episodes of “Law & Order” and “Eisenhower and Lutz” and portrayed Col. Harland Sanders in commercials for KFC restaurants.

But Mr. Forsythe’s love was theater. He also had roles in “A Delicate Balance,” “Texas Trilogy,” “The Birthday Party” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Mr. Forsythe was born Sept. 11, 1917, in Macon, Mo.

He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa, where he appeared in many productions and was a classmate of Tennessee Williams.

Mr. Forsythe met Dorothea Maria Carlson at the university, and they married in 1942. After Mr. Forsythe served in the Army in Europe during World War II, the two spent nine years with the Erie Playhouse in Pennsylvania.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Forsythe is survived by sons Eric Forsythe, of Iowa, and Jason Forsythe, of New Jersey, and four grandchildren.

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