Robert Forster first became interested in acting while attending Rochester's Madison High School. After he graduated in 1959, he attended Heidelberg College, Alfred University, and the University of Rochester on football scholarships while continuing to perform in student theatrical revues.Robert earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Rochester in 1963. Later on he began his apprenticeship at an East Rochester theater where he performed in different plays including 'West Side Story'. In 1965 he moved to New York City and received his first big break when he landed the lead in a the two-character play Mrs. Dailey Has a Lover. Later on he returned to Rochester and began working as a substitute teacher and construction worker until an agent from 20th Century Fox pictures offered him a five-picture deal. His movie debut was a small part in the 1967 drama Reflections in a Golden Eye along side Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando. By the late 1980s Robert's acting career had began to fade and he was casted in small parts playing villains. Robert began working as a motive speaker and an acting coach in Hollywood film schools.
In the mid 1990s, his career was resurrected by Quinten Tarantino, a long-time fan of Forester's early works, whom offered him to audition for a part in his latest movie. After a seven-hour audition, Robert was cast in the role of the tough, but sympathetic, bail bondsman Max Cherry in Jackie Brown (1997). Robert received an Academy Award nomination and some nationwide recognition for his role in that movie. Following his success in Jackie Brown Robert landed some high profile starring roles in films such as All the Rage (1998), the Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho (1998), and Supernova (2000).
Robert was married to June Provenzano from 1966 till 1975. In 1978 he married
Zivia Foster whom he divorced in 1980.