English film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. After acting in such films as An Inspector Calls (1954), he made his directorial debut with Whistle Down the Wind (1961), a story of children who mistake a fugitive murderer for Jesus. Among his other films are The L-Shaped Room (1962), about a pregnant French woman living in a down-at-heels London boarding house, and The Stepford Wives (1975), a chilling thriller about suburban housewives who have been turned into robots by their husbands.
He won a BAFTA for his screenplay of The Angry Silence (1960) and was one of several screenwriters to work on Richard Attenborough's Chaplin (1992). He wrote a number of books, including the biography Dame Edith Evans: Ned's Girl (1977), two autobiographies, Notes For A Life (1974) and A Divided Life (1992), and novels such as The Distant Laughter (1972), Familiar Strangers (1979), Partly Cloudy (1995), and The Soldier's Story (2012).
He was married to the actor Nanette Newman and is the father of television personality Emma Forbes.
Forbes was born in Stratford, London, and was a long-serving actor before turning to direction and screenwriting. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he was head of production at Elstree Studios.