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The Papers of Bryan Forbes

Reference Code: GBR/0014/FRBS

Scope and Contents

The collection mainly consists of correspondence with key conservative figures including Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher and John Major. There is also associated material such as, invitations to social engagements and photographs.


  • Creation: 1967 - 2010

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is closed pending review.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Bryan Forbes, né John Theobald Clarke, was born 22 July 1926. He was educated at West Ham Secondary School and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (for three terms). He married Constance Smith in 1951 (divorced 1955); and Nanette Newman in 1955, with whom he had two daughters, Sarah Standing and Emma Forbes.

From 1944-1948, Forbes served in the Intelligence Corps and Combined Forces Entertainment Unit.

From 1942 Forbes began acting, firstly in West End productions, before starring in British and Hollywood films until 1960. In 1959 he formed Beaver Films with Richard Attenborough, Beaver Films made 'The Angry Silence' (1960) for which Forbes won a BAFTA for best screenplay. From 1969-1971 Forbes served as the head of EMI Films. Throughout the 1970s- early 1990s Forbes continued to act, write, produce and direct films, the full filmography can be found on IMDB:

Through the 1970s-1990s Forbes advised on Conservative Party Political Broadcasts and corresponded with a number of MPs and Peers.

Bryan Forbes died on 8 May 2013.


4 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of this finding aid are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London, and on the Janus website

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was deposited at Churchill Archives Centre in June 2015.

Related Materials

The majority of Forbes's papers are held at the Academy Awards Archive:

The BFI Archive also holds some material:


This collection was catalogued by Natasha Swainston of Churchill Archives Centre in 2017. Biographical information was taken from Forbes's entry on Who Was Who and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


Forbes, Bryan, 1926-2013, director and author

2017-09-08 12:35:56.437000+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087