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'S.W.A.T.' actor Steve Forrest dead at age 87

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Steve Forrest, who was best known for a leading role on the short-lived 1970s television drama "S.W.A.T.," has died at the age of 87 in Thousand Oaks, California, near Los Angeles, his wife Christine said on Thursday.

Forrest appeared in 1954's "Prisoner of War," which also featured Ronald Reagan, who was later elected U.S. president. In 1960's "Flaming Star," he played alongside Elvis Presley and Barbara Eden. Forrest's older brother, Dana Andrews, was the star of 1940s films "Laura" and "The Best Years of Our Lives."

Forrest died peacefully on May 18, his family said in a statement. No cause of death was given.

He gained a following as Lt. Hondo Harrelson on the ABC crime drama series "S.W.A.T.," which ran for 37 episodes from 1975 to 1976 and was produced by Hollywood titans Leonard Goldberg and Aaron Spelling.

Forrest made a guest appearances in the 2003 film adaptation of the series.

The actor, who fought in the U.S. Army at the Battle of the Bulge in World War Two, got his big break when actor Gregory Peck saw him in a theater production in 1950, which led to a contract with film studio MGM.

Forrest also starred in the 1965 British TV spy thriller series "The Baron," which was one of the country's first color television programs.

He was born William Forrest Andrews on September 25, 1925, in Huntsville, Texas. He was the youngest of 13 children.

Forrest is survived by his wife, three sons and four grandchildren.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Stacey Joyce)

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