8 May 2013 5:20 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The writer and director Bryan Forbes, whose films included Whistle Down the Wind and 1970s horror classic The Stepford Wives, has died aged 86 following a long illness, a family friend has said.

Forbes, who began his career in film as an actor and screenwriter and became one of the most important figures in the British film industry, died surrounded by his family at his home in Virginia Water, Surrey, friend Matthew D'Ancona said.

He was married to actor Nanette Newman, who appeared in several of his films, and with whom he had two daughters – the TV presenter Emma Forbes and the journalist Sarah Standing.

D'Ancona said: "Bryan Forbes was a titan of cinema, known and loved by people around the world in the film and theatre industries and known in other fields including politics. He is simply »

- David Batty

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