The Mentalist Exclusive: William Forsythe Is Rigsby's Dad!
Owain Yeoman, William Forsythe
Talk about perfect casting: Notorious film villain William Forsythe has been tapped to play yet another heavy on CBS' The Mentalist, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.
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Forsythe, perhaps best remembered as Flattop in Dick Tracy, will play Steve Rigsby, a career criminal and the biker father of the CBI's own Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman). One thing's for sure: Forsythe's character — described by series creator Bruno Heller as "a clever and charismatic outlaw with an edge of violence, leavened by mercurial charm" — wasn't exactly the best father.
"[He's] selfish, arrogant and ruthless," Heller tells TVGuide.com. "He made a very poor father to Rigsby, who remembers mostly drunken abuse and long absences and his mother's tears."
Making matters worse, Rigsby's dad also has some problems with his son's chosen profession. "Steve is outraged that any child of his would join the police," Heller says. "He sees it as a personal betrayal, a rejection of Rigsby family tradition."
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That could lead to some major tension in the episode, which finds Rigsby & Co. investigating the murder of a prison guard. When Jane (Simon Baker) needs help deciphering which inmates may have had a motive for murder, Rigsby calls on his ex-con father for help. Will he cooperate? Probably not, but let's not forget that Rigsby put his job — and the job of his partner, Cho (Tim Kang) — on the line earlier this season, when he lied to authorities to provide an alibi for his father and keep him out of jail. Anyone else think that secret might surface when the old man rides back into town?
Regardless, it remains uncertain whether these two will ever be able to put their bad blood behind them, Heller says. "Underneath all this tension, father and son love each other deeply," he says. "But they are morally and emotionally too far apart to realize that fact."
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Forsythe, 55, has also appeared in such films as Once Upon a Time in America, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, Raising Arizona and The Rock. On the small screen, he starred in the 1993 syndicated series The Untouchables and the short-lived 2002 Fox series John Doe. He's also guest-starred on Hill Street Blues, Entourage, Las Vegas and, most recently, the Rob Zombie-directed episode of CSI: Miami.
The Mentalist airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS. Forsythe's episode is scheduled to air May 5.
Do you think they got the right actor for the part?