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Kenneth Forbes, an actor, newspaper publisher and the father of Rep. Michael Forbes, R-Long Island, died of cancer Sunday. He was 76.

Forbes died in Muncy Valley Hospital, Muncy, Pa., the congressman said. He had lived most recently in nearby Hughesville, Pa.

The elder Forbes was a classmate of Red Buttons, Lauren Bacall and Kirk Douglas at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and went on to appear in a number of stage hits, according to his son.

He played for three years in Moss Hart's 1941 comedy "Junior Miss" and also had a leading role in the Army comedy "Strip for Action." For a time, the two shows ran simultaneously, and Forbes had to run between the neighboring theaters, quickly changing personas between acts.

Struggling to make a living as an actor after World War II, Forbes turned down a role in the movie "Red Badge of Courage" and joined his family's newspaper publishing business on eastern Long Island.

He became publisher of the News-Review, a weekly paper in Riverhead, and later launched one of Suffolk County's first Sunday papers, the Sunday Review.

He worked for several weekly newspapers upstate after selling the family's News-Review Publishing Corp. to Cowles Communications in the 1970s.

Besides the congressman, Forbes is survived by his wife, Patricia, three brothers, another son, two daughters, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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