Actor Henry Silva, known for playing gangsters, jerks and henchmen in hundreds of films including “Ocean’s Eleven” and “The Manchurian Candidate,” died on Wednesday. He was 95.
Silva died of natural causes in Woodland Hills, California, twenty years after retiring from an epic career that spanned five decades, his son Variety Friday said.
The prolific actor often shared the screen with Frank Sinatra, playing a communist agent who fought with the singer in “Candidate,” and one of the 11 crooks in the classic 1960 casino heist film.
The Harlem native of Spain’s death was reportedly first announced by Dean Martin’s daughter, who starred alongside him in the iconic Rat Pack caper.
“Our hearts are broken at the loss of our dear friend Henry Silva, one of the kindest, kindest and most talented men I have had the pleasure to call my friend,” said Deana Martin tweeted Friday afternoon.
“He was the last surviving star of the original Ocean’s 11 film. We love you Henry, you will be missed.”
Silva started out as a heavyweight in westerns like The Tall T and The Law and Jake Wade before starring in 1963’s Johnny Cool and 1965’s The Return of Mr. Moto.
Later in his career, Silva appeared in films such as Sharky’s Machine, Above the Law, Dick Tracy, and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. He had one last brief appearance in the 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven.
Of Italian and Puerto Rican descent, Silva was often used to portray other ethnicities, playing Korean, Venezuelan, Native American and Japanese men in some of his most well-known roles.
Silva reportedly dropped out of school at age 13 and took acting classes while earning money as a dishwasher and waitress. He was one of five students selected from 2,500 applicants to the Actors Studio in 1955, Variety reported, citing the 2000 book Hispanics in Hollywood.
In 1985, Silva reportedly told Knight Ridder journalist Diane Haithman that his Manhattan upbringing influenced his characteristic tough guy personality.
“I’ve seen a lot of things in Harlem. It was the kind of place where if you lived on a block and you wanted to walk a few blocks, you had to take some guys with you or you’d get your butt kicked,” he said at the time. by variety.
“I think the reason I didn’t disappear is because the heavys I play are all leaders. I never play wishy-washy. Those are interesting roles because when you leave the theater you remember those types of guys.”
The thrice-divorced late actor was reportedly survived by his two sons, Michael and Scott.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/17/henry-silva-hollywood-tough-guy-dead-at-95/ Hollywood tough guy Henry Silva died at 95