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The Devastating Death Of Henry Silva

Henry Silva, a longtime character actor on-stage and on-screen, has died at the age of 95 at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, as reported by Deadline. Silva is best known to audiences for his roles in the original "Ocean's 11" opposite Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., and 1962's "The Manchurian Candidate," a classic political conspiracy film that reunited him on-screen with Sinatra. Throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s, the actor became known for the menacing, quiet intensity that he brought to each role no matter if he was playing the hero or the villain. His prolific career also includes numerous parts in genre films that typically saw the Actors Studio-trained performer play gangsters, eccentrics, and law enforcement officers usually caught up in extreme circumstances.

Silva's commitment to his craft led him to excel in the typecasting he encountered once he became a regular in 1950s Hollywood for parts known then as "heavies" that required a flair for conflict and intimidation. His last film role was a cameo in the 2001 remake of "Ocean's 11," before he retired from acting after a staggering career spanning decades.

Henry Silva's acting career spanned nearly half a century

Henry Silva was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926 and started acting in the early 1950s. He landed parts in numerous Broadway plays thanks to his notoriety at the Actor's Studio in the New York neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen. His success brought him to Hollywood where he quickly secured supporting roles as antagonists in many different films. After "Ocean's 11" and "The Manchurian Candidate," the actor transitioned to leading parts with 1963's "Johnny Cool" in which he played dual characters. This led to a series of movies where he got to play heroic characters as well as eccentric oddballs, the most memorable being assassin Carlos "Billy Score" Scorelli in "Sharky's Machine," which is considered one of the standout action movies of the 1980s.

Silva's later career included many appearances in independent films, with 1999's "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" becoming his final featured performance as he once again played a bad guy to perfection. But he always took the casting choices in stride, commenting in a 1985 interview with the Chicago Tribune, "I think the reason that I haven't disappeared is that the heavies I play are all leaders. I never play a wishy-washy anything. They`re interesting roles because when you leave the theater, you remember these kinds of guys."

Silva is survived by two children.