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Agents Of Shield Actors You Might Not Know Passed Away

The ABC series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" (2013-2020) followed the adventures of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson — played by Clark Gregg, reprising his fan-favorite role from several Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) features — and a team of fellow operatives and recruits as they battled various Earthbound and terrestrial foes that pursued world domination plans. The series attempted to operate in tandem with the MCU, and featured a number of characters and plot elements drawn from the feature films, such as Agent Peggy Carter and the Roxxon Energy Corporation; in some cases, it also introduced elements, such as the Kree or the Darkhold, which later played major roles in MCU titles.

One of the series' most compelling elements was its strong cast, led by Gregg and Ming-Na Wen ("The Book of Boba Fett"), and featuring Chloe Bennett as Daisy Johnson/Skye/Quake, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmonds, and Nick Blood as Lance Hunter, among many other regular and recurring cast members. The series also made strong use of guest stars like Ruth Negga (Raina), Saffron Burrows (Victoria Hand), Patton Oswalt (the Koenigs), and Kyle MacLachlan (Calvin Johnson/Mister Hyde). While many of the "S.H.I.E.L.D" cast members and players remain active today, a select few have died in the years since the series debut. 

Stan Lee was his debonair, spectacular self on Season 1

Having lent his distinctive appearance and voice to nearly every screen incarnation of Marvel Comics' pantheon of characters, it seemed only right that Stan Lee should turn up in an episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Lee appeared in Season 1's "T.R.A.C.K.S." as the "Debonair Gentleman," who listened patiently to Jemma's lengthy explanation of her cover story while the pair traveled by train. As usual, Lee lent considerable charm to a brief cameo.

With such legendary artists as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita, Sr. and Jr., and Gene Colan, Lee co-created, scripted, and edited a slew of comic book titles for Marvel that not only helped re-define the idea of superheroes, but also inspired the entertainment juggernaut that would eventually become the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and, well, pop culture entertainment as a whole. Among Lee and his team's most enduring creations were Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, Thor, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Black Widow, and on and on. Unlike many previous heroes, the Marvel stable was both superhuman and all-too-human, suffering from anxiety, fretting about relationships, and at times questioning their assigned role as protectors of a public that didn't always appreciate them.

Lee also helped change the relationship between comic book companies and fans though his beloved monthly column, "Stan's Soapbox" (which always ended with his trademark "Excelsior!") and the tone of his responses to editorial letters, which always considered readers as friends, or "true believers," in Stan's words. Lee stopped editing Marvel titles in the 1970s, but continued to serve as the company's face for decades while also developing the company's titles for movie and TV projects, for which he typically served as executive producer. After leaving Marvel in the 1990s, Lee branched out into other comic book platforms, but none quite as successful as his remarkable run at Marvel.

Lee enjoyed a second tier of stardom through his cameos and voice-over work in MCU and other related projects — several of which, like his turn in "Avengers: Endgame," made their way to the screen after his death on November 12, 2018. Lee was one month shy of his 96th birthday at the time of his passing.

Bill Paxton played ultra-bad guy John Garrett

One of the most formidable, complex antagonists on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" was John Garrett, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. operative who turned to HYDRA. Injured during a mission, Garrett was revived by Project Deathlok, but used his S.H.I.E.L.D. connections to further HYDRA's aims via the Centipede Project, a program designed to revive dead combatants and based in part on the Super Soldier Serum that transformed Steve Rogers into Captain America. Garrett's interest in the program was personal — he needed its restorative properties to stop his own body from falling apart — and he later sought to create an analog of GH-325, the serum that revived Phil Coulson. After painfully rebuilding himself with prosthetic parts designed by Ian Quinn, Garrett met his fate at the hands of Coulson himself, who vaporized him with the Tesseract-powered Peruvian 0-8-4.

Beloved character actor Bill Paxton played Garrett on six episodes of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." The Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actor worked extensively with director James Cameron on some of his best-known films, including "The Terminator," "Aliens," and "Titanic," and enjoyed cult status thanks to his no-holds-barred turns in films like "Weird Science" and Kathryn Bigelow's "Near Dark." A nuanced performance as a small town sheriff in Carl Franklin's "One False Move" took Paxton to leading man territory in films like "Apollo 13," "Twister" and "Mighty Joe Young," as well as multiple seasons starring in the HBO series "Big Love."

Paxton suffered a stroke following surgery to repair a damaged aortic heart valve in 2017, dying on February 25 of that year at the age of 61. His son, actor James Paxton, played a younger version of Garrett on three episodes of "S.H.I.E.L.D.," beginning with Season 7's "Stolen."

Powers Boothe was power player Gideon Malick

A shadowy figure within S.H.I.E.LD., HYDRA, and World Security Council circles, Gideon Malick used his talent for manipulation and political double-dealing to advance the return of Hive, the Inhuman founder of HYDRA. Having pushed HYDRA's agenda with Nick Fury during the Battle of New York, Malick used his influence to gain the support of President Matthew Ellis while gathering Inhumans for Hive's army. However, when Hive murdered his daughter, Malick turned his back on the organization, leading to his demise.

Emmy-winning actor Powers Boothe made his debut as Malick on Season 3's "Among Us Hide..." and reprised the role over ten more episodes until the character's death on Season 3's "The Team." The Texas native earned his Emmy for a harrowing turn as cult leader Jim Jones in the 1980 TV-movie "Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones," which led to a long and diverse career as a leading man and character actor in features and on television. Boothe's feature credits ranged from 1984's "Red Dawn" to "Tombstone," John Boorman's "The Emerald Forest," Oliver Stone's "Nixon" (as Alexander Haig) and both "Sin City" features.

On the small screen, Boothe played the scheming Cy Tolliver on "Deadwood," Vice President Noah Daniels on "24," and ex-mayor Lamar Wyatt on "Nashville." He also tackled Raymond Chandler's detective character, Philip Marlowe, on HBO's "Philip Marlowe, Private Eye," and lent his voice to animated series like "Justice League" (as Gorilla Grodd), and "Ben 10" (as Sunder). Boothe died of a heart attack in his sleep on May 14, 2017; the 68-year-old actor had been contending with pancreatic cancer.

Alvin Ing's Yat-Sen aided Inhumans with Terragenesis

Stage veteran Alvin Ing appeared as Yat-Sen in flashback sequences in Season 2's "Aftershocks." Yat-Sen assisted the powerful Inhuman Jlaying in transitioning Inhumans through Terrigenesis, the mutation process that gave those individuals their remarkable abilities. The episode focused on their work with Gordon, the powerful Inhuman who would lead a rebellion against S.H.I.E.L.D. in later episodes.

A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Ing appeared in numerous touring productions of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical "Flower Drum Song," including the 2002 Broadway revival. He also performed on Broadway in "Pacific Overtures," was a member of the Asian American Performing Arts Theater, and performed with the esteemed East West Players. Ing appeared in numerous television series , including recurring roles on "Falcon Crest" and guest roles on "Fantasy Island," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and "Third Watch." Feature film work included "The Gambler," "Smilla's Sense of Snow," and Takeshi Kitano's "Brother."

Hospitalized with COVID-19 in 2021, Ing died of cardiac arrest at the age of 89 on July 31 of that year.

Barney Miller star Ron Glass helped revive Phil Coulson

Dr. J. Streiten helped to kick off the entire "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." story arc by reviving Phil Coulson after his death at the hands of Loki during the Battle of New York (as seen in "The Avengers"). S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury ordered Streiten and other doctors to bring back Coulson using a serum devised from extraterrestrial DNA as part of Project T.A.H.I.T.I. Once returned to life, Coulson eventually discovered the truth behind his resurrection after being kidnapped by members of John Garrett's Centipede Project, later confronting Streiten about the procedure.

Character actor Ron Glass played Dr. Streiten in the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot and in "The Magical Place," which aired later in its debut season. An Emmy nominee for his turn as nattily-dressed detective Ron Harris on "Barney Miller," Glass worked steadily on television from the 1970s through the mid-2010s, amassing credits on series like "Star Trek: Voyager," "Dirty Sexy Money," and "Amen." He also teamed with "S.H.I.E.L.D" co-creator Joss Whedon to play Shepherd Book on his cult series "Firefly" and its follow-up film, "Serenity." Glass died from respiratory failure at the age of 71 on November 25, 2016.

Clark Middleton lent the agents a hand with Leo Fitz

Cult actor Clark Middleton appeared in the Season 6 episode "Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson" as Pretorius Pryce, a customs agent for planet Naro-Atzia who boards the "Zephyr One" when Daisy Johnson and the team are in pursuit of Leo Fitz. Though exceedingly officious, Pryce proves helpful to the team by informing them that Chronicom Hunter Malachi was also looking for Fitz, which allowed the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to overcome him and continue their search.

Though physically disabled due to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Middleton not only overcame his disadvantages — which became the subject of his one-man Off-Broadway play, "Miracle Mile" — but found steady work as a character actor in films and on television. The former included turns in such acclaimed features as "Kill Bill Vol. 2," "Sin City," and "Snowpiercer," while his small screen work included recurring roles on "Law & Order" (as Forensic Tech Ellis), "Fringe," and the 2017 revival of "Twin Peaks," which cast him as Audrey Horne's husband who may or may not have been confronting her in some sort of limbo, or was perhaps overseeing her in a mental institution, or maybe it was just existentialism 101. Middleton was perhaps best remembered as Glen Carter, a skiptracer who moonlighted as a DMV employee, on "The Blacklist."

Middleton died of complications from the West Nile virus, an illness borne by mosquitoes, on October 4, 2020. He was 63 years old.

Ravil Isyanov's Anton Petrov tried to topple his own government

Anton Petrov sought to solve the Inhuman problem on "Agents of "S.H.I.E.L.D." by establishing a sanctuary for them in his native Russia. To advance his plan in Season 3's "The Inside Man," Petrov teamed with Gideon Malick to overthrow the Russian Prime Minister, Dimtri Oleshenko, by assassination. However, as seen in the following episode, "Parting Show," the intervention of S.H.I.E.L.D. kept the prime minister out of harm, while Petrov was gunned down by Lance Hunter.

Russian actor Ravil Isyanov, who played Petrov in both episodes, was a veteran performer in both American and British productions since the early 1990s. He enjoyed long runs as recurring characters on "NCIS: Los Angeles" (as mobster Anatoli Kirkin), "GLOW" (as the brusque motel owner who gives Alison Brie's Ruth the idea for Zoya the Destroya), and "The Americans" (as interrogator Ruslan).

Isyanov appeared in more than 70 features, including ""GoldenEye," Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet," "K-19: The Widowmaker," and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." At the time of his death at the age of 59 on September 29, 2021, he had completed several additional features, including a turn as legendary director Billy Wilder in the Marilyn Monroe biopic "Blonde."

Vachik Mangassarian was Ian Quinn associate Qasim Zaghlul

In Season 1's "The Asset," Daisy Johnson infiltrated a party held in Malta by industrialist Ian Quinn, who secretly abducted his old classmate scientist Franklin Hall in hopes of using his creation, Gravitonium, for his own world-domination plans. While at the party, she met architect Qasim Zaghlul, whose work included many buildings in Dubai. The architect was initially skeptical of her presence at the event, but with the remote help of Melinda May, she was able to convince Zaghlul that she was an actual guest and continued on her mission.

Iranian-Armenian actor Vachik Mangassarian played Zaghlul in "The Asset." He began his career in Iran but relocated to the United States, where he found work on episodic television in the 1970s. Roles on series like "The A-Team" and "Murder, She Wrote" preceded his most acclaimed turn as the father of an Iranian woman (Mozhan Marno of "The Blacklist") falsely sentenced to a brutal death in the 2009 feature "The Stoning of Soraya M."

Mangassarian worked steadily after his "S.H.I.E.L.D." appearance, with two turns on "NCIS: Los Angeles" and guest appearances on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and other projects. He also hosted his own radio program, "The Armenian National Network." Like Alvin Ing, Mangassarian died of complications from COVID-19 at on January 23, 2022. He was 78.