Home / General / Powers Boothe, RIP

Powers Boothe, RIP


Powers Boothe is dead.

Sadly, I guess this means that Cy Tolliver won’t be in the film version of Deadwood that may eventually happen, hopefully before all the other actors are dead too.

Of all the characters in Deadwood, Tolliver was probably the single most vile, outside of George Hearst. Meaning that Boothe must have had a really fun time playing him.

Then of course there was Powers Boothe literally parachuting into the middle of Red Dawn.

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  • BobOso

    RIP I thought his portrayal of Jim Jones was both chilling and fantastic.

    • He was great in that and I saw it at such a young age that I have a hard time separating his portrayal and the historic Jim Jones.

      • EliHawk

        I feel like there’s probably 40 years of great character acting lost to time because all those old TV movies and specials that the broadcast networks used to make for sweeps don’t get streamed anywhere.

  • N__B

    Boothe and Keith Carradine were great in Southern Comfort, the best Vietnam movie that never mentions Vietnam.

    • Thom

      “the best Vietnam movie that never mentions Vietnam.”

      Have to admit I have not seen Southern Comfort, but for the category you propose, what about Breaker Morant (Australian film set in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer war). Though it is based on events from Australian participation in the war, I have always taken it to be also about Australian participation in the US-led Vietnam war.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        My father showed both of those movies to me when I was about 11. They’re still high on the list of my favorites.

      • N__B

        Breaker Morant is a great movie. I’ve always thought of it as a straight-up anti-imperialist movie, but your reading is certainly just as legitimate.

        On Labor Day weekend, when Mrs__B and Mini__B are in the midwest with her parents, I have some friends over for booze, chinese food, and flicks. Last year, the three Nolan Batmans in a row. I’ve been thinking that a good lineup would be, in order, Southern Comfort, Three Kings, and Dr Strangelove.

        • Jordan

          ok, now I gotta watch Southern Comfort.

        • AuRevoirGopher

          Breaker Morant is anti-imperialist in the same way Patrick Buchanan and Mel Gibson are anti-imperialist. It’s nationalist, conspiracy-happy nonsense with a really monstrous core. In some ways, it’s also one of the greatest propaganda films ever. Like Gone With the Wind, it uses great acting and wonderful cinematography to get viewers to identify with really reprehensible people. It’s even better propaganda than GWTW, because it actually shows the protagonists’ unmistakable guilt in committing terrible war crimes, while GWTW just glosses over slavery. As Morant and his partner-in-crime are led toward their just desserts before a firing squad, we somehow think an injustice has been done. Great filmmaking married to a dishonest agenda.

      • PeorgieTirebiter

        Anyone remember The Odd Angry Shot?
        I can’t remember anything except it was Australian Viet-Nam film and Was I enjoyed it.

    • JB2

      A highly underrated film, directed by Walter Hill. A career highlight for all three guys.

    • That’s such a great movie but it’s been so long since I’ve seen it. Will have to watch it again soon.

  • Seitz

    I’m sure he’d never point to it as a stand out credit, but he was a great straight man in the highly underrated MacGruber.

  • 68 is awfully young to be dying of natural causes these days. Not saying there was anything else. Just saying.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Based on his voice, I would presume he was a smoker for at least some period, and he’s been fairly overweight for many years, so it’s perhaps not that surprising.

    • John Revolta

      Actors and musicians have always been in a category of their own, healthwise

  • BiloSagdiyev

    I haven’t seen the original Red Dawn in decades. That clip, yeesh, what a buncha reactionary paranoid hooey!

    • I love showing it in my Cold War film course I teach during the summers. It’s so ridiculous. It’s also a good relief from the more intense films that make up most of the course.

      • tsam

        The end of that scene is badass, though.

        The whole invasion scenario is kinda hilarious, though.

        • FMguru

          Jed Eckert: …Well, who *is* on our side?

          Col. Andy Tanner: Six hundred million screaming Chinamen.

          Darryl Bates: Last I heard, there were a billion screaming Chinamen.

          Col. Andy Tanner: There *were*.

          [he throws whiskey on the fire; it ignites violently, suggesting a nuclear explosion]

          John Milius was kind of a crazy genius (and also the real-life inspiration for The Big Lebowksi‘s Walter Sobchak)

          • It is impossible not to laugh at this scene.

            • Thom

              I don’t think there have been specific time-setting references in season 5 of “The Americans,” but I would love to see Henry and Stan watching “Red Dawn” together.

      • Cheap Wino

        It’s so ridiculous.

        I just watched it recently (home sick from work) and. . . this. It’s not that it’s a bad movie, it’s how absurd, dumb, and terribly cliched it is while taking itself so damn seriously. The next tier up on the ridiculous scale is Springtime for Hitler.

        • My favorite scene is when the camera flashes on a bumper sticker saying “You can take my gun from my cold dead hands” and then it shows a Soviet soldier doing that very thing to the driver of the vehicle.

          Also, how the kids acquire that amount of high-end weaponry is not even close to adequately explained.

          • tsam

            I dug that scene too. The message, however, seemed to be hilariously lost on Americans, generally.

    • ChrisS

      I’ve always thought he was much older than he actually was because of his turn as the colonel in Red Dawn. He was only 35 at the time, but he played the character as someone much older.

    • Todd

      Then they decided to remake it. The Soviet-Cuban invasion force is replaced by North Koreans. Seems like a lateral move at best. The film is terrible, what with the N. Korean invaders being more American than the prominent Australian actors among the rebel leads. Thor saves the homeland!

      • osceola

        The reboot was originally a Chinese invasion/occupation. But China said it would retaliate against the studio by closing its consumer market. The studio stepped back and made it North Korea instead.

    • AuRevoirGopher

      The “Cuban and Nicaraguan armies rolling right up through the Great Plains” line makes me smile.

  • jonp72

    I had him confused with Sorrel Booke, the actor who played Boss Hogg who died in 1994. That said, I second the praise for Southern Comfort. It is the best Vietnam movie that isn’t actually set in Vietnam.

  • John not McCain

    He was great in a little known movie called Frailty, directed by and also starring the recently deceased Bill Paxton.

    • wjts

      I rewatched that one a couple of months ago. It’s a pretty solid little horror flick.

  • tsam

    “Tombstone”–great performance (one of a whole bunch) in a great movie.

    RIP, Mr Boothe.

    • Jordan

      Ya, loved him in Tombstone.

      Well … bye

  • ryan.denniston

    Interestingly, he also played Alexander Haig in Nixon. One might find the timing given the Comey firing interesting. Of course, Trump being Trump, he stomped over all of that by sitting in the Oval with Henry Kissinger last week.

  • kped

    For some reason I confuse Powers Boothe and Stacey Keach…both great character actors who play similar roles. when i saw this i looked up Keach online to make sure he was still alive (he is).

    68 is young, hope it wasn’t some hidden disease that ruined his last years.

    • MyNameIsZweig

      Yeah, I sometimes mix them up as well.

    • tsam

      My favorite Keach role was in a short-lived comedy series starring Chris Titus. Keach played his absolute mess of a father and was funnier than Titus, I thought.

      • N__B

        Not the insane gunslinger Bad Bob in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean?

        • tsam

          Have not seen that, but will put it on my list if you think I oughta…

          • N__B

            Great Paul Newman, good John Huston, Victoria Principal’s first major role. Flawed but pretty powerful.

            • tsam

              Well that and Southern Comfort (which I haven’t seen) are on the list.

              • N__B

                I look forward to your reviews.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        I’ll always remember him as… Sgt. Stadanko.

        Recently spotted him in “Gold”, now out on DVD, which is… average. The story it’s based on is pretty neat, though.

    • The Lorax

      I do too. Keach did Mike Hammer, and Boothe Philip Marlowe. That’s why I mix them up.

  • AlexRobinson

    He died at 68 of “natural causes” in his sleep

    Eesh…I just turned 65.

  • Bootsie

    The best Gorilla Grodd.

    • John Revolta

      The fact that there has been more than one actor to play Gorilla Grodd brings home to me just how out of touch I am with da movees anymore. Also, not sure I regret it.

  • burningambulance

    He was also amazing in another, sadly underrated (there’s not even a widescreen US DVD available, though there’s an awesome Japanese Blu-Ray) Walter Hill movie, Extreme Prejudice. I wrote about it, and Boothe’s work in it, some years ago:


    • N__B

      He missed out on Hill’s magnum opus The Long Riders, but Carradine(s) and Keach(es) did not.

  • Happy Jack

    Great in Sudden Death, which ranks up there with Slapshot in the pantheon of hockey movies.

    • EliHawk

      He really is one of the better Hans Gruber knockoffs in the myriad ‘Die Hard, BUT IN XXXX” knockoffs that got made throughout the early 90s.

  • Now I really wish David Milch had taken that 2 hour finale deal with HBO back when. It’s hard to imagine Deadwood wrapping up without Cy Tolliver, one of the all time great villains.

  • Ahuitzotl

    I really enjoyed his work, he always seemed to have such a good time playing a variety of nasty villains and extremely questionable … protagonists,I guess. Very vividly in By Dawns Early Light

    • N__B

      playing a variety of nasty villains and extremely questionable … protagonists

      I’m convinced he got those roles because, even as a young and relatively slender man, he had fantastic jowls.

  • Ethel2Tilly

    After the agita of turning 30 and 40, 50 actually turned out to be pleasant and benign. Turning 60, though, did bring with it a certain dread – lots of people do fill out their natural appointed span in their 60s. Sure it’s becoming more and more common to hear about people in their 80s and 90s – Olivia de Haviland and Kirk Douglas are both 100! – but, still, plenty, plenty people naturaly cash it in in their 60s. Gulp.

  • ZnCl2

    I’ll always have a soft spot for him because of The Emerald Forest

  • He also played the B-52 aircraft commander in By Dawn’s Early Light.

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