He was a Texan by birth as well as in many of his roles, who may have been most associated with Westerns, but also appeared in everything from political films to the Marvel universe to Shakespearean theater. He was an actor in films, television and stage, even appearing in video games.
Actor Powers Boothe may have worn cowboy hats in several of his most prominent roles, but he also played everything from presidents to cult leaders to famous fictional detectives, as well as various varieties of comic book characters.
Powers Boothe died Sunday at the age of 68. Boothe’s friend, actor Beau Bridges, announced his death on Twitter:
It's with great sadness that I mourn the passing of my friend Powers Boothe. A dear friend, great actor, devoted father & husband.— Beau Bridges (@MrBeauBridges) May 14, 2017
Boothe was born in 1948 in Snyder, Tex., the son of a rancher. After graduating from Southwest Texas State University, Boothe didn’t take on Western roles right away — in fact, he got his start on stage, first with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and then making his New York stage debut in Richard III in 1974.
In 1980, Boothe got his first TV starring role as cult leader Jim Jones, in a movie about the Jonestown tragedy, Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, for which he also won an Emmy. Also in 1989, he played a small part in Cruising. His other parts in the ‘80s included a role in Red Dawn, and he also became one of the many actors to play Philip Marlowe, in the TV series Philip Marlowe, Private Eye.
Throughout the ‘90s, Boothe began to make his reputation in movies, playing Curly Bill Brocious in 1993’s Tombstone and White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig in 1995’s Nixon. Soon after, Boothe would take on his three most famous TV roles: as unhinged saloon owner Cy Tolliver on Deadwood, as U.S. Vice President-turned-President Noah Daniels on 24 and as Judge Valentine Hatfield in the popular mini-series Hatfields & McCoys.
Powers Boothe appeared in some superhero films as well, voicing Lex Luthor in the 2006 direct-to-video movie Superman: Brainiac Attacks and playing Gideon Malick in both the first Avengers film and on several episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He would also appear in both Sin City and its sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. And Boothe voiced video game characters in Area 51 and Hitman: Absolution.
Boothe, who is survived by his wife since 1969, Pam Cole, and two children, has no future projects listed on IMDB; it’s unclear if he was in the plans for HBO’s proposed Deadwood reunion movie.
R.I.P. Powers Boothe: June 1, 1948 – May 14, 2017
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