Certain actors are so incredibly talented that many of their biggest fans have no idea who they are. In the industry we call them “character actors,” those performers who appear in movies and television, in roles big and small, and always make the most of every scene. They create powerful portrayals of stand-out individuals, often with very few scenes or lines of dialogue. They are the backbone of Hollywood, and we just lost one of the greats.
Powers Boothe, the co-star of Tombstone, Deadwood and Sin City, died earlier today at the age of 68. The actor made his debut in Herbert Ross’s Oscar-winning drama The Goodbye Girl and, just three years later, won an Emmy Award for his breakthrough performance as a real-life cult leader in Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.
That performance set Powers Boothe’s career on a trajectory, one that would take him through a series of popular, villainous performances and make him one of the industry’s most recognizable “heavies.” But his sonorous delivery, his powerful physicality and his sly sense of humor would be used to great effect in a variety of roles, through film and television, making Powers Boothe one of the most ubiquitous actors in Hollywood for over three decades. Audiences always recognized Powers Boothe, knew that whenever we saw him, the film or television show were watching was about to kick ass.
Powers Boothe will be dearly missed. He’s one of those incredible characters who took on roles that didn’t seem to exist before the start of their career, and whose persona will be difficult to replicate in films and television of the future. He was a singular, and singularly talented performer who made good films great, great films amazing, and sometimes made bad films seem surprisingly good.
Join us as we look back at our favorite roles, the films that we’ll always think of when we think of Powers Boothe. You may have other performances that you would like to add to the list. That’s the mark of a great actor, when they made such a great impression over so many wonderful roles that we can’t all agree on a favorite. Share your favorite performances with us, won’t you?
Nine Roles That Made Us Love the Late, Great Powers Boothe:
Top Photo: Eddy Chen/ABC via Getty Images
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.