Monday, May 15, 2017

Powers Boothe 1948-2017

Actor Powers Boothe has passed away at 68.

Powers Allen Boothe was born on a farm in Texas and was the youngest of three boys. After graduating from Southwest Texas University, he joined the repertory company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival with roles in Henry IV, Part 2. His New York stage debut came in 1974 in a production of Richard III, and his Broadway debut came five years later.

National attention came to him in 1980 when he played Jim Jones in the CBS-TV movie GUYANA TRAGEDY: THE STORY OF JIM JONES, where his portrayal of a crazed cult leader earned him an Emmy; beating out veteran actors Henry Fonda and Jason Robards. Boothe crossed the picket line during a Screen Actors Guild strike that year to collect his Emmy.

With his deep and gruff voice and handsome exterior, Boothe enjoyed roles throughout his career ranging from villains to heroes. He played detective Phillip Marlowe in a TV series on HBO which elevated his name, and had memorable roles in SOUTHERN COMFORT (1981), A BREED APART (1984), RED DAWN (1984), and THE EMERALD FOREST (1985). His most memorable turn came in 1993 when he appeared in the Old West as the mustached outlaw Curly Bill Brocius in TOMBSTONE.

His later roles included Oliver Stone’s NIXON (1995), MEN OF HONOR (2000), FRAILTY (2001), SIN CITY (2005), MACGRUBER (2010), THE AVENGERS (2012), and the SIN CITY sequel, A DAME TO KILL FOR in 2014.

He made frequent transitions from the big screen to the small screen with ease. He took his character in THE AVENGERS to darker and sinister places in the Marvel spin-off show AGENTS OF SHIELD in 2015. He also appeared in TV’s DEADWOOD, NASHVILLE, 24, 24: REDEMPTION, and HATFIELDS AND MCCOYS. He provided voice-over work for the animated JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED and SCOOBY DOO: MYSTERY INCORPORATED.


This Blogger’s first memories of Powers Boothe begins in the Spring of 1983, when he appeared as detective Phillip Marlowe in an 11-episode run on the then-young TV service known as HBO. This Blogger, and his father, who were both fans of Sherlock Holmes and classic detective tales, both took in the series together and enjoyed every minute. That year began a life-long admiration of the man, and he was always a joy to behold, and it didn’t matter if he was playing a cowboy, soldier, detective, crooked politician, or leader of a secret terrorist organization. Boothe was a man’s actor; playing the tough characters in ways that commanded our respect.  

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