Powers Boothe: 1948 – 2017

It was not a good week for fine, grizzled, aged character actors. Powers Boothe passed on Sunday, and the world of genre films is sorely diminished. Boothe was a favourite of directors who liked their films packed with testosterone. Walter Hill used him as a loose canon in the underrated soldier thriller, Southern Comfort and again alongside Nick Nolte in Extreme Prejudice. William Friedkin gave him a tiny scene in the 1981 leather-bar murder mystery, Cruising, which he makes the most of. John Milius cast him as the soldier role model for the high school kids in Red Dawn, John Boorman used him in The Emerald Forrest and Oliver Stone cast him in the icky back-water horror, U-Turn. Boothe was apart of the all star cast in the Disney (well, Touchstone due to all the violence) telling of the shoot out at the OK Coral, 1993’s Tombstone. Robert Rodriguez used him as a vile senator in both the Sin City films. And finally, the coup de grace of his career was in that bastion of character actor bliss, HBO’s Deadwood where he was the rival saloon owner who was the boss of the marvelous Ricky Jay as a dealer of cards.

If you wanted high energy, straight-backed menace with a dollop of showmanship, well, Boothe was your man. He will be sorely missed.

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