West News Wire: At age 95, Henry Silva passed away. He was a well-known character actor best known for playing villains and strong people in movies like “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and others.
According to Silva’s son Scott Silva, his father passed away on Wednesday at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, from natural causes.
Silva, a native of New York City, left school as a youngster in the 1940s. He was admitted to the Actors Studio the following ten years, where Shelley Winters and Ben Gazzara were among his classmates. Before quitting acting in 2001, he had a lengthy and active career in film and television that included hundreds of credits.
He had a breakthrough role on stage and screen in the 1950s as a drug dealer in “A Hatful of Rain” and supporting parts in two of Frank Sinatra’s best known movies, both from the early 1960s: “Ocean’s Eleven,” the Las Vegas heist film that was a showcase for Sinatra, Dean Martin and other “Rat Pack” members; and “The Manchurian Candidate,” the Cold War thriller about brainwashing and the attempted assassination of a presidential nominee that starred Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh. (In his last film appearance, Silva was cast in the “Ocean’s Eleven” remake from 2000 that starred George Clooney and Brad Pitt).
“Our hearts are broken at the loss of our dear friend Henry Silva, one of the nicest, kindest and most talented men I’ve had the pleasure of calling my friend,” Dean Martin’s daughter, Deana Martin, tweeted. “He was the last surviving star of the original Oceans 11 Movie.”
Silva was also seen on such television series as “Wagon Train” and “The F.B.I.,” and in such films as Warren Beatty’s “Dick Tracy,” Jerry Lewis’ “Cinderfella” and “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai,” in which he played a mobster in the 1999 release directed by one of his admirers, Jim Jarmusch.