Henry Silva, known for many tough roles, dies at 95

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Henry Silva, a prolific actor best known for his villains and tough guys in ‘The Manchurian Candidate’, ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ and other films, has passed away

NEW YORK — Henry Silva, a prolific actor best known for his role as the villain and tough guy in ‘The Manchurian Candidate’, ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ and other films, has died aged 95.

Silva’s son Scott Silva told Variety that his father died of natural causes on Wednesday at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.

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Silva was from New York City and dropped out of school in the 1940s as a teenager. Over the next decade, he was hired at the Actors Studio, where fellow students included Shelley Winters and Ben Gazzara. He had a long and busy career in film and television, earning hundreds of credits before retiring from acting in 2001.

He had breakthrough roles on stage and on screen in the 1950s as a drug dealer in “A Hatful of Rain” and supporting roles in two of Frank Sinatra’s best-known films, both of the early 1960s: “Ocean’s Eleven,” the robbery in Las Vegas film that showcased Sinatra, Dean Martin and other members of “Rat Pack” and “The Manchurian Candidate”, the Cold War thriller about brainwashing and the assassination of the president starring Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet leigh. last film appearance, Silva was cast in the 2000 “Ocean’s Eleven” remake starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt).

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“Our hearts are broken at the loss of our dear friend Henry Silva, one of the nicest, kindest and most talented men I have had the privilege of calling my friend,” Dean Martin’s daughter, Deana Martin, tweeted. “He was the last surviving star of the original Oceans 11 Movie.”

Silva has also appeared in television series such as ‘Wagon Train’ and ‘The FBI’ and in films such as Warren Beatty’s ‘Dick Tracy’, Jerry Lewis’ ‘Cinderfella’ and ‘Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai’, in which he a gangster starred in the 1999 release, directed by one of his admirers, Jim Jarmusch.

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