Prolific New York actor Henry Silva died earlier this week. Speak Hollywood journalisthe died just a day before turning 96.
Born in Brooklyn on September 15, 1926, Silva grew up in Harlem and eventually left school to take acting classes. In 1955 and 1956, Silva went to Broadway as the character of Mother in Michael V. Gatto’s play, A rain hat. He would later play the character again in the 1957 film adaptation and appear in at least two films from the rest of the 1950s and 1970s. Other credits from his filmography include 1962 The Manchu Candidate, Johnny Cool in the 1963 and 1999 film of the same name Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.
Much of Silva’s career can be traced to when he and his family moved to Italy in 1965, after a producer made him an offer that saw him as a hero rather than a villain or man of hand. Between 1966 and 1977 he starred in nearly 25 films, most of which were Italian crime dramas. 1966 Blood on the mountain was his star turn, at least in Italy, Spain, Germany and France.
Perhaps famous to DC animation fans, Silva provided the voice of Bane in 1994. Batman: The Animated Series, and again in its 1998 sequel series and the 1996 Superman cartoon. Silva’s accent for Bane has fluctuated throughout the series: in his self-titled debut episode, the character has a very heavy Latin American accent. But in subsequent appearances, which few Bane have, that accent is replaced with a distinctly American accent.
Silva’s final role would be as a boxing commentator in Ocean’s Eleven, the 2001 remake of the 1960 detective film in which he played the role of Roger Corneal.
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