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Cool Actor of the Week

October 27, 2010

Cool Actor of the Week: Henry Silva

Nobody can argue with today’s pick for Cool Actor of the Week — Mr. Henry Silva.

Although Silva is instantly recognizable, to many folks he’s another of those “Ohmigod it’s THAT GUY!” character actors. Accepted to the prestigious Actors’ Studio in 1955, Silva had already appeared on television and in an uncredited role in Viva Zapata! (1952). Usually cast as a bad guy thanks to having a face that looks like it could kill you all on its own, Silva has never stopped working throughout his long career. He can always be counted on to deliver a terrific performance, no matter the genre — western, crime, action, even comedy.

Silva’s movie credits include The Tall T (1957), Cinderfella (1960), Ocean’s Eleven (both the 1960 and 2001 versions), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Sharky’s Machine (1981), Above the Law (1988), Mad Dog Time (1996), and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999). Silva appeared in numerous Italian actioners throughout the late 60s and 70s, as well. Some of his TV credits include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Outer Limits, Thriller, The Untouchables, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Wagon Train, Hawaii Five-0, and Night Gallery.

Now, this is just me talking as both a huge fan of Henry Silva and a gigantic Star Trek nerd, but I’d love to see J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof bring the 82-year-old Silva into the Trek fold as a particularly crabby old Klingon in the next Star Trek movie.

The clip below from Il Boss (a.k.a. Wipeout! – 1973) is in Italian without subtitles, but stick with it for some awesome Silva action:

Henry Silva at

About the Author

Writes movies, books, TV. Loves Star Trek.


  1. Megaforce is definitely one of his better efforts

  2. JohnJosMiller

    Great choice. He was excellent in ABOVE THE LAW, too. [Aside: Have you seen STEVEN SEAGAL, LAWMAN yet? Jesus Christ, the scene where they were petting the live lobster they were eating was surreal.] I have the Mr. Moto movie he was in. (Henry, not Steven) Not bad.

    If you take requests, how about a column on Robert Tessier if you haven’t done one already? He’s one of my favorite cool actors. Loved him in HARD TIMES which is one of my all time favorites. I was reading about him on-line somewhere, and apparently he was the nicest guy in the world. He used to make furniture as a hobby, and then give it away to crew and cast members of whatever movie he was working on. THE LONGEST YARD, also.

  3. Scott

    I definitely take requests and Robert Tessier is a great one. Keep an eye out in coming weeks. And if you have any other suggestions (for both actors and actresses), please lemme hear ‘em!

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