Legendary Hollywood tough guy Henry Silva dead at 95

Actor Henry Silva, known for playing gangsters, hooligans and henchmen in hundreds of films including “Ocean’s XI” and “The Manchurian Candidate”, died on Wednesday. He was 95 years old.

His son told Variety Friday that Silva died of natural causes in Woodland Hills, California, twenty years after retiring from an epic career that spanned five decades.

The prolific actor often shared the screen with Frank Sinatra, playing a communist agent who fought alongside the singer in “The Candidate” and was one of 11 gangsters in the classic 1960 casino heist film.

The Spanish Harlem native’s death was first announced by Dean Martin’s daughter, who appeared alongside him in the iconic Rat Pack prank.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of our dear friend Henry Silva, one of the nicest, kindest and most talented men I have had the pleasure of calling my friend my friend,” Deena Martin tweeted Friday afternoon.

“He was the last surviving star of the original Ocean’s 11 Movie. We love you Henry, you will be missed.”

Actors Ed Byrnes, Henry Silva and Raf Vallon on the set of the film “The Secret Invasion” in 1964.
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Key Cast "Ocean's Eleven" In a promotional photo.
Henry Silva played one of 11 thieves in the 1960 film “Ocean’s Eleven”.
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Silva made his debut in Westerns such as “The Tall T” and “The Law and Jake Wade” before starring as titular characters in 1963’s “Johnny Cool” and 1965’s “The Return of Mr.

Later in his career, Silva appeared in such pictures as “Shark’s Machine,” “Above the Law,” “Dick Tracy” and “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.” He made a final brief screen appearance in the 2001 “Ocean’s Eleven” remake.

American actors Henry Silva, RG Armstrong, Madonna, William Forsythe and Al Pacino surround Warren Beatty on the set of his film "Dick Tracy."
Henry Silva appeared in ‘Dick Tracy’ towards the end of his career.
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Actor Henry Silva on the set of the film "covert attack" in 1964.
Actor Henry Silva on the set of the film “The Secret Invasion” in 1964.
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Silva was of Italian and Puerto Rican descent, but was frequently tapped to portray other ethnicities, playing Korean, Venezuelan, Native American and Japanese men in some of his most famous roles.

Silva reportedly dropped out of school at age 13 and took drama classes while earning money as a dishwasher and waiter. He was one of five students selected for the Actors Studio out of 2,500 applicants in 1955, Variety reported, citing the 2000 book “Hispanics in Hollywood.”

Henry Silva shares screen with Chuck Norris "Silent Code."
Henry Silva shares screen with Chuck Norris in “Code of Silence”.
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In 1985, Silva reportedly told Night-Rider journalist Diane Hathman that his Manhattan upbringing informed his trademark tough guy persona.

“I saw a lot of things in Harlem. It was the kind of place where if you lived on a block and you wanted to go a few blocks away, you had to take some people with you, otherwise you would kick your ass. will kick in,” he said at the time, according to Variety.

“I guess the reason I’m not missing out is because all I play heavily is the leader. I never play a wishy-washy anything. Those are interesting roles, because when you leave the theater, you miss people like this.”

The late actor, who divorced three times, was reportedly survived by his two sons, Michael and Scott.

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