Powers Boothe, ‘Deadwood,’ ‘Sin City’ Actor, Dies at 68

Powers Boothe Sin City
Rex/Shutterstock

Powers Boothe, a prolific character actor on the small and big screen, died Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 68.

According to his rep, Boothe died in his sleep Sunday morning of natural causes.

The veteran actor was best known for playing snarling villains like Curly Bill Brocious in the 1993 Western “Tombstone” and saloon owner Cy Tolliver in HBO’s “Deadwood.”

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He also appeared in several comic book shows and movies, portraying Senator Roark in “Sin City” and it’s sequel “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” (pictured above). He also had a small role in “The Avengers” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

His talents weren’t only limited to genre material. Boothe played former mayor Lamar Wyatt on 26 episodes of the country drama “Nashville,” as well as Judge “Wall” Hatflied on “Hatfields & McCoys.” Prior to that, he played Vice President Daniels on “24.”Actor Beau Bridges tweeted news of Boothe’s passing on Sunday.

“It’s with great sadness that I mourn the passing of my friend Powers Boothe. A dear friend, great actor, devoted father & husband.”

In 1980, Boothe took home the Emmy for lead actor in a limited series or special for playing infamous cult leader Jim Jones in “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.”

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His other notable film roles included “Southern Comfort,” “Red Dawn,” “The Emerald Forest,” and Oliver Stone’s “Nixon,” in which he played Alexander Haig.

Born in Snyder, Texas, Boothe joined the Oregon Shakespeare Festival after graduating from college and worked in theater before moving to film and television.

According to reps, there will be a private service held in Texas where he was from. A memorial celebration in his honor is being considered for a future date. Donations can be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which honors the nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

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  1. John Weriuk says:

    Rest in Peace. Amazing work as Bill Markham searching for his lost son in “The Emerald Forest”. One of my favorite movie quotes comes from that film: “When a dream becomes flesh, trouble is not far behind.”

  2. loco73 says:

    Excellent character actor. Loved him on “Deadwood”, but also his other roles. Sad to see another talented actor exit the stage. RIP Powers Boothe

  3. Ed Ward says:

    Very good actor–Red Dawn came to mind as although not a starring role his character performance was quite memorable.

  4. noel says:

    I have never seen Powers give a bad performance. Since I saw him years ago portraying Jim Jones. He will be missed. Deepest sympathies to his family. R.I.P Powers.

  5. He was Gorilla Grodd in the DC Animated Universe’s Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

    • Rory McNally says:

      That’s kids stuff. None of his adult fan would know of or be interested in that stuff. He was in plenty of good movies and TV shows like Guyana Tragedy, Southern Comfort, The Emerald Forest and Deadwood to name a few. I’ve been a fan of his for many years. First saw him as the villain in Sudden Death. He always played a good villain. It was so good to see him many years later in Sin City 2 as a terrific villain. One of the more underrated actors of the last 50 years.

  6. Mike says:

    By Dawn’s Early Light…”Nobodys dying now….Last line of movie by Booth

  7. Ari Manuel says:

    A great actor..Great in every role he played..And, a fantastic persona and VOICE -..RIP…

  8. Joe Astley says:

    He was great as Phillip Marlowe on HBO in the 1980s.

  9. This article doesn’t say anything about any of his other family you know the ones he left behind in the dust when he got famous

  10. John Cody Dennison says:

    I live near Snyder, TX now, but always loved his acting and so did many of my co-workers today. One friend said her mom knew him growing up, and he was a stinker. God bless the family.

  11. Niles says:

    Still a scab.

  12. Mary Ann oliver says:

    May you Dear soul rest in Peace, you played my Daddy’s ancestor, uncle Wall with such perfection, you must have had some true Hatfield blood flowing in your veins! You played all your characters with ease and strength, R.I.P., Mary Ann Hatfield
    ,

  13. After Red Dawn in the 80s , I always thought he would make a great Batman, especially after Frank Miller’s Dark Knight book in 1986 .

  14. Jeff Hutchinson says:

    I am very sad to hear of the passing of Powers Boothe. The first time I saw him was when he portray Jim Jones, the Guyana Preacher in the 1970’s. He played that part to a T. The fact it was a true story Powers played that part super remarkably well. So long Powers.

  15. Joan Chandler says:

    I knew someone who attended college we Powers. This is so sad. I remember when there was an actors’ strike and he won the Emmy – he was the only one who attended! He said something like, I wasn’t going to miss this. I’m glad he didn’t.

  16. Jo Lysdahl says:

    What branch of service was Powers Boothe in? He is listed as a Veteran, and the Gary Senise Foundation is taking donations.

  17. Brian says:

    Will miss this great character actor. Favorite roll, Curly Bill and Patriarch of the Nashville series. Also, Booth was an avid Dodger fan. Will miss seeing him at Dodger games too. God bless his family.

  18. Linda Lowe says:

    So sorry to hear of his passing. I loved everything he starred in. Prayers for his family!

  19. He had three children, you did not include Preston Allen.

  20. Gonzalo Fargenkneipper says:

    Rest easy, Curly Bill. You were no “daisy”.

  21. Devin says:

    Between Powers and Bill Paxton, that’s two former Agents of SHIELD cast members who have passed away this year. Sad to hear this news.

  22. dawn says:

    I remember seeing Powers at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival in the 70s. He’d do talks in the park afterwards. Seems like just yesterday and too soon for him to go. Prayers for his family at such a time of this great loss.

  23. mcgwynne says:

    Sad news. I played Larry King in the Guyana Tragedy with him and an outstanding cast. An arduous shoot in Atlanta and the jungle of Puerto Rico was very trying to us all but he remained a quiet force that ironically united us all under William A. Graham’s direction. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with him and his wife who kept him calm in our location housing in the village of Ponce because the horrors and violence of the subject we were focused on was taking its toll on us all. At one point I blurted, “You don’t recreate Hell without paying a price,” and she calmly replied, “Here, drink your tea.”
    You left behind a legacy Powers. That’s something to be remembered of any actor.

  24. I really liked Powers Boothe’s acting. May he Rest In Peace.

  25. Donna DeSpain Sanders says:

    I loved his performance as Jim Jones, and also as the father in The Emerald Forest.

  26. Jim says:

    I spent an afternoon with Powers at Calabassas Country Club a few years ago. He was a friend of my brother’s, and very accepting of my being star struck at first. Eventually we just spoke of life, building houses, working for a living, and getting through each day as best we can, helping whoever we can. RIP, Powers Boothe…. you’re a good man.

  27. Janet Craig says:

    God bless you Powers! You shall be sorely missed. Prayers for your family and friends during this difficult time.

  28. Carolynn says:

    I really enjoyed his work-RIP Mr Boothe…

  29. “Donations can be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which honors the nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need.”
    This says it all about the character of the man.
    R.I.P. Mr. Boothe

  30. clearly, deadwood was not in 1993.

  31. Rev. Earl says:

    I have been a fan ever since I saw him play Jim Jones. He will be missed.

  32. Linda Cortez says:

    RIP, enjoyed your acting. Wish I had known earlier that you hailed from Snyder. Just down the road from us. God Bless You.

  33. Thorgrim "Scrambles" The Deathdealer says:

    DAMN YOU, UNIVERSE!!! **shakes fist at the heavens** Thank You, Mr. Boothe for all the great characters. See ya around the cosmos.

  34. JoeM says:

    For those who haven’t seen it, his performance in the late Bill Paxton’s sole directorial effort FRAILTY helps make that film a must-see. He is and will be missed.

  35. sorry to hear of his passing…what a brilliant actor may he RIP

  36. Dianne Saharic says:

    I’m so glad Beau Bridges mentioned his big start playing Jim Jones in the Guyana Tragedy. He was great in that part and a terrific actor!!!

  37. Mari says:

    😥😥

  38. ED says:

    I still remember when he accepted his Emmy for the Jim Jones movie,during an actors strike, saying ‘This is either the most courageous moment of my career or the stupidest”. So sorry to see he’s gone :(

  39. Crickkett says:

    He also played the part of Bartlett McClure in True Women, with a host of other wonderful actors.

  40. Wolf says:

    Well… Bye!

  41. Galaxy101 says:

    Will never forget his grand performances in John Boormans “The Emerald Forest”, AND,
    Walter Hills’ 1981 film about the National Guardsmen out on isolated military training in the
    swamps of Louisiana. That one was called “Southern Comfort”. Powers Boothe was awesome!

  42. Setting it Straight says:

    You can’t write an obituary on Powers Boothe and not mention Walter Hill’s SOUTHERN COMFORT. Just proves this obit writer knew nothing about Mr. Boothe’s career.

    • Do you expect that EVERY thing he’s been in, to be listed? Most people are fine with just a few of the things being listed, and go over to IMDB for more info, if they’re curious.

      • Elizabeth Steenbeeke says:

        Um, the obit DID mention Southern Comfort….?……”His other notable film roles included “Southern Comfort,” “Red Dawn,” “The Emerald Forest,” and Oliver Stone’s “Nixon,” in which he played Alexander Haig.”

      • Crickkett says:

        No, but maybe others have greatly enjoyed him in additional movies or other programming that they would like to share here.

  43. Sarah says:

    Definitely going to be remember

  44. Larry Hedges says:

    Rest in peace sir! You will not be forgotten!

  45. Since the obit didn’t mention it, I will: He was also in Walter Hill’s SOUTHERN COMFORT–one of his best big screen performances, I’d say.

  46. Spider says:

    Fantastic actor. He had so many memorable roles and elevated the quality of the films he was in. I particularly remember him as Curly Bill from “Tombstone”. The scene where he quips to Michael Biehn’s character after being asked what he thought about Billy Zane’s character’s onstage persona at the old theatre production of “Faust”: “Prettiest man I ever saw!”, was epic and laugh out loud funny. I also remember him as the villain in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s, ” Sudden Death”, a 90s action flick that was totally boosted–thanks to his snarky and sarcastic performance.
    I extend my deepest condolences to his family. May he rest in peace. His legacy will live on forever!

  47. Radagast27 says:

    He was great in Tombstone.

  48. bayoulee says:

    “The Congressman is dead I didn’t want them to do it..I didn’t tell them to do it…But, he is dead and that is as plain as I can tell you.” Powers Booth as Jim Jones

  49. Alex Meyer says:

    R.I.P.

  50. Can says:

    “it’s sequel”

    There should not be an apostrophe. Also his 24 character became president.

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