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Tom Towles, Actor in Horror Movies, Dies at 65

Tom Towles, a character actor who appeared in horror movies and had a recurring role on “NYPD Blue,” died April 2 after suffering a stroke. He was 65.

Though he did have a small role in 1975’s “Dog Day Afternoon,” Towles was more associated with the films of Rob Zombie, appearing in “House of 1000 Corpses,” “The Devil’s Rejects,” Zombie’s 2007 reboot of “Halloween” and the fake Zombie-shot trailer for “Werewolf Women of the S.S.” included in the 2007 film “Grindhouse.”

Towles memorably played the repugnant Otis in 1986 indie “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” and the obnoxious Harry Cooper in the 1990 remake of “Night of the Living Dead.”

Zombie remembered Towles on his Instagram page Monday, saying “He was a nice funny guy.”

 

Non-horror credits include “Mad Dog and Glory” (1993), “The Rock” (1996), “Doctor Dolittle” (1998) and 2006’s “Miami Vice.” His most recent film was 2008 horror comedy “Blood on the Highway.”

The actor’s television credits included a recurring role on “NYPD Blue” as Inspector Anthony Lastarza plus appearances on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Seinfeld,” “L.A. Law,” “ER,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Crossing Jordan,” “CSI” and “Malcolm in the Middle.”

Born in Chicago, Towles served in the Marine Corps and was a member of the Windy City’s Organic Theatre Company, where he not only performed but also sometimes collaborated on the scripts. He also occasionally appeared onstage in the city’s prestigious Goodman Theatre.

Towles returned to the bigscreen after a long absence with an appearance in 1985’s “Pink Nights.”

He made the transition from theater to films and television  in the late 1980s.

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