Prolific New York actor Henry Silva passed away earlier in the week. Per the Hollywood Reporter, he passed just a day before he would’ve turned 96 years old.
Born in Brooklyn on September 15, 1926, Silva grew up in Harlem, and eventually quit school to take drama classes. In 1955 and 1956, Silva went to Broadway as the character Mother in Michael V. Gatto’s play, A Hatful of Rain. He would later go on to play the character again in the 1957 film adaption, and had an appearance in at least two movies from the rest of the 50s and through the 70s. Other credits from his filmography include 1962’s The Manchurian Candidate, Johnny Cool in the 1963 film of the same name, and 1999’s Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai.
Much of Silva’s storied career can be attributed 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 henchman. Between 1966 and 1977, he starred in nearly 25 films, most of which were Italian crime dramas. 1966’s The Hills Run Red served as his star-making turn, at least in Italy, Spain, Germany, and France.
Perhaps famously for DC animation fans, Silva provided the voice for Bane in 1994’s Batman: The Animated Series, and again in its 1998 sequel series and the 1996 Superman cartoon. Silva’s accent for Bane fluctuated throughout the series: in his self-titled debut episode, the character has a very strong Latin American accent. But in following appearances, what few Bane has, that accent is replaced in favor of a typical American accent.
Silva’s last role would be as a boxing commentator in Ocean’s Eleven, the 2001 remake of the 1960 crime film he starred in as Roger Corneal.
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