Very sad news about the passing of American Film & TV actor Powers Boothe.

Powers who? may say. If you don’t recognise the name you will probably know the face.

Boothe came to my attention in 1981 in the Walter Hill action / adventure thriller, Southern Comfort. This was seen as a nod to the similar ‘great outdoors’ thriller Deliverance (1972) probably Burt Reynolds best ever serious performance before he went all ‘Smokey and the Bandit’.

Southern Comfort is still one of my all-time favourite thrillers and is a master class in tension building. Powers Boothe stands out as newcomer Hardin, on a National Guard exercise in the Louisiana Bayou. His character doesn’t quite fit in with the team who mostly consist of southern red necks, who fire on a group of Cajun hunters across the bayou who don’t realise the bullets are blanks.

The Cajun’s don’t see the joke and hunt down the National Guard platoon on their own turf, leaving the soldier boys like fish out of water. The climax of the film will keep you glued to the TV to the very end.

I followed Boothe’s film and TV career from that point on. His next big thing was The Emerald Forest (1985) followed by TV’s Philp Marlowe: Private Eye (1986). He then seemed to get a reputation as villainous bad guys in such movies as Tombstone (1993) as gunslinger Curly Bill opposite Kurt Russell’s Wyatt Earp, Sin City (2005) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) as Senator Roark. There was also other TV series including Deadwood (2004), Nashville (2012), Marvels: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2015-16) as H.Y.D.R.A’s Gideon Malick, a character he first played in Avengers Assemble (2012) movie.

Powers Boothe was born in Snyder Texas and died at home in his sleep, in Los Angeles. Verdict was natural causes. He was 68 years old.

A farewell to somewhat underrated actor.