- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
Geno Silva, the character actor perhaps best known for playing The Skull, the hitman who takes out Al Pacino’s Tony Montana in the explosive climax of Scarface, has died. He was 72.
Silva died May 9 at his home in Los Angeles of complications from frontotemporal degeneration, a form of dementia, his family announced.
During his four-decade career, Silva also could be seen in Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit (1981) — he was in the 1979 Broadway production opposite Edward James Olmos — Robert Towne’s Tequila Sunrise (1988); Steven Spielberg’s Amistad and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, both released in 1997; David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001); and F. Gary Gray’s A Man Apart (2003).
On television, he was a regular on the 1993 Fox drama Key West and appeared on episodes of Hill Street Blues; Miami Vice; Walker, Texas Ranger; Star Trek: Enterprise; and Alias.
In Scarface (1983), his foreboding character never speaks a word while he guns down Montana with a shotgun from behind at the end of the Brian De Palma-directed classic. One poll placed The Skull No. 7 on a list of the best henchmen in movie history.
Born on Jan. 20, 1948, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Silva also was a veteran of the stage. In 1994, he appeared with Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz in The Merchant of Venice, a Peter Sellars production that played Chicago, London, Paris and Hamburg, Germany; in 1999, he and Ortiz worked off-Broadway in Sueño, written by future Oscar nominee Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries).
Survivors include his wife, Pamela; daughter Lucia; grandchildren Eva and Levon; and sister Elizabeth. Donations in his memory may be made to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
Shunned in the West, Russia’s Movie Industry Is Embraced at China’s Shanghai Film Festival (Exclusive)
Venice Film Festival
Venice: 25 Films That Could Be Heading to the Film Festival’s 80th Anniversary Edition
‘Ayenda,’ Doc About Afghan Women’s Soccer Team’s Daring Escape From Taliban, Gets Trailer Ahead of Tribeca Premiere (Exclusive)
Tribeca Film Festival
‘Transition’ Review: Portrait of a Trans Man Embedded With the Taliban Compels But Lacks Context
‘Downtown Owl’ Review: Lily Rabe Is the Radiant Hot-Mess Center of an Affecting Small-Town Tragicomedy