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.