Paul Koslo, Actor in 'The Omega Man' and 'The Stone Killer,' Dies at 74

Warner Bros. Pictures/Photofest
Paul Koslo in 1971's 'The Omega Man'

He also appeared in 'Vanishing Point,' 'Rooster Cogburn,' 'Mr. Majestyk' and 'Heaven's Gate.'

Paul Koslo, a character actor who played the heavy in such films as The Omega ManRooster Cogburn and The Stone Killer, has died. He was 74.

Koslo died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer at his home in Lake Hughes, Calif., his wife, actress Allaire Paterson Koslo, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Koslo also portrayed a Nevada patrolman in Vanishing Point (1971), a bounty hunter in Joe Kidd (1972) and a gang member in Cleopatra Jones (1973) and the True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn (1975). He appeared in other notable films like Voyage of the Damned (1976) and Heaven's Gate (1980) as well.

Perhaps Koslo's most well-known role was as Dutch in director Boris Sagal's The Omega Man (1971). His character, a motorcycle-riding former medical student who is one of the few to survive biological warfare, helps rescue Charlton Heston's Neville from burning at the stake at Dodger Stadium. 

"It was my first big movie," he said in a 2001 interview. "I like it because it's different, totally different from any other film I've ever made. And being it was with Charlton Heston. He was a phenomenon…. I loved that movie. I love the fact that it catapulted me into not stardom, but I could go anywhere in the world and people would say, 'I know you, you're [Dutch].'"

In The Stone Killer (1973), Koslo portrayed a psychotic trombonist-assassin who is hunted down by Charles Bronson's ex-New York detective cop in a memorable motorcycle-car chase. Bronson got the best of him again in Mr. Majestyk (1974), and the two also shared screen time in Love and Bullets (1979).

Born Manfred Koslowski in Germany on June 27, 1944, he and his family moved to Canada — first to Regina, Saskatchewan, and then to Vancouver — when he was six. In one of his first films, The Losers (1970), he played a machine-gun-toting biker who is sent to the jungle to help rescue a U.S diplomat.

Koslo's big-screen résumé also included Scandalous John (1971), The Laughing Policeman (1973), Freebie and the Bean (1974), Bootleggers (1974), The Drowning Pool (1975), Assault in Paradise (1977) and Loose Cannons (1990).

He also worked a great deal in television, showing up on such shows as Mission: ImpossibleBarnaby JonesHawaii Five-OThe Incredible HulkThe A-TeamMatlockT.J. HookerMacGyver and Hunter.

Survivors also include his daughter Chloe. A memorial is being planned.

Rhett Bartlett contributed to this report.