Ominous Power of Powers Boothe And The Five Best Characters Of His Career

In 1974, a young actor by the name of Powers Boothe made his stage debut. From his TV character like name to a career packed with memorable characters, 1974 was only the beginning for an actor whose career would span four decades. Powers Boothe passed away On Sunday, May 15th at the age of 68.

Monkeys Fighting Robots remembers
the five best characters played by Powers Boothe

Jim Jones

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Powers Boothe was on stage from 1974 to 1979, including a stint on Broadway in the play “Lone Star” In 1980, Boothe appeared in the CBS TV-Movie Guayana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones playing the titular character. If you don’t know the story of Jim Jones, it’s a fascinating one. But the basics are this: Jones lead a cult-like group who moved to an isolated region of Guyana and eventually all drank cool-aid that put them to sleep permanently. There’s A LOT more to the story, but as any actor will tell you, carrying a film isn’t easy and doing it while playing what is an evil person only makes it harder. Powers Boothe’s portrayal of Jim Jones received critical acclaim and earned the actor an Emmy Award.

Lt. Col. Andrew Tanner

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In the 80s, war with Russia was a hot topic and many b-movies released following the logical conclusion of two superpowers going to war. A lot of movies dealt with the fallout of nuclear war. But in Red Dawn, the film looks at the collapse of a peaceful world. A lot of political turmoil leads to an invasion of the U.S. From global communist forces. Powers Boothe was a downed U.S. Fighter pilot who spends little time in the movie but every minute counts. From an exposition point of view, it’s nicer to hear it come from an actor like Boothe. From a story perspective, Red Dawn’s young heroes needed help.

Cyrus “Cy” Tolliver

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HBO’s Deadwood is one of those brilliant shows that only seems to get better with age. One reason the show is so fantastic is the ensemble cast. Powers Boothe was part of that cast as Cy Tolliver, the owner of a brothel spurned by love which makes him hungrier for power. Boothe was often part of ensemble casts, but his presence and crushed gravel voice always helped him stand out above the rest. As a tragic villain in Deadwood, Cy Tolliver is one of the most unforgettable characters from the show.

Gideon “Old Man” Malick

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In 2012, Boothe appeared in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers as an unnamed character. The small role as a secretive government agent came and went. In 2015, Boothe reprised the role on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, and he got a name: Gideon Malick. Boothe’s natural gravitas and the rumble of his voice made him a natural fit for villain-y type roles. As Malick, Boothe caused chaos within the Marvel Universe as one of the leaders of HYDRA.

Gorilla Grodd

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Say what you will about the DC movies, but from 2002 to 2006 Justice League and Justice League Unlimited did a great job of bringing the beloved comic book characters to life. One of the great villains of the series was Gorilla Grodd, the super-smart, telepathic ape. Powers Boothe provided the voice for Grodd, breathing life into the character as a great voice actor should. Boothe’s voice for Grodd is on that same iconic level as Hamill’s Joker. Boothe also voiced Red Tornado during the run of the show.

Rest in the infinite, Powers Boothe.
Thanks for sharing your talents with the rest of us.

Ruben Diaz
Ruben Diaz
Writer, film-fanatic, geek, gamer, info junkie & consummate Devil's advocate who has been fascinated by Earth since 1976. Classically trained in the ways of the future.