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Henry Silva, of ‘Manchurian Candidate,’ ‘Ocean’s 11’ fame, dead at 95

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — Henry Silva, whose villainous turns in such films as “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Ocean’s 11” and “Johnny Cool” made him a go-to Hollywood henchman throughout a career spanning six decades, has died at the age of 95.

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Silva died Wednesday of natural causes at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, his son Scott Silva confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

Per Variety: “One of Silva’s most memorable roles came in John Frankenheimer’s classic thriller ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ (1962), in which he played Chunjin, the Korean houseboy for Laurence Harvey’s Raymond Shaw — and an agent for the Communists — who engages in a thrilling, well-choreographed martial arts battle with Frank Sinatra’s Major Bennett Marco in Shaw’s New York apartment.”

Deana Martin, daughter of the late Dean Martin, praised Silva’s longevity in a Twitter tribute.

“Our hearts are broken at the loss of our dear friend Henry Silva, one of the nicest, kindest and most talented men I’ve had the pleasure of calling my friend. He was the last surviving star of the original Oceans 11 Movie. We love you Henry, you will be missed,” she wrote.

Born in Brooklyn on Sept. 15, 1928, Silva was raised in Spanish Harlem to Italian and Puerto Rican parents and quit school at 13 but supported himself as a waiter and dishwasher while taking drama courses. Silva was one of only five students accepted from a field of 2,500 applicants for the Actors Studio in 1955, Variety reported.

According to the entertainment news site, Silva’s television debut came in 1950′s “Armstrong Circle Theatre,” while his first film role – uncredited – came two years later in Elia Kazan’s “Viva Zapata!,” starring Marlon Brando.

In later years, he appeared in Burt Reynolds’ “Sharky’s Machine” from 1981, alongside Chuck Norris in 1985′s “Code of Silence, in Steven Segal’s “Above the Law” in 1988, alongside Warren Beatty in 1990′s “Dick Tracy” and opposite Forest Whitaker in 1999′s “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai,” according to THR.

Silva’s final screen appearance was a cameo in the “Ocean’s Eleven” remake in 2001, the entertainment news site reported.

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