Billy Drago

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Billy Drago
Born William Eugene Burrows, Jr.
(1949-09-18) September 18, 1949 (age 68)
Hugoton, Kansas, U.S.
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Silvana Gallardo (m.1980-2012; her death)
Children Darren E. Burrows (son)

William Eugene "Billy" Burrows, Jr. (born September 18, 1949), known professionally by his stage name Billy Drago, is an American television and film actor.[1] Frequently cast in the role of villain, Drago's films have included Clint Eastwood's western Pale Rider[2] and Brian De Palma's The Untouchables.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Born William Eugene Burrows, Jr., in Hugoton, Kansas, the son of actor/director William Eugene Burrows, Sr. (1914–1999), and Gladys Marie Wilcox (1917–1993), he took his grandmother's maiden name as his stage name to keep from being confused with another actor. His father was of Chiricahua Apache ancestry and his mother Romany.[4] After high school he worked as a stuntman at Boot Hill in Dodge City, Kansas. From there he went on to the University of Kansas. After finishing college he was a radio host for a time before joining an acting company that took him first to Canada then New York City.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Drago is the father of actor Darren E. Burrows. He was married to actress Silvana Gallardo.


Drago began his acting career in 1979. His early films include No Other Love, Windwalker and the Jeff Bridges vehicle Cutter's Way. He went on to guest star in numerous television series including: Hill Street Blues, Moonlighting, Walker Texas Ranger and Trapper John, M.D..

Drago is perhaps best known for the role of Al Capone's henchman Frank Nitti in Brian De Palma's 1987 film The Untouchables.[2] Since that point he has appeared in numerous films and television roles; the latter list includes The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.[2] and The X-Files.

In 1999 he played the demon Barbas in the WB series Charmed. His character was supposed to appear in only one episode, but due to popularity with fans he was brought back for six additional episodes, appearing in five of the show's eight seasons.

His ongoing film resume includes Delta Force 2,[2] Tremors 4: The Legend Begins,[2] and Pale Rider.[2] He also was featured in Michael Jackson's 2001 music video "You Rock My World". Drago also played a mysterious stranger who gave a boy a special key in the Mike + The Mechanics music video for "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" in 1985.

Other film roles include Gregg Araki's 2004 film Mysterious Skin,[2] the remake of horror film The Hills Have Eyes,[2] Children of the Corn: Genesis, and Takashi Miike's Masters of Horror episode Imprint, which Showtime pulled from the air due to "disturbing content."[5]



External links[edit]