Billy Drago

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Billy Drago
Born William Eugene Burrows, Jr.
(1949-09-18) September 18, 1949 (age 69)
Hugoton, Kansas, U.S.
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Silvana Gallardo (m.1980-2012; her death)
Children Darren E. Burrows (son)

William Eugen 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]

Burrows was born 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.

Career[edit]

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]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979 No Other Love Brian TV Movie
1980 Windwalker Crow Scout
1981 Cutter's Way Garbage Man
1982 Johnny Belinda Cutter TV Movie
1985 Pale Rider Deputy Mather
Invasion U.S.A. Mickey
Moonlighting Gangster in Leather Coat
1986 North and South, Book II Rat TV mini-series
Vamp Snow
Hunter's Blood Snake
1987 In Self Defense Edward Reeves TV Movie
The Untouchables Frank Nitti
Banzai Runner Syszek
1988 Hero and the Terror Dr. Highwater
Dark Before Dawn Cabalista Leader
Freeway Edward Anthony Heller
1989 True Blood Billy 'Spider' Masters
China White Scalia
Prime Suspect Cyril
1990 Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection Ramon Cota
1991 Diplomatic Immunity Cowboy
Martial Law 2: Undercover Captain Krantz
1992 Secret Games Mark Langford
Death Ring Danton Vachs
Guncrazy Hank Fulton
1993 Lady Dragon Diego
The Outfit Lucky Luciano
Deadly Heroes Jose Maria Carlos
Cyborg 2 Danny Bench
1993–1994 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. John Bly TV Series
1994 Never Say Die Reverend James
The Takeover Daniel Stein
1995 Lunarcop Kay
Phoenix Kilgore
Mirror, Mirror III: The Voyeur Anthony
Drifting School Thomas King
1996 Blood Money Agent Pierce
Mad Dog Time Wells
Sci-Fighters Adrian Dunn
Blue Devil, Blue Devil Macintower
1997 Assault on Devil's Island Carlos Gallindo
Convict 762 Mannix
A Doll in the Dark Keith
1998 Monkey Business Branson
1999 Soccer Dog: The Movie Damon Fleming, The Dog Catcher
Lima: Breaking the Silence General Monticito Frantacino
1999-2004 Charmed Barbas TV Series
2000 The X-Files Orel Peattie Episode: "Theef"
Very Mean Men Dante
Mirror, Mirror IV: Reflection Frederick Champion
2001 Death Game Shakes Montrose
2002 Desert Rose
The Circuit Lenny
Welcome to America Crazy Old Man
2004 Tremors 4: The Legend Begins Black Hand Kelly
Fort Doom Mr. Fallow
Mysterious Skin Zeke
2005 Demon Hunter Asmodeus
Blood Relic Harry
2006 Masters of Horror Christopher Episode: "Imprint"
Seven Mummies Drake
The Hills Have Eyes Papa Jupiter
Soul Searchers
Lime Salted Love Zephyr's Stepdad
2007 El Muerto The Old Indian
Moving McAllister The Lady
Revamped Vladimus
Zombie Hunters Dr. Frankfurt
2008 Supernatural Doc Benton TV Series
Copperhead Jesse Evans
Rounds Edward
2009 Dark Moon Rising Thibodeaux
Ghost Town Reb Halland TV Movie
The Ritual The Man in Black
2010 Downstream Edward
2011 Children of the Corn: Genesis Preacher
Balls to the Wall Belthagor
2012 The Lords of Salem
2013 Night of the Templar Shauna the Chef
2014 Low Down Lew
The Dance The Stranger

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Billy Drago". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Billy Drago Filmography". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent (June 3, 1987). "The Untouchables (1987) FILM: DeNIRO IN THE UNTOUCHABLES". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "About Us". www.actingforsuccess.biz.
  5. ^ a b Owen Williams (2011-11-18). "Interview: "I've been killed by great people!" – Billy Drago in conversation". The Void.

External links[edit]