Billy Drago

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Billy Drago
Born
William Eugene Burrows Jr.

(1945-11-30)November 30, 1945
DiedJune 24, 2019(2019-06-24) (aged 73)
OccupationActor
Years active1979–2014
Spouse(s)
Silvana Gallardo
(m. 1980; her death 2012)
ChildrenDarren E. Burrows (son)

William Eugene Burrows Jr. (November 30, 1945[1] – June 24, 2019), known professionally by his stage name Billy Drago, was an American television and film actor. Frequently cast in the role of villain, Drago's films included Clint Eastwood's western Pale Rider and Brian De Palma's The Untouchables. He also had recurring roles in the television series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. and Charmed.

Early life and education[edit]

Burrows was born in Hugoton, Kansas, the son of William Franklin Burrows Jr, and Gladys Marie Wilcox (1917–1993) on November 30, 1945.[2] He took his grandmother's maiden name as his stage name to keep from being confused with another actor.[3][4][5] Growing up, his parents would drop him off at the movie theater often in their rural town.[6] After high school, he started out as a journalist for the Associated Press and later became a popular voice on radio that took him first to Canada then New York City. After a brief stint with a touring theater group, 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 joined an acting company.[2][7]

Career[edit]

Drago began his acting career in 1979. His early films included 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..[8][9]

Drago was perhaps best known for the role of Al Capone's henchman Frank Nitti in Brian De Palma's 1987 film The Untouchables.[10] Subsequently, Drago appeared in numerous films and television roles; the latter list included The X-Files[11] and a recurring role in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.[10][12]

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.[11]

His film resume includes Delta Force 2,[10] Tremors 4: The Legend Begins,[10] and Pale Rider.[10] He also was featured in Michael Jackson's 2001 music video "You Rock My World".[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Other film roles include Gregg Araki's 2004 film Mysterious Skin,[10] the remake of horror film The Hills Have Eyes,[10] Children of the Corn: Genesis, and Takashi Miike's Masters of Horror episode "Imprint", which Showtime pulled from the air due to "disturbing content."[7][13]

Personal life and death[edit]

Drago was married to actress Silvana Gallardo from 1980 until her death in 2012.[4] He had two sons, including actor Darren E. Burrows.[12]

Drago died in Los Angeles on June 24, 2019 from complications of a stroke.[3][14]

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
1984 Hunter Roscoe Ganther Episode: Pen "Pals"
1985 Pale Rider Deputy Mather
Invasion U.S.A. Mickey
Moonlighting Gangster in Leather Coat Episode: "My Fair David"
1986 Hunter LeClair Episode: "War Zone"
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
Freeway Edward Anthony Heller
Dark Before Dawn Cabalista Leader
Friday the 13th: the Series Edgar van Horne Episode: "Read My Lips"
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, 6 episodes
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, 7 episodes
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 Episode: "Time Is on My Side"
Copperhead Jesse Evans TV movie
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
2013 Night of the Templar Shauna the Chef
2014 Low Down Lew
The Dance The Stranger

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lemonides, Alex (June 28, 2019). "Billy Drago, a Villain in Movies and on TV, Is Dead at 73". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Roffman, Michael (June 26, 2019). "R.I.P. Billy Drago, iconic character actor and The Untouchables villain, has died at 73". Yahoo! News. United States: Oath Inc.(Verizon Communications). Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Billy Drago, Actor in 'The Untouchables,' Dies at 73". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group (Valence Media). June 26, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Haring, Bruce. "Billy Drago Dies: Hollywood 'Bad Guy' Character Actor Was 73". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation.
  5. ^ Yasharoff, Hannah (June 27, 2019). "Reports: Billy Drago, actor in 1987 gangster movie 'The Untouchables,' dies at 73". USA Today. McLean, Virginia: Gannett Company. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  6. ^ Boucher, Ashley (June 26, 2019). "Billy Drago, Best Known for His Villainous Role in The Untouchables, Dead at 73". People. United States: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Williams, Owen (2011-11-18). "Interview: "I've been killed by great people!" – Billy Drago in conversation". The Void. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  8. ^ "Billy Drago Filmography". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  9. ^ The Sun (June 27, 2019). "'The Untouchables,' 'Hills Have Eyes' star Billy Drago dead at 73". Fox News. Fox Corporation. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Canby, Vincent (June 3, 1987). "The Untouchables (1987) FILM: DeNIRO IN THE UNTOUCHABLES". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Colburn, Randall (June 27, 2019). "R.I.P. Billy Drago, Untouchables villain and prolific character actor". The AV Club. Chicago: The Onion, Inc. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Christian Long (26 June 2019). "Effortlessly menacing character actor Billy Drago dies at 73". SyfyWire. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  13. ^ Collis, Clark (June 26, 2019). "Billy Drago, star of The Untouchables and Charmed, dies at age 73". Entertainment Weekly. United States: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  14. ^ Saperstein, Pat (June 27, 2019). "Billy Drago, 'Untouchables' Star, Dies at 73". Variety. United States: Variety Media, LLC. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved June 27, 2019.

External links[edit]