Hollywood is mourning the loss of one of their own.
Actor Powers Boothe, best known for his roles in the hit television show Deadwood as well as successful films such as Sin City and The Avengers, died in his sleep from apparent natural causes on Sunday, his rep tells EW. He was 68.
News of Boothe’s death first broke online through longtime friend Beau Bridges. He tweeted, “It’s with great sadness that I mourn the passing of my friend Powers Boothe. A dear friend, great actor, devoted father & husband.”
Actress Lea Thompson, Boothe’s costar in the 1984 cult classic Red Dawn, also paid tribute to the actor on social media.
“I loved acting with you #PowersBoothe you were a gentlemen and a great actor,” she wrote alongside a photo from the movie.
At the end of a Nashville Season One party, when the great Powers Boothe started to sing "Honky Tonk Man" on @theryman Auditorium stage, I grabbed my phone as fast as I could. So glad I did. This is how I will remember this kind and charismatic man I was thrilled and honored to work with. I was a huge fan when we met. I became even more of one as, through his warmth and generosity, I got to know him a little better. What I'll remember most was his deep bond with, and his obvious love for, his wonderful wife and college sweetheart, Pamela. It's her that he's singing to in this clip. My heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to her and to their family. Rest In Peace, Powers. With your singular presence, you elevated every project you were ever a part of – most definitely including ours. We were blessed to have you in, and on, Nashville.
Boothe made his national breakthrough in 1980 starring as a true-life demagogue and cult-leader in the CBS docudrama Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, putting his menacing charisma into overdrive as the preacher who led 980 of his followers to commit mass suicide. After the movie was released just two years after the real incident, Boothe won an Emmy for his portrayal, which drew dialogue from real tapes recorded by Jones as he instructed his flock to consume poisoned fruit punch.
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If the performance typecast him as a roguish megalomaniac, there was still no shortage of roles for Boothe. On HBO’s Deadwood, he played the volatile, ruthless saloon owner Cy Tolliver, who was just as deadly to his “friends” as he was to his rivals, and in 1995’s Sudden Death, he was the CIA agent holding the vice president hostage at a hockey arena.
In recent years, Boothe played the vice president who ascends to the highest office after the president is debilitated in Season 6 of Fox’s 24, and he played off his ominous presence as Col. Jim Faith, supervising Will Forte’s ingenious (but hapless) special operative in the 2010 cult-favorite comedy MacGruber. In Marvel’s The Avengers and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. he played nefarious World Security Council leader Gideon Malick, and on TV’s Nashville, he played the manipulative, wealthy father of Connie Britton’s country star Rayna Jaymes.