Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

R.I.P. Billy Drago, Untouchables villain and prolific character actor

Illustration for article titled R.I.P. Billy Drago, iUntouchables/i villain and prolific character actor
Photo: Tibrina Hobson (Getty Images)

Billy Drago, the journeyman character actor best known for his role in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, has died. According to Variety, he died on Monday following complications from a stroke. He was 73.


Drago began his career as a journalist and radio personality in his native Kansas, but he soon pivoted to stunt work and, eventually, acting. His career spanned four decades, and his menacing, serpentine turns in shows like Charmed and The X-Files never failed to make an impact.

Though his performance as Al Capone henchman Frank Nitti in 1987's The Untouchables was a high point, Drago also stole scenes in films like Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider, Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin, and Alexandre Aja’s The Hills Have Eyes remake. You may also remember him as a heavy in Chuck Norris films like Invasion U.S.A. and Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, or from his appearance in Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World” music video.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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