As confirmed from a publicist by TV Line, actor Powers Boothe died in his sleep on Sunday morning from natural causes. News of his death first came from Beau Bridges, who eulogized Boothe in a tweet that referred to him as “a dear friend, great actor, devoted father, and husband.” Boothe was probably best known these days for his work on HBO’s Deadwood and as Hydra big-shot Gideon Malick on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and in The Avengers. Boothe was 68.
Born in Texas in 1948, Boothe’s big break as an actor came in 1980 when he starred in the TV movie Guyana Tragedy: The Story Of Jim Jones as the eponymous cult leader. Boothe won the Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Special Emmy for the role, and his boosted notoriety helped him land the lead role in the HBO series Philip Marlow, Private Eye in 1983. In the ‘80s, he also appeared in Red Dawn, The Emerald Forest, and the TV series Skag.
Boothe had relatively minor TV and film roles in the ‘90s, save for popping up in Tombstone and Nixon, but his career began to take off again in the 2000s when he solidified his status as the sort of actor viewers love to recognize—even if it’s just his voice. Boothe had a memorable recurring role as super-intelligent villain Gorilla Grodd in the DC animated shows of the time, appearing in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. He also played a lot of live-action villains, including a snarling, evil politician in Sin City and ruthless saloon owner Cy Tolliver on Deadwood.
Recently, he had a recurring role on Nashville, and had a turn as a major villain on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a payoff to a brief cameo in The Avengers.