We’ve lost another big screen star as character actor Geno Silva has reportedly passed away. With a career spanning decades, one of Silva’s most notable roles includes playing the hitman who dispatches Tony Montana in Scarface in one of cinema history’s all-time biggest moments. According to reports, Silva died at his Los Angeles home on Monday due to complications from a form of dementia called frontotemporal degeneration. He was 72 years old.
Silva was born on Jan. 20, 1948, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As an actor, his most recognizable role is perhaps that of the henchman nicknamed “The Skull” in the classic gangster movie Scarface. In the hit movie, The Skull is a silent hitman hired by drug lord Alejandro Sosa (Paul Shenar) to take out iconic character Tony Montana (Al Pacino), which he does in the climax of the film. Although many of his colleagues are taken out in the process, it’s The Skull who manages to finally stop Tony in the end, sending him crashing down into a fountain after firing the fatal shot just before the credits roll. In the years since, The Skull has gotten plenty of recognition for being the person to take out the legendary Tony Montana, with one poll naming him No. 7 on a list of movie history’s best henchmen.
In addition to Scarface, Silva has had many other roles on the big screen. He faced dinosaurs in the 1997 sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park and also had parts in movies such as Tequila Sunrise, My Mom’s a Werewolf, Night Eyes 2, and 1941. Silva made plenty of television appearances as well, which includes a recurring role on the Fox drama series Key West with other roles on shows like Miami Vice, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Alias. Silva is also acclaimed for his stage work, which includes acting alongside the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Merchant of Venice and with John Ortiz in the off-Broadway show Sue&ño.
Silvo began to slow down his acting work in the late ’90s. The actor would have a role in the Canadian television series The Sentinel, appearing in He would have a role in the Steven Spielberg movie Amistad in 1997 as Spanish navigator Jose Ruiz, going on to appear in the Vin Diesel action movie A Man Apart and be directed by David Lynch in the surreal cult classic Mulholland Drive. He would make his final movie appearance in the 2005 indie comedy Tortilla Heaven, also showing up in multiple episodes of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise as Senator Vrax that same year.
Silva’s survivors include his wife, Pamela; daughter, Lucia; grandchildren, Eva and Levon; and sister, Elizabeth. The family is asking for donations in his memory be made to The Association for Frontotemporal Dementia. We extend our condolences to the Silva family along with everyone else who knew the late actor best. His fans are certainly missing him as well, as his take on The Skull and his other roles will ensure he won’t be forgotten. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.