Veteran actor Billy Drago, perhaps best known for his role in the gangster movie The Untouchables, has sadly passed away at the age of 73. The circumstances surrounding his passing haven't yet been made clear, though his rep confirmed the actor died on Monday in Los Angeles. Drago is survived by his sister Patty, brother Steve, sons Darren and Derrick Burrows, and several grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife, actress Silvana Gallardo, who passed away in 2012 after 32 years of marriage.
Born Nov. 30, 1945 in Hugoton, Kansas, Drago's given name was William Eugen Burrows Jr. When he pursued show business as he got older, the aspiring actor adopted his grandmother's maiden name, going professionally by Billy Drago. He first found work as a stuntman before later landing a gig as a radio host for a while, eventually joining an acting company which relocated him to Canada and then New York City. Drago then began acting professionally in 1979 in the TV movie No Other Love, kicking off what would become a career spanning decades with over 100 different roles.
Drago's most famous role is probably in Brian De Palma's mobster movie The Untouchables. Released in 1987, Drago starred in the movie alongside Robert Stack, Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro, and Patricia Clarkson. Based on the book of the same name, the story follows the real life Untouchables team led by Elliot Ness to take down Al Capone during the Prohibition era. In the movie, Drago plays Frank Nitti, and Italian-American gangster and Capone's top henchman. While Drago always excelled exceptionally well in villainous roles, he was particularly menacing as Frank in The Untouchables.
The Untouchables is just one of many roles the veteran actor has performed over the course of his lengthy career. Some of his early movie roles included parts in Windwalker, No Other Love, and Cutter's Way with Jeff Bridges. He would later appear in movies like Delta Force 2, Pale Rider, and Mysterious Skin, also showing up in horror flicks like Children of the Corn: Genesis, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes.
Additionally, Drago had memorable roles on a wide variety of television shows as well, including Walker Texas Ranger, The X-Files, Charmed, and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. If movies and TV weren't enough, Drago also notably appeared in music videos for Michael Jackson and Mike + The Mechanics, and it really seemed like there was no telling where we might see him next.
Wherever you might remember seeing Drago, chances are you loved him in the role, as the amazing actor always turned in a memorable performance. If you're unfamiliar with his work, do yourself a favor and check it out, beginning with a viewing of The Untouchables. Drago's legacy will forever live on through his many performances, and our condolences are with his friends and family at this time. May he rest in peace. This information comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.