Billy Drago Dies: A Villain in Movies and on TV, was 73

Beloved actor Billy Drago, known for his iconic roles as a villain, has passed away at the age of 73. Drago’s unforgettable performances include his portrayal of real-life gangster Frank Nitti in “The Untouchables” and the demon Barbas on “Charmed”. His impressive career also includes incredible performances in Clint Eastwood’s “Pale Rider”, “Hill Street Blues”, “The X-Files”, Showtime’s “Masters of Horror”, and Gregg Araki’s “Mysterious Skin”. We are saddened to report that Drago passed away on Monday in Los Angeles from complications of a stroke. His representative confirmed his passing to EW. May his legacy live on through his impactful performances on the big and small screen.

William Eugene Burrows, hailing from Hugoton, Kansas, was born to an actor-director father who had Native American roots and a mother whose lineage was of Romany origin. He adopted his mother’s surname, Drago, as his stage name. Initially, he began his career as a stuntman. Later, he moved to New York where he pursued his passion for acting.

With a career that prospered for forty years, Drago assumed varied roles in action, comedy, and horror films, alongside collaborating with the likes of Clint Eastwood, Michael Jackson, Chuck Norris and Takashi Miike. Furthermore, he also entertained audiences on television series and music videos.

In the late 1970s, Drago began a successful acting career, with notable appearances in movies such as “Cutter’s Way,” “No Other Love,” and “Windwalker.” He also made guest appearances on popular TV shows like “Hill Street Blues,” “Moonlighting,” “Walker Texas Ranger,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” and “The X-Files.” Known for his range and talent, Drago appeared in over 100 films. He played the role of drug lord Ramon Cota in three Chuck Norris movies, including “Invasion U.S.A.,” “Hero and the Terror,” and “Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection.”

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