Character actor Geno Silva, best known for playing The Skull in Scarface, died earlier this month from complications related to dementia, his family announced. He was 72. Silva's family said that Silva died at his home in Los Angeles on May 9 from complications from frontotemporal degeneration, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While Silva was known as The Skull, the hitman who took out Al Pacino's Tony Montana in Scarface, his career spanned four decades, and he could also be seen in Luis Valdez's Zoot Suit (1981); a 1979 Broadway production opposite Edward James Olmos; Robert Towne's Tequila Sunrise (1988); Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997); The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997); David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001); and F. Gary Gray's A Man Apart (2003). In Scarface, Silva's character doesn't say a word, but rather memorably guns down Montana with a shotgun from behind.
He also had several television credits to his name, including as a regular on the 1993 Fox drama Key West as well as episodes of Hill Street Blues; Miami Vice; Walker, Texas Ranger; Star Trek: Enterprise; and Alias. Silva was also no stranger to the stage, appearing with Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz in The Merchant of Venice in 1994, which played Chicago, London, Paris and Hamburg, Germany. In 1999, he and Ortiz worked off-Broadway in Sueño, which was written by future Oscar nominee Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries).
On social media, fans paid their respects to the character actor. "Scariest Hitman in the game. RIP Geno Silva," one Twitter user wrote, referring to his role in Scarface. "Damn, I hated [The Skull]. Long live Tony Montana. Seriously, I guess that's a sign the actor played his part perfectly. RIP," another Twitter user said. "Rest In Peace to the man who killed Scarface," another wrote.
Silva is survived by his wife, Pamela; daughter Lucia; grandchildren Eva and Levon; and sister Elizabeth, THR reports. Donations in his memory may be made to The Association for Frontotemporal Dementia.