I am saddened by the recent news of the passing of actor Powers Boothe. He had a long and varied acting career appearing on television and the big screen. His was a face recognized by many, but perhaps his name was not as well known. As a fan of his work I knew his name. Of all the characters that he portrayed I have two clear favorites, Philip Marlowe and Gideon Malick.
In the mid 1980’s Powers Boothe brilliantly portrayed Raymond Chandler’s iconic private eye Philip Marlowe. Two all too brief seasons of the show Philip Marlowe, Private Eye aired on HBO in 1983 and 1986. Powers Boothe seemed born to play this role. He excelled at playing the cynical, tough talking, hard drinking private eye. Many actors have portrayed Philip Marlowe over the years, including Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum. Powers Boothe’s Marlowe will always be my favorite version.
Jump ahead to 2015 for the second role, as Powers Boothe portrayed the villain Gideon Malick. The character appeared on the Marvel Comics television show Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D from 2015 to 2016. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D is among my favorite television shows, so it was a bonus when he was added as a cast member. His portrayal of one of the leaders of the evil organization Hydra helped to bring the show to a new level.
Powers Boothe was a powerful actor who enjoyed quite an acting career. Unfortunately far too often he was cast as the antagonist. I will admit that he was quite good at playing these roles. He also showed that he was more than capable of portraying the protagonist. His work as Philip Marlowe proved this perfectly. Regardless of the role that he played, he did so with conviction. He will be missed.