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Howard Da Silva

Howard Da Silva

Howard Da Silva was an American actor. He was born Howard Silverblatt in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Benjamin and Bertha Silverblatt. His parents were both Yiddish speaking Jews born in Russia. He had a job as a steelworker before beginning his acting career on the stage.

Da Silva appeared in a number of Broadway musicals, including the original 1943 stage production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, in which he played the role of the psychopathic Jud Fry. In 1969 he originated the role of Benjamin Franklin in the musical 1776 and played him in the 1972 film version as well.

He appeared in over 60 motion pictures, some of his memorable roles include playing Ray Milland's bartender in The Lost Weekend (1945) and the half-blind criminal Chicamaw One-Eye Mobley in They Live by Night (1949).

In the 1950s, after being blacklisted as a result of the investigations into communist influence in the movie industry by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and unable to find movie or TV work, Da Silva returned to the stage. He was nominated for the 1960 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Ben Marino in Fiorello! (1959).

Da Silva was nominated for the British BAFTA Film Award for Best Foreign Actor for his performance as Dr. Swinford in David and Lisa (1962). He was the narrator for the U.S. released versions of the British TV program Doctor Who. He won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Special for his role as Eddie in Verna: USO Girl (1978) with Sissy Spacek.

His TV guest appearances include such programs as The Outer Limits, Ben Casey, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Fugitive, Gentle Ben, Mannix, Love, American Style, Kung Fu, and Archie Bunker's Place.

He also played Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby (1974), Louis B. Mayer in Mommie Dearest (1981), and Angelo Dokakis in Garbo Talks (1984).

Howard Da Silva died of lymphoma at the age of 76 in Ossining, New York.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

Howard Da Silva Facts

Birth NameHoward Silverblatt
OccupationActor
BirthdayMay 4, 1909
SignTaurus
BirthplaceCleveland, Ohio, USA
Date of deathFebruary 16, 1986 (age 76)

Selected Filmography

Mommie Dearest
David and Lisa
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Get Him to the Greek
Sergeant York
The Great Gatsby
1776
The Lost Weekend
The Underworld Story
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