Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Horror actor Tom Towles died

(The Hollywood Reporter )Character actor Tom Towles, a regular in Rob Zombie films who also played a murderous sidekick in "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer," has died, the writer-director said. He was 65.

Zombie announced Towles' death Sunday on Facebook. "I just got word that our buddy Tom Towles has died," he wrote. "He was such a great guy and I am so grateful that we got to work together several times. He will be really missed."

No other details were immediately available.

The Chicago native also starred as Harry Cooper, one of people trapped in the farmhouse and the father whose young daughter becomes a zombie, in the remake of "Night of the Living Dead" (1990).

Later, Towles portrayed Lieutenant George Wydell, who was shot by Karen Black's character, in Zombie's first film as writer-director, "House of 1000 Corpses" (2003). He also teamed with the musician-turned filmmaker in "The Devil's Rejects" (2005), the reimagining of "Halloween" (2007) and in a segment of "Grindhouse" (2007).

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In the low-budget "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" (1986), directed by John McNaughton, Towles played Otis opposite Michael Rooker as the title character. Towles' psychopath was based on real-life serial killer Ottis Toole, who admitted to the 1981 decapitation of the 6-year-old son of John Walsh. (Walsh in 1988 had created the Fox show "America's Most Wanted" in a bid to catch the killer of his boy.)

Towles also was in such horror films as the remake of "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1991), McNaughton's "The Borrower" (1991), "Home Sick" (2007) and "Blood on the Highway" (2008).

Towles also could be seen in "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975) — his first screen credit — "The Rock" (1996), "Gridlock'd" (1997), "More Dogs Than Bones" (2000) and Michael Mann's "Miami Vice" (2006).

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On television, Towles guest-starred on such series as "Seinfeld," "NYPD Blue," "L.A. Law," "ER," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Star Trek: Voyager" and "Firefly."

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