Tomás Milian

Active - 1959 - 2014  |   Born - Jan 1, 1937   |   Died - Mar 23, 2017   |   Genres - Drama, Action, Western, Crime, Thriller

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Born in Cuba, but raised in the United States, actor Tomas Milian (born Tomas Rodriguez) started out on the New York stage following training at the Actor's Studio. He appeared on the short-lived television series Decoy in 1957. Milian traveled to Italy and performed Jean Cocteau's pantomime The Poet and the Muse at the 1959 Spoleto Festival. Filmmaker Mauro Bolognini spotted him and cast Milian in La Notte Brava (1959). The actor subsequently appeared in two more of the director's films and went on to star or play character roles in Italian crime thrillers, spaghetti Westerns, and straight dramas, where he was typically cast as a psychopathic murderer or villain. During his 30 years in Italy, Milian received two major awards for his contribution, the Antonio de Curtis Award for Comedy and the Coppa Del Consiglio Dei Ministri from the Italian government. Milian returned to the U.S. in 1989 and has since appeared in American-made films, including Oliver Stone's JFK (1991), The Cowboy Way (1994), and Fools Rush In (1997). Milian died in 2017, at age 84.

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