American character actor Powers Boothe was born in Texas and studied at Southern Methodist University before spending several years in regional theater. He began showing up in films and TV during the '80s. He won an Emmy for his intense portrayal of the Reverend Jim Jones, a minister who led a mass suicide in the two-part CBS miniseries Guyana Tragedy. In 1983, Boothe joined the distinguished company of Dick Powell, Robert Montgomery, and Humphrey Bogart when he stepped into the role of cool private eye Philip Marlowe for a series of HBO specials. Throughout the rest of the '80s, he played authority figures in action movies like Red Dawn, Extreme Prejudice, Rapid Fire, and Tombstone.
However good at being a tough guy, Boothe excelled at his dramatic opportunities as well. In 1987 he played a father searching for his son in John Boorman's The Emerald Forest. In 1995, he portrayed Alexander Haig in Oliver Stone's biopic Nixon. Boothe then re-teamed with the director for his next film, U-Turn. In 2000 he starred as Navy mentor Captain Pullman in Men of Honor with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert De Niro. The next year he portrayed the Roman General Flavius Aetius in the USA network original miniseries Attila. After returning to his home state of Texas to play Agent Wesley Doyle in Bill Paxton's directorial debut, Frailty, Boothe joined the cast of the 2004 HBO Western series Deadwood.
In addition to his work on Deadwood, Boothe joined the cast of the post-noir crime thriller Sin City (2005) in the role of a powerful senator, and played another politician (this time the Vice President of the United States) in the popular television series 24. Boothe co-starred with SNL alumni Maya Rudolph and Will Forte for the 2010 comedy MacGruber, and played one of the World Security Councilmen in Marvel's The Avengers (2012). Boothe was a series regular on Nashville for several seasons, and then reprised his role in the MCU in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, playing villain Gideon Malick for a multi-episode arc. Boothe died in 2017, at age 68.