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Sonny Landham (1941 - 2017)

Getty / Michael Ochs Archives

Sonny Landham (1941 - 2017)

Sonny Landham, an actor known best for his role in “Predator,” died Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, of congestive heart failure, according to The Associated Press. He was 76.

His sister, Dawn Boehler, told The Associated Press that her brother died in a Lexington, Kentucky, hospital. He had been in poor health in recent years.

Landham, who had Cherokee and Seminole ancestry, played Native American tracker Billy Sole in the classic 1987 sci-fi action movie “Predator.” The muscular actor also had notable roles in “48 Hrs.,” “Action Jackson,” and “Lock Up.”


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He got his start as an actor appearing in pornographic films during the 1970s. His first role in a more traditional movie was as a cop in the 1979 cult film “The Warriors.”

During the 2000s, he became involved in politics in the state of Kentucky. He ran in the Republican primary for governor of Kentucky in 2003. Two of his “Predator” co-stars, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Jesse Ventura of Minnesota, had been elected governors of their respective states. Landham, however, came up short in his gubernatorial bid.

In 2008, he ran as a Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Contentious remarks that Landham made about committing genocide against Arabs in retaliation for the 9/11 terror attacks led to the Libertarian Party dropping him from the ticket.

Landham is survived by a son, William, and a daughter, Priscilla.

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