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Billy Drago
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William Eugene Burrows

(1945-11-30)November 30, 1945
Died June 24, 2019(2019-06-24) (aged 73)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1979–2014
(m. 1980; her death 2012)
Children 2, including Darren E. Burrows

William Eugene Burrows (November 30, 1945 – June 24, 2019), known professionally by his stage name Billy Drago, was an American television and film actor. Drago's films, in which he was frequently cast as a villain, included Clint Eastwood's western Pale Rider and Brian De Palma's The Untouchables. He also had recurring roles in the television series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. and Charmed.

Early life

Burrows was born in Hugoton, Kansas, the son of William Franklin Burrows Jr., and Gladys Marie Wilcox (1918–1990) on November 30, 1945. His maternal lineage was of Romany descent and his paternal lineage was Native American. He later took his grandmother's maiden name "Drago" as his stage name to avoid being confused with another actor. Growing up, his parents would drop him off at the movie theater often in their rural town.

After leaving high school he started out as a journalist for the Associated Press, and later became a popular voice on radio that took him first to Canada then to New York City. After a brief stint with a touring theater group, he worked as a stuntman at Boot Hill in Dodge City, Kansas. From there he went on to the University of Kansas. After finishing college, he joined an acting company.


Drago began his acting career in 1979. His early films included No Other Love, Windwalker and the Jeff Bridges vehicle Cutter's Way. He went on to guest star in numerous television series, including Hill Street Blues, Moonlighting, Walker Texas Ranger and Trapper John, M.D..

The role that brought his career international prominence was as the gangster assassin Frank Nitti in Brian De Palma's 1987 blockbuster The Untouchables. Subsequently, Drago appeared in numerous films and television series including The X-Files and a recurring role as outlaw John Bly in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.

In 1999 he began playing the demon Barbas in the WB series Charmed. Barbas was originally written as a villain of the week (in the episode "From Fear to Eternity"), but proved so popular with fans that he ultimately appeared in five of the show's eight seasons.

Drago was also featured in Michael Jackson's 2001 music video "You Rock My World,” and played a mysterious stranger who gives a boy a special key in the Mike + The Mechanics music video for "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)". Other notable projects include Gregg Araki's 2004 film Mysterious Skin, Pale Rider, the 2006 version of The Hills Have Eyes, Low Down, and Takashi Miike's Masters of Horror episode "Imprint", which Showtime chose not to air in the United States due to its "disturbing content."

Personal life

Drago was married to actress Silvana Gallardo from 1980 until her death in 2012. He had two sons, Derrick Burrows and Darren E. Burrows, a fellow actor.


Drago died from complications following a stroke in Los Angeles on June 24, 2019. He was 73.


Year Title Role Notes
1979 The Chisholms Teetontah / Teetonkah TV mini-series
1979 No Other Love Brian TV movie
1980 Windwalker Crow Scout
1981 Cutter's Way Garbage Man
1982 Johnny Belinda Cutter TV movie
1984 Hunter Roscoe Ganther Episode: Pen "Pals"
1985 Pale Rider Deputy Mather
Invasion U.S.A. Mickey
Moonlighting Gangster In Leather Coat Episode: "My Fair David"
1986 Hunter LeClair Episode: "War Zone"
North and South, Book II 'Rat' TV mini-series
Vamp 'Snow'
Hunter's Blood 'Snake'
1987 In Self Defense Edward Reeves TV movie
The Untouchables Frank Nitti
Banzai Runner Syszek
1988 Hero and the Terror Dr. Highwater
Freeway Edward Anthony Heller
Dark Before Dawn Cabalista Leader
Friday the 13th: the Series Edgar Van Horne Episode: "Read My Lips"
1989 True Blood Billy 'Spider' Masters
China White Scalia
Prime Suspect Cyril
1990 Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection Ramon Cota
1991 Diplomatic Immunity 'Cowboy'
Martial Law 2: Undercover Captain Krantz
1992 Secret Games Mark Langford
Death Ring Danton Vachs
Guncrazy Hank Fulton
1993 Lady Dragon Diego
The Outfit 'Lucky' Luciano
Deadly Heroes Jose Maria Carlos
Cyborg 2 Danny Bench
1993–1994 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. John Bly TV series, 6 episodes
1994 Never Say Die Reverend James
The Takeover Daniel Stein
1995 Lunarcop Kay
Phoenix Kilgore
Mirror, Mirror III: The ... Anthony
Drifting School Thomas King
1996 Blood Money Agent Pierce
Mad Dog Time Wells
Sci-Fighters Adrian Dunn
Blue Devil, Blue Devil Macintower
1997 Assault on Devil's Island Carlos Gallindo
Convict 762 Mannix
A Doll in the Dark Keith
1998 Monkey Business Branson
1999 Soccer Dog: The Movie Damon Fleming, The Dog Catcher
Lima: Breaking the Silence General Monticito Frantacino
1999–2004 Charmed Barbas TV series, 6 episodes
2000 The X-Files Orel Peattie Episode: "Theef"
Very Mean Men Dante
Mirror, Mirror IV: Reflection Frederick Champion
2001 Death Game 'Shakes' Montrose
2002 Desert Rose Unknown
The Circuit Lenny
Welcome to America Crazy Old Man
2004 Tremors 4: The Legend Begins 'Black Hand' Kelly
Fort Doom Mr. Fallow
Mysterious Skin Zeke
2005 Demon Hunter Asmodeus
Blood Relic Harry
2006 Masters of Horror Christopher Episode: "Imprint"
Seven Mummies Drake
The Hills Have Eyes Papa Jupiter
Soul Searchers Unknown
Lime Salted Love Zephyr's Stepdad
2007 El Muerto The Old Indian
Moving McAllister The Lady
Revamped Vladimus
Zombie Hunters Dr. Frankfurt
2008 Supernatural 'Doc' Benton Episode: "Time Is on My Side"
Copperhead Jesse Evans TV movie
Rounds Edward
2009 Dark Moon Rising Thibodeaux
Ghost Town Reb Halland TV movie
The Ritual The Man In Black
2010 Downstream Edward
2011 Children of the Corn: Genesis Preacher
Balls to the Wall Belthagor
2013 Night of the Templar Shauna, The Chef
2014 Low Down Lew
The Dance The Stranger Final film role

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Billy Drago para niños

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