Sonny Landham Dies: ‘Predator’ & ‘48 Hrs.’ Actor Was 76


Sonny Landham, the film actor and stuntman known for his role as a Native American tracker in the 1987 film Predator, died Thursday of congestive heart failure at a Kentucky hospital, his sister Dawn Boehler tells the Associated Press. He was 76.

Paramount Pictures

Landham began his career in the movie business in the 1970s in several X-rated films before segueing into mainstream features. One of his first roles was as a subway policeman in Walter Hill’s 1979 thriller The Warriors. Hill later cast him as trigger-happy criminal Billy Bear in 48 Hrs, but his most memorable role came in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film Predator, as tracker Billy Sole. He continued to appear in films throughout the 1990s, with credits including Lock Up and Action Jackson, before turning his attention to politics.

In 2003, Landham made an unsuccessful run for governor of Kentucky, unable to secure the Republican Party’s nomination. In 2004, he ran for a state Senate seat in Kentucky and in 2008 was nominated by the Libertarian Party for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Mitch McConnell. The Libertarian Party voted to withdraw Landham’s nomination after he made controversial comments on a political radio show.

Landham is survived by his son, William; and daughter, Priscilla.

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