According to a report, in John Frankenheimer’s timeless thriller ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ (1962), Silva played Chunjin, the Korean houseboy for Laurence Harvey’s Raymond Shaw and a Communist agent who engages in an exhilarating, expertly choreographed martial arts duel with Frank Sinatra‘s Major Bennett Marco in Shaw’s New York apartment.
Silva starred alongside Sinatra in a number of other films, such as the 1960 Rat Pack classic ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, which also starred Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. and the 1962 Western ‘Sergeants 3’.
Dean Martin’s daughter Deana Martin posted on Twitter, “Our hearts are devastated at the loss of our beloved friend Henry Silva, one of the nicest, kindest and most talented guys I’ve had the pleasure of calling my friend,” as the first to report his passing. He was the final surviving member of the cast of the first Oceans 11 film. Henry, you are loved and will be missed.
Silva was raised in Spanish Harlem after being born in Brooklyn. His parents were Italian and Puerto Rican, according to the book “Hispanics in Hollywood.” He dropped out of school at the age of 13 and started taking
acting classes, supporting himself by working as a dishwasher and then as a server. In 1955, Silva applied to the
Actors Studio and was selected as one of five pupils out of 2,500 candidates.
He made his big-screen debut in Elia Kazan’s 1952 film ‘Viva Zapata!’ with Marlon Brando, and his television
debut on ‘Armstrong Circle Theatre’ in 1950, both uncredited. Silva married twice in the 1950s; his third marriage, to Ruth Earl, lasted from 1966 to 1987 before ending in divorce.