Tomás Quintín Rodriguez-Varona Milian Salinas De La Fé y Alvarez De La Campa (3 March 1933 22 March 2017), better known as Tomas Milian, was a Cuban-born actor and singer who spent most his career in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s, equally at home in arthouse and genre B-movies.
Though born and raised in Havana and educated in New York City, Milian became something of an Italian cultural icon for his roles in Spaghetti Western and poliziotteschi (Italian action-crime) films, often playing wisecracking police officers and impassioned criminals whom Italian audiences could closely identify with. It helped that he had a strong command of accents and local slang, often writing his own dialogue in romanesco (Roman dialect), which helped endear him to local audiences.
His filmography includes:
- 1966 The Big Gundown as Manuel 'Cuchillo' Sanchez
- 1967 Face to Face as Solomon 'Beauregard' Bennet
- 1967 Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! as The Stranger/Django
- 1970 Compañeros as El Vasco
- 1971 The Last Movie as Padre
- 1972 Don't Torture a Duckling as Andrea Martelli
- 1974 Almost Human as Giulio Sacchi
- 1979 Winter Kills as Frank Mayo
- 1982 Identificazione Di Una Donna as Niccolò
- 1985 King David as Akiss
- 1991 JFK as Leopoldo
- 1997 Amistad as Ángel Calderón de la Barca y Belgrano
- 1997 Oz as Ricardo Alvarez
- 2000 Traffic as General Salazar
- 2002 The Hire as The Passenger
- Fake Nationality: Spent most of his career playing Mexican banditos, or Italian cops and criminals. It wasn't until he moved back to the U.S. that he actually played some Cuban characters.
- Faux Fluency: Most of his early roles were dubbed, but he picked up Italian quickly and began rewriting his own dialogue and doing his own dubbing.
- Large Ham: Capable of swallowing the scenery whole.
- Method Acting: Studied under Lee Strasberg himself.
- Same Language Dub: Despite being at least tri-lingual, many of Milian's Italian films saw him dubbed into English by another actor (usually Michael Forest).