Bo Hopkins

Blond character player and occasional lead of films and TV who played impetuous, thrill-seeking and sometimes violent country boys early in his career and later specialized in sturdy, though occasionally still villainous, authority figures. Hopkins studied under Uta Hagen and at the Desilu Playhouse, where his work netted him an agent and an audition for director Sam Peckinpah. Soon thereafter he made his film debut in Peckinpah's violent, strikingly elegiac landmark Western, "The Wild Bunch" (1969). With his tousled hair, clear eyes and Southern drawl, Hopkins adeptly played a variety of yokels, wily and stupid alike, who could be sensitive and sympathetic. More often, though, he did a delicious job of unsettling viewers with his potent squint as deceptive villains or as blatantly reckless types, given to macho posturing and its attendant mayhem.