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R.I.P. ‘Predator’ Star Sonny Landham

I’m not sure a movie has ever had a cooler cast than John McTiernan’s Predator, packed with badass dudes carrying big ass guns. One of those actors who made a huge impression in the film was Sonny Landham, who we’re very sad to report has passed away at the age of 76 from congestive heart failure.

Landham of course played mercenary Billy Sole in the 1987 action-horror film, an expert tracker who bravely engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the titular beast.

In addition to his standout role in Predator, Sonny Landham also appeared in several other ’80s favorites such as The Warriors, Poltergeist and 48 Hrs. In 1996, Landham made his directorial debut with Billy Lone Bear, an action film wherein he played the title character.

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



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COMMENTS

57 Comments
  • rat_eater

    rip “i love u i love u i love u…”

  • DEIMOS

    R.I.P No words…..

  • Necro

    R.I.P. Sonny! You know one thing that always slightly annoyed me in ‘Predator’ was that they didn’t show his fight/death scene with the Predator. Of course it wasn’t even a fight but still. He was one of the cooler characters in the film and I always wished he would’ve survived just a bit longer because of his ‘talents’.

    • Brian McQuery

      I always felt the exact same way! But what I’ve heard is that his behavior during production was out of control so they killed him off and sent him home.

      • Necro

        Yeah I remember hearing something awhile ago that there was a lot of ego on set, especially from him in particular. I never heard that though. Sounds right!

        • Russell Reball

          There were bodyguards on set to keep him from fighting.

          • Necro

            Damn! Was he that psycho, or did he have a prior beef with the other actors or what? Sounds like way too much testosterone on that set!

    • MODOK

      I just assumed they killed him off-screen as a show of respect for stopping to face the predator one-on-one with nothing but a knife.

      • Necro

        Yeah I like when he cuts himself with that big ass knife and with that psychotic look in his eyes!

      • Satanzilla

        No, they kill him off screen to build up the tension for the final confrontation with Der Arnold.

  • AlsDisciple

    As much as I like Predator, I’ll always remember him as Billy Bear:

    • Petar Joo Nemeček

      R.I.P.

    • Fracassi

      James Remar, Sonny Landham and David Patrick Kelly. Definitely a reason Walter Hill recast these Warriors actors for 48 Hours.

  • Adam Clifton

    RIP

  • Brian

    RIP 🙁 Also a memorable role in Best of the Best II.

  • Darkknight2149

    Rest in peace.

  • Horrormikfl

    He was great in LOCKUP with Stallone.

    • Bob

      Definitely !

  • Grimphantom

    I didn’t thought he was that old! R.I.P Sonny

  • renn

    Yep. He is one bad specimen. “You fear no man.”

  • RIP.

  • MpB

    The Warriors was 1979, not 80s.

    • Matt

      That’s what you took away from this article?

      • MpB

        Yes.

  • RJ MacReady

    It sucks seeing these iconic actors from my childhood aging and passing away. The last 30 years since Predator was released sure flew by…RIP and thanks for the memories.

  • Thomas Palmer
    • Necro

      “Bullshit……..you ain’t afraid of no man!”

      • We_Are_Groot

        There’s something out there waiting for us, and it ain’t no man.

  • Mike tantatelli

    “There’s something in those trees..” Rest In Peace dude.

  • Fracassi

    Stupid Poltergeist curse. Seriously though, this guy left an impact in my idea of awesome 80s actors. RIP sir.

    • Dave Winfrey Jr.

      Bro he lived a good full life until the age of 76. I wouldn’t consider his death a part of any poltergeist curse. Death happens eventually.

      • Jay Brezzy

        Depends on if you think having both of your legs amputated, and dying poor and homeless……a GOOD life.

        • Satanzilla

          “That’s not so bad.” –Colin Scott

  • Fracassi

    I do want to point out one odd Hollywood curiosity. He was Billy Sole in Predator, Billy Bear in 48 Hours and the titular character in Billy Lone Bear. Not only is that a lot of Billy for one actor, that is a lot of Billy Bear for one actor, especially when these are not shared universes.

    • Edgar Pinecone

      Not to mention that sole and lone and synonyms. Thrice Billy, twice Bear, twice alone.

      • Fracassi

        I didn’t even catch that! LOL.

    • Who’s the greatest warrior ever?
      A hero of renown!
      Who slayed an Evil Ocean
      Who cast the Lich King down!
      Billy!
      And that time the evil Fire Count
      Captured a damsel fair.
      Who saved her with such bravery
      She offered him her hair?
      Billy!
      Also… he fought a bear!
      Billy!

    • Satanzilla

      And billy goat gruff too — my favorite of his performances.

  • John Marks

    RIP

  • Eduardo Santos

    He recently had both of his legs amputated due his health complications… That’s sad. RIP hero!

  • Drakk_Mallor

    Sonny Landham was so balls to the walls BAD ASS that the production of Predator wouldn’t allow him in the cast unless there was a paid bodyguard with him, on location, 24/7. Not to protect Mr. Landham from others, mind you, but to protect everyone else, including himself, FROM HIM.

    Maybe Arnold and Jesse Ventura and Weathers had some sort of lame contest about bicep circumference or work out endurance. Oh well. Such things were beneath Sonny Landham because he could outdrink, outfight, outrun and outCRAZY anyone else in the cast, former Navy SEALs included.

    RIP Sonny Landham. Thank you, God Bless, and I hope they stay the fuck out of your way up in Heaven cuz we all know you’re way too tough for them to let you in Hell.

  • Bob

    He fought his final struggle. R.I.P. warrior !

  • GuyverOne

    Damn, I loved him Predator. I often wonder what it would have been like if he faced the Predator in the final fight instead of Dutch.

  • Mmboot

    So he was 47 in the film? Where did time go?

  • Werewolf

    “Billy” was my favorite character in Predator.

  • HeteroFriendly

    RIP

    “The Warriors, Poltergeist and 48 Hrs…”

    I didn’t know he was in all those.
    Thats pretty awesome.

    He took part in a bunch of classics.

  • Adrian Hillier Sullivan

    he was good in all his films an lock up.R.I.P buddy

  • Brian

    He was 46 when Predator was released? I didn’t think he was that old. RIP none the less

  • Rez

    The Expendables wish they had the cast of Predator….Thats my opinion anyway! R.I.P. Sonny

  • turk

    Yeah, he was great in “Predator” and “48 Hours”. But I’m surprised that no one has mentioned that in real life he was a horrible racist prick, since it was pretty well known. You have to be pretty bad for the Kentucky Libertarian Party to kick you out. Just because he’s dead doesn’t change any of that.

    • Mike

      Maybe because we are here to celebrate his film work and not whine and kvetch about his political beliefs.

      • turk

        “To the living we owe respect, but to the the dead we owe only truth.”–Voltaire. I enjoyed his film work. That doesn’t change the fact that he was a despicable, hateful human being, which went way beyond just his political beliefs. But by all means, stay in your infantile little candy land in your head where it’s all gumdrops and happy thoughts. Don’t let me stop you.

      • Satanzilla

        It’s not just his politics. He was also cruel to women. All around dick.

  • Spawn Bitch

    He had such a strong presence on camera, he was a bad ass in Best of the Best too, RIP.

  • Victor Barrera

    You forgot Lock up with Sylverter stallone

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