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Howard Da Silva (born Howard Silverblatt, May 4, 1909 – February 16, 1986) was an American actor, director and musical performer on stage, film, television and radio. He was cast in dozens of productions on the New York stage, appeared in more than two dozen television programs, and acted in more than fifty feature films. Adept at both drama and musicals on the stage, he originated the role of Jud Fry in the original 1943 run of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!, and also portrayed the prosecuting attorney in the 1957 stage production of Compulsion. Da Silva was nominated for a 1960 Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his work in Fiorello!, a musical about New York City mayor LaGuardia. In 1961, Da Silva directed Purlie Victorious, by Ossie Davis. Many of his early feature films were of the noir genre in which he often played villains, such as Eddie Harwood in The Blue Dahlia and the sadistic Captain Francis Thompson in Two Years Before the Mast (both 1946). Da Silva's characterization of historic figures are among some of his most notable work: he was Lincoln's brawling friend Jack Armstrong in both play (1939) and film (1940) versions of Abe Lincoln in Illinois written by Robert Sherwood; Benjamin Franklin in the 1969–1972 stage musical 1776 and a reprisal of the role for the 1972 film version of the production; Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in The Missiles of October (1974); Franklin D. Roosevelt in The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977); and Louis B. Mayer in Mommie Dearest (1981).

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