From The Spaghetti Western Database
Tomas Milian (Tomás Quintin Rodriguez Milian) was born on the 3rd of March 1933 in Havana. His father was Tomas Rodriguez, a general serving the dictatorship of Gerardo. After having problems in his childhood and having been the eyewitness of his fathers suicide, he decided in 1955 to leave Cuba to become an actor in America. Arriving in Miami, he began a score of small jobs (dish-washer,car-park attendant...),which might have proved good inspiration for his latter working class heroes and ever-changing, on-screen personas. After spending a few months in the Navy ,to get his American citizenship, he passed an audition at Elia Kazan's Actor's Studio, where he was taught the seminal "Stanislavskij method" of acting. He acted in a Broadway piece that had been written just for him, Maidens and Mistresses at home at the Zoo by Meade Roberts. He then wanted to play bigger roles so he left the US to go to Italy. Soon he worked with Italian arthouse film-directors and played in several Italian productions. His first big roles in Spaghetti Westerns were in Sergio Sollima's The Big Gundown (1967) and in Giulio Questi's infamous Django Kill! (1967). After the Spaghetti Western era, his career slowed down. He moved back to America, where he pursued a low-key career as a character actor. You can see him in Stephen Soderberghs's Traffic(2001) or Oliver Stone's JFK (1991).Tomas passed away at his home in Miami in March 2017 after suffering a stroke. He will always be remembered as one of the greats of the Spaghetti Western era and of Italian genre films in general.
- On the set of Face to Face he had a terrible argument about politics with Gian Maria Volonte, who is a communist. Both got so angry with each other that they had a fight. Sergio Sollima had to settle the dispute. In the end, both apologized to each other and shooting could continue
- Italo-Phile.net is a great site about the Italian Cinema and with a large section about Tomas Milian