Robert Swan, ‘The Untouchables’ and ‘Hoosiers’ Actor, Dies at 78
Robert Swan, “The Untouchables” actor and founder of Harbor Country Opera, has died of liver cancer. He was 78.
His death was confirmed by a family friend, who said his dream was to turn his award-winning screenplay about Samuel Johnson, the man first credited with creating the modern dictionary, into a movie.
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Swan was known for his work in several feature films, including his role as a Mountie captain in Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables” (1987), which starred Kevin Costner and landed Sean Connery an Oscar. He appeared in Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 “Natural Born Killers” as Deputy Napalatoni.
Additionally, he was featured in the 1984 Emmy-nominated Jane Fonda-led TV movie “The Dollmaker” and as a coach in the 1986 David Anspaugh-helmed feature “Hoosiers.” His further credits include “Backdraft,” “Somewhere in Time,” “Heart of Steel,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Stingray,” “Who’s That Girl,” “All My Children,” “Missing Persons” and “The Owner.”
Swan acted in a number of plays in Chicago, garnering critical acclaim. In 1975, he was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for his performance in “The Lesson.”
He went on to receive another Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role in 1977 with his role in “Knock Knock.” Following his role in “Buried Child,” he was nominated for a 1980 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role.
Swan was the founder of Harbor Country Opera, the Michigan-based opera house that was founded in commemoration of Larry Frankle and Quincy White. Its annual Christmas opera has been a “beloved local tradition,” of which Swan revealed that, “When I started my Christmas show, I was down on Christmas…In the process of doing it, I gave myself Christmas back. There was this wonderful, community, old-timey feel.”
Watch a tribute to Swan made by his friends below.
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