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Dick Stilwell, 59; Career Military Officer Played Police Roles in Films

December 04, 2002|From Staff and Wire Reports

Dick Stilwell, 59, a career military officer and character actor who played a cop in such films as "L.A. Confidential" and "Forrest Gump," died in an automobile accident Nov. 23 in Los Angeles.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Stilwell was the son of the late Gen. Richard G. Stilwell, commander of United Nations forces in Korea and deputy undersecretary of the Department of Defense.

Richard G. Stilwell Jr. earned a bachelor's degree at Georgetown University, a master's in public administration at George Washington University and joined the Army in 1965. He served two tours in Vietnam as a rifle company commander, earning a Silver Star and Purple Heart. After tours at West Point and in Korea, he retired in 1985 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Acting was a second career. He studied at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory in Washington and married his teacher, actress Karen Bralove. Stilwell performed in several Washington area theaters before the couple moved to Los Angeles in 1996.

Stilwell portrayed a congressman in an episode of television's "Homicide: Life on the Street," and was in an episode of "The Wire" telecast in August. Often portraying a policeman, security officer or other person of authority, he appeared in such films as "The Pelican Brief," "Major League II," "The Joyriders" and this year's "Bug."

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