The actor Sonny Landham dies at the age of 76 in his adopted home Kentucky. ran for the Senate a decade ago
By Roger Alford
Tough actor Sonny Landham, who brought his unreserved bravery to Kentucky politics a decade ago when he ran for the US Senate, has died at the age of 76.
Landham had starred in action films such as “Predator” and “48 Hrs” with Arnold Schwarznegger, Sylvester Stalone, Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy.
Landham’s sister Dawn Boehler told The Associated Press that he died of heart failure in a Lexington hospital on Thursday.
Ken Moellman, who chaired the Kentucky Libertarian Party in 2008 when Landham presented a brief challenge to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell before retiring, remembered the actor as a cheerful, good-natured man with an infectious laugh.
“He was a larger than life personality,” said Moellman. “He faced adversity early on. He found religion later in life. Everyone can admire that. “
A native of Cherokee and Seminole, Landham was perhaps best known for his role as an alien in the 1987 Black Negro movie “Predator”.
Following the OJ Simpson murder trial, Landham was sentenced to prison for arguing with his ex-wife on taped phone calls. He spent nearly three years in prison before an appeals court ordered his release, and concluded that the comments he made over the phone calls, while emotionally charged, were neither threatening nor obscene.
Landham said he was jailed for using the same harsh words many spouses use in heated arguments. He apologized to the federal authorities for putting him behind bars.
“I was an actor, but I’m also human,” he said at the time. “Nobody deserves this.”
Rev. Ed Talley, former pastor of the First Baptist Church in Ashland, baptized Landham after his release from prison.
“We all have pilgrimages and sometimes it takes us through some deep valleys in life,” said Talley. “When we ask God for guidance and seek His will, these experiences can be a blessing.”
Landham survived on his son William and daughter Priscilla.