Entertainment & Arts

Godfather actor GD Spradlin dies aged 90

US character actor GD Spradlin - best known for playing corrupt senator Pat Geary in The Godfather Part II - has died in California at the age of 90.

The former lawyer and oil producer died of natural causes on Sunday at his San Luis Obispo ranch, his grandson Justin Demko told the Los Angeles Times.

Spradlin's other notable parts included the general who sends Martin Sheen up river in Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now.

His other film credits include The War of the Roses and Tim Burton's Ed Wood.

Born Gervase Duan Spradlin in Oklahoma in 1920, Spradlin served in the Army Air Forces in China during World War II and worked as a lawyer before becoming rich as an independent oil producer.

He also directed John F Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign in Oklahoma and ran for mayor of Oklahoma City, unsuccessfully, in 1965.

In later life he found regular employment playing politicians, preachers, doctors, judges and military officers.

His last screen role came playing Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee in the 1999 comedy film Dick.

In The Godfather Part II, Senator Geary pours scorn on the Corleone family as he attempts to charge Al Pacino's Michael Corleone too much for a gaming licence.

But the senator is put on the back foot later in Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning drama, after being found in bed with a murdered prostitute.

More on this story