A Terminator Star Has Died

Earl Boen, who played Dr. Peter Silberman in The Terminator, has died.

By Chad Langen | Published

earl boen terminator

Earl Boen, a veteran character and voice actor has passed away, according to Entertainment Weekly. The 81-year-old star, who is arguably best known for his performance as Dr. Peter Silberman in The Terminator movies, reportedly died quietly in his sleep in Hawaii on Thursday. His cause of death has yet to be determined, but his family revealed that he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer last fall.

Born August 8, 1941, Earl Boen was active in Hollywood for over 40 years. His first onscreen role was in the series Great Performances, which featured filmed and televised versions of theater productions such as plays, ballets, operas, musicals, and concerts from around the globe. He appeared as the character Le Bret in the 10th episode of the show’s second season.

After that, he went on to land roles in dozens of popular television programs including Hawaii Five-O, The Duke of Hazzard, and M*A*S*H. In 1984, starred as criminal psychologist Dr. Peter Silberman in the iconic action film The Terminator. In addition to Earl Boen, the movie featured Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular character in one of his earliest roles.

Earl Boen reprised his role as Silberman in the 1991 follow-up Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which is widely regarded as one of the best action pictures of all time. Additionally, it’s one of the few sequels considered to be superior to its predecessor. James Cameron returned to direct the film, which sees a cyborg, identical to the one that attempted to kill Sarah Connor, assigned to protect her 10-year-old son John from a far more advanced and powerful cyborg.

earl boen terminator

In 2003, Earl Boen returned as the villainous Silberman one last time in Terminator: Rise of the Machines. That same year, he retired from screen acting, but he continued to work as a voice actor. Some of his most popular roles in that arena include The Addams Family, Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Kim Possible, and Clifford’s Really Big Movie.

In addition to his film and television work, Earl Boen lent his voice to multiple video game series. Metal Gear Solid, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Lionheart are just some of his credits in that area. His final acting role was in the 2017 Nintendo 3DS hit Girls Mode 4: Star Stylist.

While he may not have achieved the same stardom as some of his Terminator co-stars, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert Patrick, Earl Boen certainly enjoyed a long and healthy career as an entertainer. His resume consists of over 250 acting credits in various movies, television shows, radio programs, and video games. He received two NAVGTR (National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers) Award nominations for his stellar work in 2006’s Psychonauts and 2010’s The Secret of Monkey Island.

Earl Boen is survived by his daughter, Ruby Harbin, his second wife, Cathy, and grandchildren Kimmy and Kimo. His first wife, Carole, died from ovarian cancer in 2001. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.