Actor Roger Hill, who had a key role in the 1979 cult classic, “The Warriors,” died this past Thursday, Feb. 20, at the age of 65, according to a Feb. 25 report from Variety. No cause of death was listed in the report.
Hill played the charismatic gang leader, Cyrus, in director Walter Hill’s film, and gave the famous “Can you dig it?” speech. Hill said later, in an interview posted on the movie site for “The Warriors,” that the role was originally supposed to go to someone else. That person didn’t show up when filming began, so the director offered Hill the role.
“And the rest is history,” he said.
When asked if he had enough time to prepare for the role, Hill said he “had played Hamlet three months earlier, so that was preparation enough.”
“The monologue came naturally because of this,” Hill said.
In 2006, he filed a $250,000 lawsuit against gaming company Rockstar Games and its owners, Take-Two Interactive, for using his voice and depicting him in the video game adaptation of “The Warriors.”
Hill’s film career didn’t last that long. His debut screen performance was in “The Education of Sonny Hill,” in which he played Lil John. He also had a role in the TV movie, “Hazard’s People,” in which he played Ernest Clay. Hill’s television appearances include the soap opera, “One Life to Live,” “American Playhouse,” and “Once Upon a Classic.”
He is survived by his son, film editor Chris W. Hill.