Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Frank Silva

I've had a request to see some pictures of Frank Silva, the actor who played Killer Bob in Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me.  I took these pictures of Silva when I met him in 1993 at the annual Twin Peaks festival in Snoqualmie Falls, Issaquah and North Bend, WA.  Craig Miller and I had the opportunity to interview Silva at length and we published this interview in Wrapped In Plastic 8.  It was one of the few interviews Silva did and certainly the most extensive.




Silva was a gentle, friendly, soft-spoken man.  He was quite approachable and seemed bemused, if not slightly overwhelmed, by all the attention he was given at the festival. 



I'll never forget when I first saw him.  It was Friday night and the festival banquet at the Issaquah Holiday Inn had begun. People were sitting and eating, eyes focused on a table at the front of the room where guests Al Strobel (Mike, the one-armed man) and Jan D'Arcy (Sylvia Horne) and others were seated. Rumor was that Frank was coming but that he was running late.  Would he get there in time for the banquet?  No one knew.



I was fortunate to be sitting at the front of the room where I could see the entrance.  We had finished dinner and had listened to various speakers and it seemed like the banquet might be winding down.  Then I saw Frank Silva appear.  The response in the room was electric.  The man who played Bob was here! 



Silva took the podium and recounted us with great tales from the set of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me.  It was surreal.  I was sitting a few feet from him and was instantly captivated by the man who played the forceful, frightening and indelible Bob.  But nothing could compare to the moment when Frank gave us a live performance of Bob:  He bent his head back and laughed/screamed.  He went all out.  It was a roar!  It was piercing!  It sent shivers down my spine!



The next day, Frank was due to appear at another Festival event in Snoqualmie Falls.  He had missed his ride from Issaquah and my wife and I offered to give him a lift.  For the next half-hour we had Frank Silva chatting away in our car, commenting on the time he spent in the area during the filming of the Twin Peaks pilot and Fire Walk With Me.  He pointed out places where they shot. He told us about working with David Lynch. He seemed to be truly enjoying himself.




We said good-bye to Frank Silva later that day.  We hoped he might return to future Twin Peaks festivals, but it was not be.  His visit in 1993 was his first and last.  Frank Silva died on September 13, 1995. While many Twin Peaks fans would never get the chance to meet Frank and see, for themselves, what a kind and caring man he was, they will always be able to look at his stupendous, visceral performance in the series and the film.  Frank Silva will forever be the chilling, inexorable BOB.


22 comments:

  1. John, thank you so very much for this. There are so very few stories and pictures of Frank that what we can find are very precious. Thanks again for your pictures and memories.

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  2. i still have nightmares from this. BOB at the holiday inn in issaquah. i was arrested this night for underage drinking.... ahh memories.

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  3. Thank you very much for this!

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  4. Thank you very much for posting.

    Still he looks scary to me XD

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  5. Hi John,
    Thanks for sharing the great photos of Frank Silva, good to see them after all these years.
    Great to hear your recollection of meeting him. His legendary performance as BOB will live forever!
    David Milner
    Former Canadian Correspondent
    Wrapped in Plastic

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  6. I can never thank you enough for posting these pictures! It really means so much to me. I LOVE and miss Frank with all my heart! He will always stay alive in our hearts and memories!

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  7. GRAET STUFF!! THANKS!!
    I would like to read about what he told you about working with Lynch.

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  8. Issue is sold out, but there’s an excerpt here:

    http://spectrummagazines.bizland.com/WIP08.chtml

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. Thanks for this John. Frank was one of my favorites. So sweet and warm and funny. Kind of like you and Craig!

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  11. I want to return thanks to everyone who has posted here. It was a privilege sharing memories and pictures of Frank Silva. And special thanks to Kimmy Robertson for her very kind words! (I'll pass them along to Craig.) It's great how 20 years later, Twin Peaks can still bring us together! --John

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  12. WOW BOB WOW! It's so great to see Frank again and vicariously live 1993's fest through this post. Thank you so much! For those interested I know video footage of that night exists, I bought the DVD "Conversations From Another Place" online and it includes Frank's talk and select interviews...

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  13. Rest in peace, Frank. You may be gone, but in BOB you've immortalized yourself.

    I'm personally glad Lynch doesn't want to continue TP anymore. There's no Twin Peaks without a certain demon in denim.

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  14. Bob scared the heck out of a lot of people when TP was on tv, all those years ago. How lovely to read something about the man who played the role. (Though the second-last picture sent shivers down my spine).
    Poor Frank Silva died so young. I didn't even know he had passed away until I read it some time last year, I think.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  15. Where was Frank buried, its seems to be such a secret........not even on Find A Grave......thank you

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  16. Amazing! Bob was always the scariest character ever for me. But I'm glad to read something about the real man, Frank Silva. Thank you.

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  17. Thank you! What a treat it must have been to talk with him about the show and see that signature Bob look of evil ha

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  18. Thank you for posting this! I'm big fan of Frank (and BOB), I didn't have any chance to meet him irl, so such pieces of memories are very precious for me.
    Can you tell me please: was that interview from WIP 8 the story Frank told from a podium or something else? Sorry for my bad English.

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