Actor Powers Boothe has died of natural causes aged 68.

The American TV and film star - who appeared in Sin City and The Avengers - passed away in his sleep on Sunday morning at his home in Los Angeles.

A representative of the actor confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that a private service will be held in Boothe's home state of Texas, while plans for a memorial celebration are currently being considered.

Boothe started his acting career on the stage, starring in a number of Shakespearean productions including Henry IV, before he made his way to Broadway in the late 70s, when he appeared in Lone Star & Pvt Wars.

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Subsequently, he moved into TV acting, winning an Emmy for his role in the CBS show Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.

Boothe's award win arrived in the midst of an actors strike and he chose to cross the picket line to accept his gong.

Reflecting on his triumph and the unusual circumstances surrounding it, he said at the time: "This may be either the bravest moment of my career or the dumbest."

Boothe - who married his college sweetheart Pam in 1969 and had two children, Parisse and Preston, with her - also received nominations for two ensemble SAG Awards, in 1996 for Nixon and again in 2007 for Deadwood.

In recent years, he has perhaps become better known as Gideon Malick in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Powers debuted the role in 2012's The Avengers and later reprised it to star in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

He has also played the parts of former mayor Lamar Wyatt on Nashville, as well as Noah Daniels, the US President, on the hit TV series 24.

He also appeared in HBO's acclaimed western Deadwood.

- Bang! Showbiz