Sam Bottoms, 53, who had small but memorable roles in the 1970s classics

Apocalypse Now

and

The Last Picture Show

, has died.

Mr. Bottoms, one of four actor-brothers, died Tuesday of brain cancer at his home in Los Angeles, according to his wife, Laura Bickford.

In

Apocalypse Now

, Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic, Mr. Bottoms played pro surfer-turned-soldier Lance B. Johnson, who takes to the waves amid bombs and bullets under the orders of the maniacal Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore, played by Robert Duvall.

In his 1971 film debut, as a 15-year-old, he starred alongside his best-known brother, Timothy, in

The Last Picture Show

, playing a mute and mentally handicapped boy forced by friends to lose his virginity to a prostitute. Brothers Joseph and Ben are also actors.

- AP