Warren Oates (July 5, 1928 - April 3, 1982) was an American character actor.
Born and raised in Depoy, Kentucky, he enlisted in the Marines in the 1950s; after this he was famous as a character actor in Westerns especially those for Sam Peckinpah Ride the High Country (1962), Major Dundee (1965), and The Wild Bunch (1969). In 1962, he appeared as "Ves Painter" in the short-lived TV Series "Stoney Burke".
Other popular films he appeared in were In the Heat of the Night (1967) , Dillinger (1973) about the life of John Dillinger, Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), and Stripes (1981). He is now mostly known for his roles in several movies which have acquired cult status: The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960), The Shooting (1966), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), The Hired Hand (1971), and Cockfighter (1974).
He died of a sudden heart attack in Los Angeles, California on April 3, 1982. His last two films, Blue Thunder and Tough Enough, were both (1983) dedicated to him. Oates was 53 years old.