David Warner, the English actor who gave memorable performances on the big screen, in a key role in “The Omen,” and as villains in “Time After Time,” “Time Bandits” and “Tron,” has died. He was 80.
The actor died of a cancer-related illness on Sunday in London, his family told the BBC. “Over the past 18 months he approached his diagnosis with a characteristic grace and dignity,” his family said in a statement shared with the public broadcaster.
“He will be missed hugely by us, his family and friends, and remembered as a kind-hearted, generous and compassionate man, partner and father, whose legacy of extraordinary work has touched the lives of so many over the years. We are heartbroken,” the statement continued.
Warner was Emmy-nominated for playing Reinhard Heydrich, a Nazi official who was a key architect of the Final Solution, in the landmark 1978 miniseries “Holocaust,” and won an Emmy for playing the sadistic Roman political opportunist Pomponius Falco in the 1981 miniseries “Masada.”
He reprised the role of the Nazi Heydrich in the 1985 telepic “Hitler’s S.S.: Portrait in Evil.”
Recently, Warner appeared in Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” in 2018, “You, Me and Him” in 2017 and on Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” as Professor Abraham Von Helsing in 2014. He was among the large cast of James Cameron’s 1997 epic “Titanic” but was wasted in the role of a thug-like butler. He played a simian senator in Tim Roth’s 2001 reimagining of “Planet of the Apes” and a doctor in the 2005 hit comedy “Ladies in Lavender.”
The mid ’70s and to mid ’80s probably represented the zenith of the actor’s career.
In 1976’s “The Omen,” one of the seminal horror movies of the 1970s, he played Jennings, the photographer who develops images on which the specific manner of death for the individuals depicted is superimposed. He was subjected to a memorable decapitation in the film.
He played Stevenson, a friend of H.G. Wells, who turns out to be a chilling Jack the Ripper, in the excellent 1979 thriller “Time After Time,” which posits that Wells actually created the time machine he described in his book; Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell, who himself usually played villains) must follow Warner’s Jack the Ripper into the future, to contemporary San Francisco, in an effort to defeat him.
The same year Warner starred with Nick Mancuso in killer-bat horror film “Nightwing” (the New York Times said: “Mr. Warner is quite funny — intentionally, I suspect — when he attempts to explain his fanaticism. He fairly shakes with moral indignation as he describes a typical bat cave with ‘millions of bats wrestling, fighting, mating, hanging upside down…They are the quintessence of eeevilll!’ “
In 1982’s “Tron,” boasting then-state-of-the-art special effects, Warner is a villain named Dillinger who steals the plans for some video games and breaks down our hero, played by Jeff Bridges, into the ones and zeroes that represent life within the computer, where the two battle in a landscape within that world that was unlike anything that had been seen before.
Other significant credits from this period include Terry Gilliam’s 1981 “Time Bandits,” in which Warner played a villain simply called Evil, and 1985’s “The Company of Wolves,” director Neil Jordan’s exploration into the Red Riding Hood fairy tale in which Warner starred with Angela Lansbury.
The actor made three films with director Sam Peckinpah: “The Ballad of Cable Hogue” (1970), in which his performance as a somewhat eccentric minister marked one of his first feature appearances, 1971’s “Straw Dogs” and 1977 WWII thriller “Cross of Iron.”
Warner was also tied to various franchises, including “Star Trek.” He played two unrelated roles in “Star Trek” movies. In “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (1989), he played St. John Talbot, the broken-down, cigarette-smoking Federation ambassador to Nimbus III, who, like his Romulan and Klingon counterparts, comes under the influence of the renegade Vulcan Sybok; in “Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country” (1991), he played Gorkon, chancellor of the Klingon High Council, who pursued peace with the Federation but was murdered.
And on TV, in the two-part “Chain of Command” (1992), the only truly disturbing episode in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Warner gave a tour de force performance as Gul Madred, a Cardassian intelligence officer who tortures a captured Captain Picard both physically and psychologically.
The actor was also tied to the U.K.’s iconic “Doctor Who” series, voicing Lord Azlok in the “Dreamland” miniseries in 2009 and appearing as Professor Grisenko in 2013.
He played ruthless businessman Thomas Eckhardt in David Lynch’s seminal “Twin Peaks” series in 1991. In the similarly enigmatic miniseries “Wild Palms,” he played Eli Levitt, a former history professor who’s founder of libertarian movement the “Friends” and is imprisoned for terrorism. More recently he recurred on the popular “Wallender” mystery series, starring Kenneth Branagh, as Wallender’s father in 2008-10.
David Warner was born in Manchester, England. His father changed jobs frequently, which meant the family moved from town to town, and David from school to school, where he performed poorly. His parents separated, and years went by before he saw his mother again — and then only on her deathbed.
He receiving his training as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.
Warner made his professional stage debut at the Royal Court Theatre in January 1962, playing the minor role of Snout in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Tony Richardson. In March at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, he played Conrad in “Much Ado About Nothing,” and in June he appeared as Jim in David Rudkin’s “Afore Night Come” at the New Arts Theatre in London.
He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1963, playing Trinculo in “The Tempest” and Cinna the Poet in “Julius Caesar”; in July he played Henry VI in the John Barton adaptation of “Henry VI,” Parts I, II and III. At the Aldwych Theatre, London, he reprised the role of Henry VI in the complete Wars of the Roses history cycle in 1964. Returning to Stratford in April, he performed the title role in “Richard II,” Mouldy in “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry VI.” At the Aldwych in October 1964, he was cast as Valentine Brose in Henry Livings’ play “Eh?,” reprising the role in the 1968 film adaptation “Work Is a Four-Letter Word.”
He played the title role in “Hamlet” at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1965. His “Hamlet” was revived in the 1966 Stratford season, and he played Sir Andrew Aguecheek in “Twelfth Night.” At the Aldwych in January 1970, he played Julian in Edward Albee’s “Tiny Alice.”
Warner’s other theater work has included “The Great Exhibition at Hampstead Theatre” and “I, Claudius,” both in 1972.
The actor made his big screen debut with a supporting role in 1963 film “Tom Jones,” starring Albert Finney.
Warner starred with Vanessa Redgrave in Karel Reisz’s 1966 feature comedy “Morgan — A Suitable Case for Treatment,” in which he played a man obsessed with Karl Marx and gorillas who resorts to all sorts of bizarre tactics to prevent his upper-class ex-wife from remarrying. At Cannes the film was nominated for the Palme d’Or, and Redgrave was nominated for an Oscar.
In Sidney Lumet’s 1968 Chekhov adaptation of “The Sea Gull,” he played Konstantin, the writer son of Simone Signoret’s Arkadina. The same year he appeared in a Peter Hall-directed adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as Lysander.
After “The Ballad of Cable Hogue” in 1970, he starred with Jane Fonda in Joseph Losey’s 1973 adaptation of “A Doll’s House.”
In 2001 he made his American stage debut — and returned to the theater after decades away — playing Andrew Undershaft in a Broadway revival of “Major Barbara” that also featured Dana Ivey and Cherry Jones.
Back in the U.K., he subsequently appeared in “A Feast of Snails” at the Lyric Theatre in 2002 and “Where There’s a Will” at the Theatre Royal, Bath. In 2005 he played the title role in “King Lear” at Chichester Festival Theatre.
He returned to Stratford for the first time in more than four decades in August 2007, as an RSC Honorary Artist, to play Sir John Falstaff in the Courtyard Theatre revival of “Henry IV, Part 1” and “Henry IV, Part 2.”
Warner was also a voiceover artist who contributed to animated series including “The Legend of Prince Valiant” (as Duke Richard of Lionsgate), “Batman: The Animated Series” (as Ra’s al Ghul), “Gargoyles” (as Archmage), “Freakazoid” (as the Lobe), “Spider-Man” (Herbert Landon), “Toonsylvania,” “Superman,” “Batman Beyond,” “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” “Men in Black: The Series” and a variety of videogames.
The actor was twice married and divorced, first to Harriet Lindgren (1969-72), then to Sheilah Kent (1979-2005).
His survivors include his son Luke and daughter-in-law Sarah and his partner Lisa Bowerman.
David Warner , the English actor who gave memorable performances on the big screen, in a key role in “The Omen,” and as villains in “Time After Time,” “Time Bandits” and “Tron,” has died.. Warner was also tied to various franchises, including “Star Trek.” He played two unrelated roles in “Star Trek” movies.. In March at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, he played Conrad in “Much Ado About Nothing,” and in June he appeared as Jim in David Rudkin’s “Afore Night Come” at the New Arts Theatre in London.. At the Aldwych Theatre, London, he reprised the role of Henry VI in the complete Wars of the Roses history cycle in 1964.. He played the title role in “Hamlet” at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1965.
Actor David Warner, a British veteran of the stage and screen known for his role in "Titanic," has passed away at the age of 80, his family said in a statement.. File Photo by Joan Marcus/UPI | License Photo. July 25 (UPI) -- David Warner , a veteran British actor known for his roles in Titanic, The Omen and the Star Trek franchise, has died at the age of 80.. Warner's family confirmed his death in a statement to the BBC , telling the publication that he had passed away Sunday in a nursing home following a battle with cancer.. "He will be missed hugely by us, his family and friends, and remembered as a kind-hearted, generous and compassionate man, partner and father, whose legacy of extraordinary work has touched the lives of so many over the years.". Born in Manchester, U.K., in 1941, Warner began his career as a stage actor and became known for his work with the British theater troupe Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).. The actor was also known for his roles in science-fiction pieces.. He was a longtime standout in the Star Trek saga, appearing in three of the franchise's films along with a short role on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.. Warner would garner critical acclaim throughout his career, and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for his work alongside Peter O'Toole in 1981's Masada.. "I'm very sad to hear the news that David Warner has died," said Gregory Doran, artistic director emeritus of the RSC.. Director Edgar Wrighttweeted that Warner was "an actor with a huge legacy on stage & screen and unforgettable roles.". Actor and filmmaker Lin-Manuel Mirandatweeted that he was "glad to have been able to express my admiration for David Warner's incredible versatility and career in our time together on set.". Paul Sorvino arrives outside at the premiere of Burnt at MoMA in New York City on October 20, 2015.. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
David Warner, who started his career on the British stage, including playing Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company when he was just 24, then gravitated toward film and television, accumulating more than 200 credits, including “The Omen,” “Time After Time,” “TRON,” “Titanic” and “Wallander,” died on Sunday in Northwest London.. “He seems to hold his life’s experiences in his frame and in his face.”. In 2001, in an interview with The Times, Mr. Hall reflected on Mr. Warner’s performance.. “It was the young people’s Hamlet.. “You see, I’m not a man of the theater,” he told The Times in 2001 .. Instead, while Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi and Mr. Holm had become towering figures of the theater, Mr. Warner by that time had become known for seemingly never encountering a film or TV role he wouldn’t take.. “I said to him, ‘What are you doing next?’” Mr. Warner told The Times.. Mr. Warner in 2001.. “Peter Hall popped by to see the show,” he said, “which was his job, and then, about a year later, I got an invitation to audition for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and I did, and I got in.”
Horror fans will remember David Warner for his work in the original horror classic The Omen back in 1976, wherein he played the role of an ill-fated photographer named Jennings.. Outside the horror genre, David Warner won a Primetime Emmy in 1981 for the limited series “Masada,” and he had previously been nominated in 1978 for drama series “Holocaust.”. For genre fans wanting to dive deeper into these still timely themes, Donohue has now returned with Pocket FM’s “Uncomfortably Numb , ” a serialized audio thriller sure scratch the itch for fans clamoring for more Den -like chills.. I was actually a content moderator for Snapchat […] and another app,” Donohue states.. “A lot of people that will be drawn to the [Pocket FM] app might notice that there isn’t a lot of genre stuff there at the moment, but this is the first.. Given the trial nature of the series so far, Donohue hopes where the story currently leaves off will keep listeners wanting more so that he can fully explore the story’s characters and deeper mystery.. “For the years since I made The Den , I have been wanting to do a sequel to it.. “I basically wanted to take a lot of the different ideas that I’ve had for Den sequels and kind of make an amalgamation with [‘Uncomfortably Numb’].. “What I’ve been thinking of lately is a Den […] requel where I think it would follow a little bit more of what the screen life movies are doing where we’re using all the apps, cause now we know that you can do that!. [laughs] But also just calling it, like, Dens … I think for the people that know, they could be like, ‘Oh shit, this is a Den sequel!’ And for those who don’t know, it’s just kind of a creepy, enigmatic title that could still be interesting.”. While Donohue views The Den as a more straightforward horror film with elements from the “woman-in-peril” subgenre, he states, “I think [with the sequel] I’d like to do a paranoid thriller–a real conspiracy thriller, with elements of horror.. While you await his forthcoming projects, you can check out the first six chapters of Zachary Donohue’s “Uncomfortably Numb” for free by downloading the Pocket FM app here and searching for the series in the “Trial Audio Stories” section.