|This article is written from a
Real World perspective.
|Date of birth||July, 29 1941 (age 80)|
|Place of birth||Manchester, England|
|Date of death||July, 24 2022|
|Place of death||Northwood, London, England|
|Character(s)||Ed Dillinger, Sark, MCP|
David Warner (July, 29 1941 – July, 24, 2022) was an Emmy Award-winning English actor, who played Sark, Ed Dillinger and the MCP in the movie, TRON. He is known for playing sinister or villainous characters.
Warner was born in Manchester, England, the son of Doreen (née Hattersley) and Herbert Simon Warner, who was a nursing home proprietor. He was born out of wedlock and frequently taken to be raised by each of his parents, eventually settling with his father and his stepmother. He was educated at Feldon School, Leamington Spa, and trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London. Career
Warner made his professional stage debut at the Royal Court in January 1962, playing Snout, a minor role in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Tony Richardson for the English Stage Company. In March 1962 at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry he played Conrad in Much Ado About Nothing, following which in June he appeared as Jim in Afore Night Come at the New Arts Theatre in London.
He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford on Avon in April 1963 to play Trinculo in The Tempest and Cinna the Poet in Julius Caesar, and in July was cast as Henry VI in the John Barton adaptation of Henry VI, Parts I, II and III, which comprised the first two plays from The Wars of the Roses trilogy. At the Aldwych Theatre, London, in January 1964 he again played Henry VI in the complete The Wars of the Roses history cycle (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 the play Eh? by Henry Livings, a role he reprised in the 1968 film adaptation Work Is a Four-Letter Word.
He first played the title role in Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in the 1965 repertoire. This production was transferred to the Aldwych Theatre in December of that year. In the 1966 Stratford season, his Hamlet was revived and he also played Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night. Finally at the Aldwych in January 1970, he played Julian in Tiny Alice.
According to his 2007 programme CV, Warner's other work for the theatre has included The Great Exhibition at Hampstead Theatre (February 1972); I, Claudius at the Queen's Theatre (July 1972); A Feast of Snails at the Lyric Theatre (February 2002); Where There's a Will at the Theatre Royal, Bath; King Lear at Chichester Festival Theatre (in 2005, see details below); and also Major Barbara on Broadway.
Film and television
In 1963, he made his film debut in Tom Jones, and in 1965 starred as Henry VI in the BBC television version of the RSC's The Wars of the Roses cycle of Shakespeare's history plays. Another early television role came when he starred alongside Bob Dylan in the 1963 play The Madhouse on Castle Street. A major step in his career was the leading role in Morgan: A Suitable Case For Treatment (1966) opposite Vanessa Redgrave, which established his reputation for playing slightly off-the-wall characters. He also appeared as Konstantin Treplev in Sidney Lumet's 1968 adaptation of Anton Chekov's The Sea Gull and starred alongside Jason Robards and Stella Stevens as Reverend Joshua Duncan Sloane in Sam Peckinpah's The Ballad of Cable Hogue, perhaps one of Warner's (and Peckinpah's) least known or appreciated films.
In horror movies he appeared in one of the stories of From Beyond the Grave, opposite Gregory Peck in The Omen (1976) as the ill-fated photojournalist Keith Jennings, and the 1979 thriller Nightwing. He also starred in cult classic Waxwork (1988), and featured alongside a young Viggo Mortensen in 1990 film Tripwire.
Since then, he has often played villains, in films such as The Thirty-Nine Steps (1978), Time After Time (1979), Time Bandits (1981), TRON (1982), and television series such as Batman: The Animated Series playing Ra's al Ghul, the anti-mutant scientist Herbert Landon in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, as well as rogue agent Alpha in the animated Men in Black series and the Archmage in Disney's Gargoyles and finally The Lobe in Freakazoid. He was also cast against type as Henry Niles in Straw Dogs (1971) and as Bob Crachit in the 1984 telefilm of A Christmas Carol. In addition, he played German SS General Reinhard Heydrich both in the movie Hitler's SS: Portrait in Evil, and the television mini-series Holocaust.
He has appeared in movies such as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Avatar, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Titanic (the third time he has appeared in a film about RMS Titanic), Scream 2, and more recently in independent television's adaptation of the Hornblower series (which starred Ioan Gruffudd, Warner's co-star on Titanic). He appeared in three episodes of the second series of Twin Peaks (1991). He also continues to play classical roles. In "Chain of Command", a 6th-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, he was a Cardassian interrogator. He based his portrayal on the evil "re-educator" from 1984. His less-spectacular roles included a double-role in the campy low-budget fantasy Quest of the Delta Knights (1993) which was eventually spoofed on Mystery Science Theater 3000. He also played Admiral Tolwyn in the movie version of Wing Commander.
On the "nice guy" side, he played the charismatic Aldous Gajic in Grail, a first-season episode of Babylon 5 and Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He also portrayed the sympathetic character of Capt. Kiesel in Sam Peckinpah's Cross of Iron. In an episode of Lois & Clark he played Superman's deceased Kryptonian father Jor-El, who appeared to his son through holographic recordings. He has also played ambiguous "nice guys" like vampire bat exterminator Philip Payne in 1979's Nightwing; and Dr. Richard Madden in 1994's Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, who had to kill to sustain his life, but was a generally nice person. He was the supporting role in Seven Servants by Daryush Shokof where he was to assist his long time best friend "Archie" in peaceful death with "unity" of man-kind in vision as he bodily "connected" to Archie played by the legendary Anthony Quinn in 1996.
He also appeared as mad scientist Dr. Alfred Necessiter in the film The Man with Two Brains in 1983 alongside Steve Martin and Kathleen Turner.