David Warner, Prolific Actor Seen in 'The Omen,' 'Tron,' 'Titanic,' Dies at 80
David Warner, an English actor who was one of the most prolific of his generation, died Sunday. He was 80.
His family confirmed to the BBC that Warner had died in a nursing home in London, saying, "Over the past 18 months he approached his diagnosis with a characteristic grace and dignity. 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.”
Warner was born July 29, 1941, in Manchester, England, studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art ahead of a stage debut in 1962. He was a member of the esteemed Royal Shakespeare Company.
After making his TV debut in 1963, he made his film debut that same year in the classic "Tom Jones" in his first memorable role as a villain. His starring performance in "Morgan: A Suitable Case for Impeachment" (aka "Morgan!") in 1966 led to a BAFTA nomination, and jump-started an exhaustive film and TV career that he often joked was perpetuated by his inability to say no.
A short list of his early noteworthy performances would include "Work Is a Four Letter Word" (1968), "The Fixer" (1968), "The Sea Gull" (1968), "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" (1970), and Sam Peckinpah's "Straw Dogs" (1971), the latter of which was an uncredited appearance.
In 1976's "The Omen," his death scene was arguably one of the most spectacular in film history. One of his most effective villainous roles was in the 1979 sci-fi thriller "Time After Time," in which he embodied no less than Jack the Ripper, unleashed in free-wheeling '70s San Francisco. "Ninety years ago, I was a freak," his character observed. "Today, I'm an amateur."
Along with being an anchoring presence in numerous TV miniseries, Warner was Evil Genius in "Time Bandits" (1981), played a major part in the Disney cult favorite "Tron" (1982), displayed his comic skills in "The Man with Two Brains" (1983); appeared in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989), "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991), and two episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1992); showed up on "Twin Peaks" (1991), and enjoyed the greatest exposure of his career in 1997, when he was both baddie Spicer Lovejoy in "Titanic" and a drama teacher in "Scream 2."
On top of more voice and TV work, including "The Alienist" in 2018, he wrapped his lauded career with a charming performance as Admiral Bloom in "Mary Poppins Returns" (2018).
So glad to have been able to express my admiration for David Warner's incredible versatility and career in our time together on set. Even talked him into doing a Random Roles interview with @NonStopPop, because my goodness, what a life and legacy. ❤️ -LMM https://t.co/iqETAVZjgPpic.twitter.com/jXdTO9B2OM