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David Warner, an English actor who expertly portrayed evil supporting roles in movies like “Titanic” and “Tron,” passed away over the weekend. He was 80.
In a statement provided to CNN by his talent agency, Warner’s family claimed that he passed away due to a “cancer-related ailment.” He had been ill for 18 months, according to his family, who said that he “approached his illness with a customary grace and dignity.”
His career was fruitful and extended more than 50 years, producing everything from cherished animated programs to Oscar-winning horror films to a Disney musical. Yet, in a 2017 interview with the AV Club, he recognized that there wasn’t a single film genre on which he hadn’t made an impact.
Shakespeare, horror, and a best picture winner are all represented in one career.
After his education at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Warner started his career on stage. He played the title roles in “Richard II” and “Hamlet” as well as other leading roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also starred with Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, and Diana Rigg in the 1968 movie version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Onstage, he frequently played Shakespearean heroes, but in movies, he frequently played the villain. For example, he portrayed a power-hungry CEO in Disney’s iconic science fiction film “Tron” who misrepresented Jeff Bridges’ ideas as his own. In the movie “Titanic,” he worked with Billy Zane’s villain to keep the main couple apart as Spicer Lovejoy. And Warner played “Evil” in Terry Gilliam’s “Time Bandits” in all but name.
David Warner was cast as the supporting character in some of his most enduring parts. For example, in “The Omen,” he played a photographer who was in danger from the demonic kid Damien rather than the villain. Additionally, he had three appearances under the direction of Sam Peckinpah, including “Cross of Iron,” an ensemble movie about World War II.
When he could, Warner acted in a TV adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” as Bob Cratchit, Ebenezer Scrooge’s sympathetic employee. Then, he appeared as a Klingon in one of the two “Star Trek” movies in which he was an actor. Finally, in “Mary Poppins Returns,” he plays the eccentric Admiral Boom, a veteran of the military who frequently shoots cannons to signal the passing of time.
He also provided the voice of Ra’s al Ghul in “Batman: The Animated Series” and “The Amazing World of Gumball,” among other animated series. He claimed that in 2017 it was a “wonderful joy” to appear in “kids flicks,” such as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II.” He added that he has “the highest regard for the turtle suit actors.”
David Warner remain humble despite all his achievements
Warner frequently had a casual attitude toward his legacy despite having a successful career. For example, Warner claimed in the 2017 AV Club interview that he “drifted into the occasional school play” as a young man since he was “hopeless” in both academics and athletics.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who co-starred with David Warner in “Mary Poppins Returns,” shared a snapshot of the two together in David Warner’s memory.
Warner was remembered by the Royal Shakespeare Company as a “tortured student with his long orange scarf” when he performed Hamlet in 1965.
According to his family’s statement, Warner is survived by his partner Lisa Bowerman, his son Luke, and his “many gold dust buddies.”
“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,” his family said.