David Warner, veteran British actor known for ‘Titanic’ and ‘Star Trek’, dies at 80

David Warner, a senior film, TV, and theatre actor who was known for supporting roles in movies like ‘Titanic’, ‘The Omen’, and ‘Tron’, has died at the age of 80. As per the BBC, the English thespian died on Sunday at a London nursing home called Denville Hall from a “cancer-related illness”.

In a statement given to the BBC, Warner’s family said 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.”

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Born in the industrial town of Manchester, David Warner began his career in theatre. At the Royal Court Theatre, he played a minor role of Snout in a stage adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His film debut came next year with the comedy movie ‘Tom Jones’. His character was a villain called Blifil. 

But he did not rise to the limelight until 1966. In Karel Reisz’s ‘Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment’. While the reception to the film was indifferent, Warner’s performance was widely praised. He received a nomination for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. 

Although he played a variety of roles, he truly shone in antagonistic roles. He played the role of bad guys in films like 1978’s ‘The Thirty Nine’ Steps’, 1979’s ‘Time After Time’, 1981’s ‘Time Bandits’, and was a ex-Pinkerton officer and a villainous sidekick of Billy Jane’s  Caledon Hockley in James Cameron’s 1997 romance-disaster film ‘Titanic’.

Warner also played multiple roles in ‘Star Trek’ movies and TV shows. 

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Hollywood actors and filmmakers have paid tributes to David Warner. Edgar Wright, known for directing films like ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘ Last Night in Soho’, tweeted, “Very sad to hear of David Warner’s passing, an actor with a huge legacy on stage & screen and unforgettable roles in; Morgan: A Suitable Case For Treatment, Straw Dogs, From Beyond The Grave, The Omen, Time After Time, Time Bandits, Tron, Titanic and much more. He will be missed.”

Composer-filmmaker Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted, “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.”

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Actor and co-creator of ‘Sherlock’ Mark Gatiss wrote, “I grew up in awe of David Warner as a stalwart of so many of my favourite movies. To work extensively with him and to call him my friend was a gift beyond words. Goodnight, sweet Prince.”

Michael McKean, who played the role of Saul Goodman’s older brother Chuck in ‘Better Call Saul’, tweeted, “David Warner stole scenes from great actors throughout his career but that was collateral, not intentional: he just ran with a solid character and purpose every time. Did the work. Never not good.”