David Warner from Star Trek #1
David Warner from Star Trek
In 1963, he made his film debut as the villainous Blifil 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 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 Chekhov'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.
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.
He has often played villains, in films such as The Thirty Nine Steps (1978), Time After Time (1979), Time Bandits (1981), Tron (1982), Hanna's War (1988), 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 Cratchit in the 1984 telefilm of A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott as Scrooge. 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; as sinister millionaire recluse Amos Hackshaw in HBO's original 1991 film Cast A Deadly Spell, who plots to use the world's most powerful spell book - the Necronomicon - to unleash the Lovecraftian Old Ones from eternal imprisonment upon the Earth. Warner was considered for the role of Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare On Elm Street after producers were impressed with his performance as Jack the Ripper in Time After Time but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.
In 1981, Warner received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special for Masada as Pomponius Falco. In 1988 he appeared in the Danny Huston film Mr. North.
He subsequently appeared in movies such as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), 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) and Scream 2. In 2001 he played Captain James Sawyer in two episodes of A&E's adaptation of CS Forester's Hornblower series. He appeared in three episodes of the second season 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.
Warner's sympathetic side had been evident in Sam Peckinpah's Cross of Iron (1977), where he portrayed Capt. Kiesel. Other "nice guy" roles include the charismatic "Aldous Gajic" in "Grail", a first season (1994) episode of Babylon 5 and "Chancellor Gorkon" in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). In an episode of Lois & Clark he played Superman's deceased Kryptonian father Jor-El, who appeared to his son through holographic recordings. Warner 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. In Seven Servants he co-starred with 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.
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