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David Warner from Tron

David Warner from Tron #2

 David Warner from Tron

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 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 Cratchit 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; 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.

In 1981, Warner received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special for Masada as Pomponius Falco.

He subsequently appeared in movies such as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, 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 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, 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.



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