David Warner, One Of The Best Character Actors Ever, Dies At 80
Some more sad news from the world of entertainment to pass along to you, Berkshire County. British actor David Warner, who has been referred to by many as one of the greatest character actors of all time passed away Sunday. Warner was 80 years old.
If you are a fan of movies from all types of genres and eras as I am, then you no doubt are familiar with his work. Although Warner was rarely the "star of the show", he was such a great actor that he often, if not always, made a feature film better just by being in it.
I think the very first movie I ever saw David Warner act in was a film that, sadly, not enough people are familiar with. It was 1979's under-seen gem "Time After Time" starring Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells(the real-life author who wrote "The Time Machine") who must travel into the future to modern-day San Francisco to stop his friend(David Warner) who turns out to be Jack the Ripper.
It's a great little movie with elements of humor, romance, and suspense with Warner delivering a chilling performance as the killer. If you've never seen the flick, do yourself a favor and check it out. It's well worth it.
Another favorite of mine is 1963's "Tom Jones" with Albert Finney as the title character and I believe that might be the first movie Warner appeared in, though I could be wrong. Before that, Warner made his mark on stage with several Shakespeare productions with various acting troupes in London as well as the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Warner's professional highpoint was probably the decades of the 1970s and 1980s when he appeared in numerous high-profile features from some big-league directors. In the 1970s alone, Warner appeared in three movies for Sam Peckinpah: 1970's "The Ballad Of Cable Hogue" with Jason Robards; 1971's "Straw Dogs" with Dustin Hoffman; and 1977's "Cross of Iron" with James Coburn and James Mason.
Warner often played a villain in films, but he was most definitely a victim in 1976's horror-flick "The Omen". His character's decapitation by a sheet of metal is one of the most spectacular deaths in 1970s horror.
Among his other career highlights(there are simply too many to list them all) are 1981's "Time Bandits"(in which his character's name was "Evil"), 1982's "Tron", 1985's "The Company of Wolves", 1994's "In the Mouth of Madness", 1997's "Scream 2", and possibly his most "high-profile" role, 1997's "Titanic".
Warner also contributed some great performances on television as well in shows such as "Twin Peaks", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Penny Dreadful", and a couple of miniseries such as 1978's "Holocaust"(in which he was nominated for an Emmy) and 1981's "Masada"(in which he did win an Emmy).
Warner passed away on Sunday from a cancer-related illness according to his family. He was apparently sick for quite some time so in the end, it was probably for the best when he passed on. Mr. Warner, a sincere thank you for the many great performances...and memories.