David Warner, a versatile British actor whose roles ranged from Shakespearean tragedies to sci-fi cult classics, has died. He was 80 years old.
Warner’s family said he died of a cancer-related illness on Sunday at Denville Hall, a retirement home for artists in London.
“He will be sorely missed by us and his family and friends, and we will remember him as a kind-hearted, generous and compassionate man, partner and father, whose legacy of extraordinary work has touched the lives of so many people over the years,” a statement read. provided to USA TODAY by Julian Belfrage Associates, his agency. “We are heartbroken.”
Warner has worked on more than 100 films over his 60-year career, including “The Omen”, “Titanic”, “Tron” and two “Star Trek” films. The actor spent his early career performing in theatre, playing roles in “Hamlet” and Henry VI in “War of the Roses” for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s, the statement said.
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RSC Artistic Director Emeritus Gregor Doran said that Warner’s Hamlet, cast as a tortured student, “seemed the epitome of 1960s youth and captured the radical spirit of a turbulent era”.
Despite his success as a stage actor, chronic stage fright led Warner to prefer film and television for many years.
He was nominated for a British Academy Film Award for the title role in Karel Reisz’s Swinging London tragicomedy ‘Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment’, released in 1966. He went on to win an Emmy for his role of Roman politician Pomponius Falco in the 1981 television miniseries “Massada”.
He had a prolific career in Britain and the United States and became beloved by science fiction fans.
Warner returned to acting in 2001 after nearly three decades to play Andrew Undershaft in a Broadway revival of George Bernard Shaw’s “Major Barbara.” In 2005 he starred in Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and in 2007 returned to the RSC to play Shakespeare’s comic jester Falstaff.
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Warner would have turned 81 on Friday.
His last film appearance was Admiral Boom in the 2018 film “Mary Poppins Returns”. The last project Warner worked on, according to IMDb, was in 2020 when he voiced a character in an episode of the animated television series “Teen Titans Go!”
Warner’s family said he is survived by partner Lisa Bowerman, son Luke, daughter-in-law Sarah, first wife Harriet Evans and close friend Jane Spencer Prior.
Contributors: Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY, and Jill Lawless, The Associated Press