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The legendary award-winning British actor David Warner has succumbed to cancer. He was 80 years old.

The award-winning actor had such a prolific and bountiful career on stage and screen that it is difficult to pick a role for which he is “best known.” Often playing the heavy, he cut an unmistakable figure before the camera, and his voice was instantly recognizable regardless of the role.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), his roles ranged from Shakespeare to Star Trek.

He was the villainous MCP in Disney’s Tron, Bob Crachit to George C. Scott’s Ebenezer Scrooge, a human in Star Trek V, a Klingon in Star Trek VI, and Spicer Lovejoy in Titanic.

Geek Cred

His “Geek Cred” was considerable, from Tron to Mary Poppins Returns to cartoon voice work.

  • Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968)
  • Edward Charlton in From Beyond the Grave (1974)
  • Jack the Ripper in Time After Time (1979)
  • Keith Jennings in The Omen (1976)
  • Evil in Time Bandits (1981)
  • Master Control Program/Sark/Ed Dillinger in Tron (1982)
  • Bob Crachit in A Christmas Carol (1984)
  • The father in In the Company of Wolves (1984)
  • Dr. Alfred Necessiter in The Man with Two Brains (1984)
  • The Creature in Frankenstein (1994)
  • Father in Hansel and Gretel (1987)
  • Professor McCarthy in My Best Friend is a Vampire (1987)
  • St. John Talbot in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
  • Chancellor Gowron in Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country (1991)
  • Professor Jordan Perry in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
  • Amos Hackshaw in Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)
  • Baydool / Lord Vultare / Narrator in The Quest of the Delta Knights (1993)
  • Dr. Madden in H. P. Lovecraft’s Necromonicon (1993)
  • Aldous Gajic in Babylon 5 episode “Grail”
  • Gus Gold in Scream 2 (1997)
  • Simpson in The Last Leprechaun (1998)
  • Admiral Tolwyn in Wing Commander (1999)
  • Baydool / Lord Vultare / Narrator in The Quest of the Delta Knights (1993)
  • Martin in Cinderella (2000)
  • Senator Sandar in Planet of the Apes (2001)
  • Percy Judd in The Secret of Crickey Hall
  • Professor Abraham Van Helsing in Penny Dreadful

Voicework

With his rich, Shakespearean-trained voice, David Warner was popular with casting directors for Saturday morning cartoons, videogames, and as a narrator. He had a recurring role on Batman : the Animated Series as the evil Ra’s al-Ghul, for which he was nominated for an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer. He reprised the role in Superman: the Animated Series Batman Beyond. He voiced Jor-El, Superman’s father in Lois and Clark: the New Adventures of Superman. In Biker Mice from Mars, he voiced Ice Breaker. He voiced Zarm in Captain Planet and the Planeteers. He was Talon in Mighty Max.

In the 1994 Spider-Man animated series, Warner had a recurring role as Herbert Landon. His final role was on Teen Titans Go! as the voice of Lobe. He recorded roles in six or seven videogames, including Grand General Brashin in Star Wars: Force Commande. He voiced the Glyph in Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys. In the documentary mini-series The American Revolution, he voiced King George III. He portrayed the Archmage in Disney’s Gargoyles.

In addition to playing two roles in The Quest of the Delta Knights, he was also the narrator. In Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather, Warner voiced Lord Downey. He narrated Winnie the Pooh’s Grand Adventure: the Search for Christopher Robin (1997). He was nominated for an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting by a Male Performer for his role as Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Toonsylvania. He voiced Lord Angstrom in two episodes of Disney’s Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.

Other Notable Roles

  • Rev.Joshua D. Sloane in The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970).
  • Sir Edmund Appleton in The Thirty-Nine Steps (1978)
  • Spicer Lovejoy in Titanic (1979)
  • Reinhard Heydrich in Holocaust
  • In the short-lived TV show Three, Warner played the spymaster known only as ‘The Man.’
Warner as Gul Madred in the Star Trek: the Next Generation episode “Chain of Command”
david warner confronts kirk as Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek the Undiscovered Country
Warner as Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country

The Star Trek Connection

Warner played three different roles in the Star Trek franchise. He played three different races in two movies and the TV show Next Gen. He was the human diplomat St. John Talbot in Star Trek V: the Final Frontier (1989) and the Klingon chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country, In the poignant episode “Chain of Command” in Star Trek: the Next Generation he played the Cardassian interrogator Gul Madred.

The Dr. Who Connection

Warner had a guest starring role as Dr. Grisenko in the episode “Cold War” with Matt Smith as the Elebenth Doctor. In the mini-series Dr. Who: Dreamland he was Lord Azlok. He voiced the Doctor himself in seven radio dramas. He also guest starred in three other Dr. Who radio dramas. He played Mycroft Holmes in the DW spin-off, Berenice Summerfield

Personal Life

David Hattersley Warner was born July 29, 1941 in Manchester, England, U.K. He passed away July 24, 2022, in London England, U.K., less than a week before his 81st birthday. He was married and divorced twice, to Harriet Lindgren from 1969 – 1972 and then to Sheilah Kent from 1981 – 2002. He and his second wife had one child, a daughter, Melissa.

Warner graduated from RADA in 1961. He made his professional debut in 1962. He played Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He appeared in his first movie, We joined the navy” as an uncredited sailor the same year.

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,” read a statement provided to USA TODAY by Julian Belfrage Associates, his agency. “We are heartbroken.”

He will be missed. He has shaped the world of cinema and theater in ways that shape its very foundations, and will not be soon forgotten. We offer our condolences to his family and friends, ,

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.

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