David Warner was a prolific actor, equally at home on stage, on television or on the big screen, a star whose vast repertoire ranged from Shakespeare to Doctor who and to movies like Tron And The omen.
Warner, who died at the age of 80, has appeared in more than 200 plays, films and television dramas over the course of a successful six-decade career.
Born in Manchester in 1941, Warner was the son of Ada Doreen Hattersley and Herbert Simon Warner, a nursing home owner. He had what he described as a “messy childhood”, during which his parents separated, and disliked school, later saying he “failed his exams” in all eight schools he attended.
Despite a lack of interest in academic subjects, Warner found a passion for theater by attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (Rada), where he studied with the young John Hurt and graduated in 1961. He later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, making his professional stage debut at the Royal Court Theater the following year, playing Snout in the Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Current RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran described Warner as “a generous spirit, a kind man and enormous talent” and said that “David’s most iconic role for the RSC has been to Fraction in 1965, directed by Peter Hall, with Glenda Jackson in the role of Ophelia ”.
After a series of minor parts on screen, her breakthrough came Morgan: a suitable case for treatment, the 1966 comedy directed by Karel Reisz. Taking the title part of Morgan Delt, Warner plays a failed artist, along with his wife, Leonie. Vanessa Redgrave received an Oscar nomination and a Palme d’Or for that role, while Warner was honored with a Bafta nomination.
The film, which has since become something of a cult classic, has been well received by both audiences and critics. Brendan Gill in New Yorker he wrote in admiration: “I congratulate David Warner for working what amounts to a miracle. Vanessa Redgrave takes her place in my pantheon of beloved actresses. But my greatest praise goes to Karel Reisz for the strength and courage of his leadership. “
He took a significant part The omen (1976), the supernatural horror film written by David Seltzer and directed by Richard Donner. Alongside Gregory Peck, Warner plays Keith Jennings, a photographer and researcher who notices the shadows in the photographs of the victims taken before their death. His character dies in a now famous scene in which a sheet of glass slips from a truck and beheads him.
Interviewed by Mark Gatiss for the BBC in 2010 and questioned about the atmosphere on the set of The omen, Warner replied: “There was no irony, there was no sending, it was absolutely played for real. Peck, before a scene, just said, ‘If we can convince them with this, we deserve all the Oscars.’ “Elsewhere, he said of the film:” The thing so cool about that picture was that there was no blood in it. , truly. It is not a bloody party. Strange things happen, but there is the atmosphere, the music and everything. “
In old age he lived in Denville Hall, a retired actor’s nursing home in Northwood, Hillingdon.
Actor and writer Reece Shearsmith, who appeared with Warner in the horror comedy The League of the Apocalypse of the Lords (2005), described him as “immaculate and singular in every part he played”, adding that Werner was “always patient with me when I discussed his head peeling off in The omen“.
Warner’s family said in homage, “We will be greatly missed by us, his family and friends, and remembered as a kindhearted, generous and compassionate man, partner and father whose legacy of overtime has touched life. of so many over the years. “
He has been married twice, the first to Harriet Lindgren. He is survived by his he son Luke and daughter Melissa from his second marriage, with Sheilah Kent and her partner, Lisa Bowerman.
David Warner, actor, born July 29, 1941, died July 24, 2022