David Hattersley Warner: Can We Cease To Think Of Him?

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David Hattersley Warner (Introduction)

English actor David Hattersley Warner, who performed in theatre, film, and television, was born on July 29, 1941, and died on July 24, 2022. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and in 1964, after making his stage debut with the RSC, he played Henry VI in The Wars of the Roses cycle at the Aldwych Theatre in the West End. He was then given the role of Prince Hamlet by the RSC in Peter Hall’s 1965 Hamlet production. His leading role in the Karel Reisz movie Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment, for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, helped him become well-known on screen in 1966.

David warner
David Warner

The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Straw Dogs, Cross of Iron, The Omen, Holocaust, The Thirty Nine Steps, Time After Time (as Jack the Ripper), Time Bandits, Tron, A Christmas Carol (as Bob Cratchit opposite George C. Scott’s Ebenezer Scrooge), Portrait in Evil (as Reinhard Heydrich), Titanic, Mary Poppins Returns, and various characters in the Star Trek franchise are just a few of the films in which David played the most intriguing roles.


The young David Warner, an only kid from a chaotic family, did not thrive in either academics or athletics. For him, the school was a nightmare. He started acting not with the intention of making it a career, but rather to get away from (in his own words) “a messy childhood.” Warner had some early guidance from one of his professors, managed to get into RADA beyond all odds, and made his stage debut in 1962 at the Royal Court Theatre as Snout in Tony Richardson’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A year later, at the Royal Shakespeare Company, he played Hamlet as the company’s youngest actor ever.

David Warner (actor)
David Acting Career

He may not have been as adept at comedy as Falstaff, Lysander, or (in a few instances) Henry VI. Eventually losing interest in theatre (and suffering from stage anxiety for several years), Warner discovered that the celluloid medium was more conducive to his needs. He had established himself as one of Britain’s most sought-after character performers by the 1970s and went on to have a distinguished and successful career on both sides of the Atlantic, rarely turning down a role that was offered to him. Warner, who is tall and somewhat awkward-looking, has a knack for portraying tormented, contemplative loners, outcasts and mavericks, or simply evil people. The latter included SS General Reinhardt Heydrich in Holocaust (1978), Jack the Ripper in Time After Time (1979), Picard’s cruel Cardassian torturer Gul Madred in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), the evil ex-Pinkerton man Spicer Lovejoy in Titanic (1997), and the villainous geniuses of Time Bandits (1981) (a role Jonathan Pryce declined) and TRON (1982). He also attempted the Frankenstein creature in Robert Powell’s film (1984).

Warner’s first major break came because of his little role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tony Richardson cast him as the sleazy, pimple-faced antagonist Blifil in his raucous time frolic Tom Jones (1963), where he competed with Albert Finney for Susannah York’s affections. Morgan! (1966), featuring Warner as a mad artist with Marxist leanings who goes to insane lengths to recapture his ex-wife (played by Vanessa Redgrave), including blowing up his mother-in-law, was Warner’s first genuine leading role on the big screen. Warner portrayed a corporate dropout who grows hallucinogenic mushrooms in an automated future in the offbeat satire Work Is a Four Letter Word (1968). In less bizarre roles, he played a doomed photojournalist who literally loses his head in The Omen (1976) (Warner later cited working with Gregory Peck as a career highlight), the sympathetic but tragic Klingon Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), and the sad, likable fantasy writer Aldous Gajic in Babylon 5. (1993). Warner also made appearances in three movies for which director Sam Peckinpah personally selected him. The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970), a comedy-western starring roving-eyed itinerant Reverend Joshua Duncan Sloane played by Warner, is possibly the best of these. For his portrayal of Roman Senator Pomponius Falco in the miniseries Masada, Warner received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series (1981).

David Warner Hollywood actor
David Hattersley Warner

Wife, Children, Age

  • He had Luke Warner, a son, and Melissa Warner, a daughter, both from his previous marriage to Sheilah Kent.
  • He was 80 years old at the time of his passing away.

Cause of death

Warner passed away from a cancer-related illness at Denville Hall (a retirement facility for actors and other theatrical professionals) in Northwood, London, on July 24, 2022, five days before his 81st birthday. He had been diagnosed with cancer eighteen months prior to his passing.

Read More: Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Summary and plot overview

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