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Titanic and Tron's David Warner Has Died At 80

David Warner sits in his office looking annoyed in Tron.
(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

A veteran character actor who you could spot in almost any medium, David Warner is someone that you’d easily recognize from a variety of roles. With parts in Titanic, Tron, and even Doctor Who, his resume was an impressive gamut of heroes, villains, and everything in-between. It’s part of why today’s news is so bittersweet, as the legendary actor has been reported as having died at the age of 80.

The news was broken by the BBC, who stated that Warner passed yesterday in his care home, due to “cancer-related illness.” The network was alerted to the news, along with a press statement issued by David Warner’s family, which said the following:

Over the past 18 months he approached his diagnosis with a characteristic grace and dignity. 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. We are heartbroken.

David Warner would make his acting debut on stage in 1962, but also in film in 1963. While his career in the theatre would take him through many of the works of Shakespeare, it was the film adaptation of Tom Jones with Albert Finney that would introduce Warner to the movies. Though the actor would continue to dabble in both, as well as TV work, throughout his storied career. 

Villains were a huge part of David Warner’s memorable resume. Baddies being a sort of specialty, Warner is remembered as such imposing figures as Evil in Time Bandits, Ed Dillinger Sr./Sark in Tron, and also Lovejoy, the hired muscle for Billy Zane’s Cal in the cast of James Cameron’s Titanic. He even played a version of Jack the Ripper against hero Malcolm McDowell in the H.G. Wells time travel caper Time After Time; which would be remade as a short-lived ABC sci-fi series

Were fate to have shaken out a little differently, David Warner would have given everyone even more nightmares, due to being the original choice to play Freddy Kruger in the cast of A Nightmare on Elm Street. However, Warner wasn’t always someone to fear on the big or small screen. As a matter of fact, even some of his villains were pretty funny. 

A firm case in point being David Warner's voice role as The Lobe in the cult animated series Freakazoid!; which he’d go on to reprise in 2020 for an episode of Cartoon Network’s long running hit Teen Titans Go! With just the right level of menace and silliness, Warner's acting chops were put to the test in a cast that also included the late Ed Asner

Scientific minds were definitely a forte, as Warner would play Professor Jordan Perry in 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninjas II: The Secret of the Ooze. That part not only introduced the legendary actor to the pop culture craze of the ‘90s, but would also feature him dancing to Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap,” as you’ll see below: 

If you achieve a career that includes voice acting, several iconic figures of villany, and even the good nature to dance in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, you’d have only part of what David Warner scored as an actor. Even in his final film appearance in 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns, the eccentric Admiral Boom showed just how much range the man had in his lifetime. His talents and presence will be missed dearly, and we here at CinemaBlend would like to extend our deepest condolences to David Warner’s friends and family, as they navigate this period of grief and reflection.

Mike Reyes
Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.