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‘Titanic’ and ‘Tron’ star David Warner dies at age 80

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British actor David Warner, photographed in Chelsea, London, Jan. 19, 1967, has died.

British actor David Warner, photographed at the Duke of York’s Barracks in Chelsea, London, Jan. 19, 1967, has died. He was 80. Warner’s family said he died from a cancer-related illness on Sunday, July 24, 2022 in London.

Associated Press file photo

British actor David Warner, known for playing villainous roles in “Titanic,” “The Omen” and “Tron,” died Sunday at age 80.

According to Variety, Warner died of a cancer-related illness in London. “Over the past 18 months he approached his diagnosis with a characteristic grace and dignity,” his family said in a statement shared with the BBC.

The statement continued, “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.”

The Emmy nominated actor appeared in several hit movies ranging from horror classics to Oscar winners. Though he is best known for playing villainous roles on the big screen, his start came through playing Shakespearian heroes on stage.

“I’ve done war pictures, I’ve done Westerns, I’ve done sci-fi. … I wasn’t in ‘Harry Potter’ and I wasn’t in ‘Lord of the Rings,’” Warner told the AV Club in 2017. “So there are those big ones that I haven’t managed to do. But that’s show biz … and, you know, I think I’ve still done OK.” 

According to CNN, after studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Warner starred in several shows produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. After playing “Hamlet” and “Richard II” on stage, he appeared in the 1968 film adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” with Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Diana Rigg. 

The switch to villain roles during his career included Disney’s sci-fi film, “Tron,” where Warner played a power hungry executive, and in “Titanic” where he played a butler to Billy Zane’s main antagonist role to keep the flick’s central couple apart. Also, Warner quite literally played the role of “Evil” in Terry Gilliam’s “Time Bandits.”

Despite the reputation of playing villains, Warner showed range in his talent through his role as a victim in the classic horror film “The Omen,” the sympathetic employee to Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” and as the military veteran, Admiral Boom, in “Mary Poppins Returns.”

He also voice acted in animated productions like “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Spider-Man,” “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” “Men in Black: The Series” and “The Amazing World of Gumball.” 

According to CNN, Lin-Manuel Mirranda who starred with Warner in “Mary Poppins Returns” shared a photo of Warner following the news of his passing and wrote in the caption, “So glad to have been able to express my admiration for David Warner’s incredible versatility and career in our time together on set. My goodness, what a life and legacy.”