Lance Henriksen is a veteran American actor who is best known for his work in various fantasy and sci-fi projects over the last three decades, along with his prominent voice work in various video games and animated series over the last decade.
Born in New York, Henriksen floated through various jobs until he hit his 30's, where he took a course at the Actors Studio and began appearing in small but memorable parts in films like Dog Day Afternoon
and Close Encounters of the Third Kind
. His big break came in 1984 when Henriksen, who had just appeared in Piranha Part Two: The Spawning
, was cast by director James Cameron
in the role of Detective Vukovich in The Terminator
. That role led to a career-defining role for Henriksen as the android Bishop in Aliens
, which brought immediate fame. Henriksen would appear in many more projects over the years, ranging from westerns and vampire horror films to Direct-to-DVD
sci-fi and fantasy films.
Part of Henriksen's fame comes from his distinctive, gruff voice, which he has used to great effect as imposing authority figures and stern fathers in various roles over the years. He has also lent his voice to several notable video game franchises - he voiced Admiral Steven Hackett in the Mass Effect
franchise, General Shepherd in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
and appeared as Karl Bishop Weyland in the 2010 Aliens Vs. Predator
To date, Henriksen has starred in nearly 200 film and television projects, and continues to appear in several projects each year.
Selected filmography:AnimeFilm - AnimationFilm - Live-ActionLive-Action TelevisionVideo GamesWestern Animation
Tropes embodied by Henriksen and his work include:
- Chronically Killed Actor: Along with Bill Paxton, Henriksen is one of only two actors that have been killed by a Xenomorph, a Terminator and a Predator.
- Cool Old Guy
- Evil Sounds Deep: Whenever he plays a villain, expect this trope to be in full effect.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor
- Money, Dear Boy: As noted above, he has over 200 roles in his resume.
I went through a phase where I was being invited to Eastern Europe to do these movies. And I thought: It's a payday. It's an adventure. I never thought they'd be shown in America. I really didn't... I call them jet-lag movies, because I always got there feeling jet-lagged and then we'd start shooting the next day.
- Never Learned to Read: Not until he was 30.
- Type Casting: Deadpan, imposing, monotone father-figure character. At times, instead of a father figure it's a villain.