He traveled around the world a lot in his childhood and had been acting since then. He studied in Japan when he was a teenager, then moved to Hollywood. He mostly worked on live-action TV in his first few years in the business but became more involved in voice acting after making a cameo in Major Dad.
Since then, he has lent his voice to the heroes of Metal Gear, The Castle of Cagliostro, Fushigi Yuugi, YuYu Hakusho: The Movie, and Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. He was also the screenwriter for the films X-Men, X2: X-Men United, The Scorpion King, the TV pilot Lost In Oz, and he wrote an early script for Watchmen which Alan Moore himself, notoriously famous for disowning his work's adaptations, praised as the closest ever translation of his work yet. Hayter will also write and direct the film of Lost Planet.
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night: Zangetsu
- Captain Planet: Mishka (debut role)
- The Castle of Cagliostro: Lupin III (Manga US/Animaze dub)
- Deponia Doomsday: Solid Rufus, a homage to his Solid Snake role.
- Eternal Darkness: Two Roman legionnaires and a guard in Angkor Thom.note
- The Flash (2014): King Shark
- Fushigi Yuugi: Tamahome/Taka
- Guyver Dark Hero: Sean Barker/The Guyver
- Marvel Heroes: Winter Soldier
- Metal Gear (almost all the installments in the Solid games): Solid Snake (a.k.a. Iroquois Pliskin and Old Snake) and Naked Snake (the young Big Boss). He has also portrayed the character in live action at least once, and one story tells that he would bring a bandanna to wear during voice acting sessions for the first game.
- Also voiced Snake as a guest fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series.
- Before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he also voiced Solid Snake Bomber and Naked Snake Bomber in in Super Bomberman R.
- During re-recording for Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, he gave up half his paycheck to get the entire original voice cast back together to reprise their roles. He is also only one of the few voice actors to actually beat the game, and has apparently written a script for a potential movie.
- Interestingly, he did not reprise his role as Snake/Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Hideo Kojima decided to bring Kiefer Sutherland into the highly-physical role. Kojima justified this by stating that he wanted a more emotional performance from the character, and he needed a new actor in order to sound older. Needless to say, this caused a great deal of fandom backlash (though some speculated, incorrectly, that Hayter would voice a younger Solid Snake in the game). Because of this change, a DLC Sword for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was not released outside of Japan, given that Hayter had since moved onto his own projects and Sutherland would have been too expensive for a joke role. As mentioned above, Hayter wouldn't get to play the character again until 2018.
- In addition, Hayter portrayed himself in one of the opening commercials prefacing 4 in all regions, in which he's being interviewed by Lee Meriwether portraying herself.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket: Bernard Wiseman
- Moldiver: Hiroshi Ozora
- République: Daniel Zager
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Captain America
- He reprised the role in one episode of X-Men: Evolution.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: The male Jedi Knight
- They Were Eleven: Doricas Soldam IV
- YuYu Hakusho: The Movie: Kurama
Movies written and/or directed by David Hayter:
- X-Men Film Series
- Lost In Oz
- The Scorpion King (co-written with Stephen Sommers and William Osborne)
- A tentative script for the film adaptation of Watchmen in 2001, though not the final script (the final Screenwriter did credit his version as a primary inspiration, however). Also notable for being one of the only two screenplays of the film that Alan Moore approved of.
- Lost Planet
- The script for a Black Widow film, which was written prior to the existence of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was cancelled after Underworld and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider were released, not wanting to saturate the market with Action Girl films. With renewed interest in the character, however, the film may still yet be revived (although it would need to be reworked to fit in with the other current Marvel films).
Tropes associated with David Hayter:
- Ascended Meme: You'll know that Snake's ass is memetic when David himself starts acknowledging it.
- Badass Baritone
- Guttural Growler