David Hattersley Warner (July 29, 1941 — July 24, 2022) was a British actor and voice actor with a storied career in theatre, television and film.
He played Hamlet, was the Doctor... but if you grew up in the '90s or later, you'll probably recognise his voice as that of at least one Wicked Cultured cartoon supervillain (among other roles). His voice was so distinctive that we could easily rename the Evil Brit in his honour. His acting was the epitome of Cold Ham—he could deliver the hammiest performance you've ever heard without ever, ever, raising his voice.
He famously pulled triple-duty in TRON as Edward Dillinger, his program counterpart Sark, and Big Bad MCP. His performance as Sark heavily influenced Corey Burton's Shockwave voice (so three guesses who got to voice Sark in Kingdom Hearts II when Warner himself was unavailable to reprise the role). He was also a regular in Audio Dramas from Big Finish Productions, particularly their Doctor Who titles.
He died of lung cancer on 24 July 2022, five days short of his 81st birthday.
No relation to the Australian Cricketer of the same name.
- He made his film debut in Oscar-winning 1963 film Tom Jones, playing Blifil, a total creep.
- He played Lysander in a 1968 film adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream best notable for its incredible All-Star Cast: also appearing in this film were Ian Holm, Ian Richardson, Diana Rigg, Helen Mirren, and Judi Dench. (They were all members of the Royal Shakespeare Company.)
- Ra's al Ghul in Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond.
- The Archmage in Gargoyles, who was elevated from one-shot character to major villain solely due to his performance.
- Herbert Landon in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. The two-parter detailing Black Cat's origin has him was the original voice of Red Skull (all other appearances were voiced by Earl Boen), a twisted case of Irony as She Is Cast as Warner is Jewish.
- The Evil Genius in Time Bandits."Forty-three species of parrot! Nipples for men! SLUGS! Are we not in the hands of a lunatic?"
- Dr. Vic Frankenstein on Steven Spielberg's short-lived FOX series, Toonsylvania (which everyone remembers as a Playstation game rather than a TV show).
- Nergal in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (he was later replaced by Martin Jarvis).
- Alpha in Men in Black: The Series
- The Lobe in Freakazoid!.
- Lord Angstrom in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
- Spicer Lovejoy (Billy Zane's valet/bodyguard) in Titanic (1997).
- He also played real second class passenger Lawrence Beesley in the 1979 docudrama SOS Titanic.
- Professor Jordan Perry in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
- Jack the Ripper in Time After Time.
- He also played Inspector Langford in "Ripper", an episode of the new The Outer Limits (1995) anthology series, which tells a sci-fi version of the Ripper's legend. Earlier in the show, he appeared in the episode "Virtual Future".
- And in From Beyond the Grave, he plays a man named Edward Charlton who gets possessed by a ghost that is implied to be that of Jack the Ripper.
- The hair specialist Dr. Lock in Body Bags.
- Jon Irenicus in Baldur's Gate II.
- He was on Star Trek several times.
"Tell me how many lights you see."
- Ambassador St. John Talbot in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
- Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Playing Against Type as a peace-maker.
- Gul Madred, Picard's torturer in Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Chain of Command"
- Jor-El in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
- Kurt Wallander's father Povel in the English language adaptations of Wallander.
- Doctor Who:
- An Alternate Timeline version of the Third Doctor in two of Big Finish Productions' What If? Doctor Who Unbound audio dramas, "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Masters of War" (in these dramas, the Third Doctor arrives for his exile on Earth years too late, in 1997 rather than 1969 (probably), causing Earth to become a Crapsack World due to the crises of Season Seven not having the Doctor there to make them turn out well). Had many other roles in Big Finish, including playing Isaac Newton in a Fifth Doctor audio, and its spin-offs like the Bernice Summerfield series (where he played Mycroft Holmes and returned as his Doctor) and Graceless.
- He also voiced Lord Azlok in the animated special "Dreamland", and plays the entirely sane and likeable Professor Grisenko in the TV episode "Cold War".
- He also did quite a lot of Radio Drama for The BBC in more heroic roles than he's normally known for. These roles include Prospero in The Tempest, Virgil in The Divine Comedy and Merlyn in The Once and Future King.
- Bob Cratchit in the 1984 adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Very much Playing Against Type, as you can imagine if you've been reading over this list.
- He was a crazy captain in "Mutiny" and "Retribution" in the Horatio Hornblower miniseries. Hilariously put by one snarky commentator (Catherine, website Archieology 101)"You see, the captain, James Sawyer, bears an uncanny resemblance to David Warner. This of necessity means that he's either a) a villain, b) mad as a balloon, or c) both."
- Master of the Assassins' Guild, Lord Downey, in the TV adaptation of the Discworld novel Hogfather.
- The Narrator for the following entries in the Winnie the Pooh franchise from 1997-1998:
- Admiral Boom in Mary Poppins Returns
- Aldous Gajic, good guy, seeker of the Holy Grail, in Babylon 5.
- The Spirit of the Tree in Dinosaurs episode "If I Were a Tree".
- Professor Summerlee in the 1992 film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, and its sequel Return to the Lost World.
- Doyle himself in the 1998 film about Houdini.
- The macabre Dr. Richard Madden in H. P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon.
- Ari's father Senator Sandar in Tim Burton's version of Planet of the Apes (2001).
- Mad scientist Dr. Alfred Necessiter in Steve Martin's The Man with Two Brains.
- The Tsar's court physician Dr. Eugene Botkin in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.
- Admiral Tolwyn in Wing Commander (the film), though we're sure he'd rather forget that he was in it. (Especially since he ended up compared to Malcolm McDowell, who was Tolwyn in the later games / Wing Commander Academy and had substantially better material to work with.)
- Yet another Acting For Three job in the infamous zero-budget fantasy Quest of the Delta Knights, as mentor Baydool, the Big Bad Lord Vultare, and as The Narrator.Crow: "David Warner, you are under arrest by order of David Warner."
- Keith Jennings in The Omen (1976).
- Hauptmann (Captain) Kessel in Cross of Iron.
- Pomponius Falco in Masada.
- Dr. Wrenn in In the Mouth of Madness.
- Rob the cyclops' new evil persona, Dr. Wrecker, in The Amazing World of Gumball (starting with the season four episode "The Nemesis" and ending on the season four finale "The Disaster" after Rob the cyclops uses the universal remote to change back to normal).
- Dr. Felix Latham in two episodes of Total Recall 2070.
- Thomas Eckhart in Twin Peaks.
- Henry Niles in Straw Dogs (1971) (uncredited)
- SS General Reinhard Heydrich - twice. First in the 1978 miniseries Holocaust, and later in the 1985 TV movie Hitler's SS: Portrait in Evil.
- Pirate king John David Nau in The Island (1980).
- Plastic surgeon Dr. Lloyd Stern in "The House on Sycamore Street", the second TV movie of Diagnosis: Murder before the show proper was created.
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