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Obituary: David Warner, the famous stage actor of the 1960s who went on to play incredibly diverse characters on the big screen

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David Warner, the actor who passed away aged 80, was one of the widely acclaimed finds of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s during its heyday under Peter Hall.

all, skinny, sinewy, long-faced, he got his first win in one of Shakespeare’s least known roles, Henry VIwhich he brought to life in the RSC’s four-quarter cycle, Battle of the Rosesand again with a resolutely “contemporary” interpretation of Hamlet.

But within a decade of his initial glories in his early 20s, Warner was increasingly drawn to the cinema.

Hall considers Warner “potentially one of the greatest stage actors,” possessing “a genuine quality that makes you pay attention to their every word, understand their every thought, note their important gestures.” their hearts”.

He found work getting ready in front of the camera, going on to amass more than 200 credits. Success may have been sporadic, but he’s been hailed for his neurotic comic roles like the failed painter in Karel Reisz’s Morgan: A case suitable for treatment (In 1966); trusty bomber in Jack Gold’s Bofors Gun (1968), and the psychedelic mushroom maniac in Hall’s Work is a four letter word same year.

He also played the domineering banker Torvald Helmer in Doll’s house (1973), and had moments of satisfaction as an astrophysicist in Alain Resnais’s Ascertainment (1977), as well as in three Sam Peckinpah films, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Straw Dogs and Cross of Iron.

David Hattersley Warner was born in Manchester on 29 July 1941, the son of Herbert, a Russian Jew who owned a nursing home, and Ada Hattersley. He was born out of wedlock and was initially shunned between his parents, eventually having to live with his father and stepmother.

He attended several schools and after working as a bookseller and a newspaperman, he trained at

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada), where his contemporaries included John Hurt and Ian McShane.

After small parts in the play include Ado much about nothing in Coventry, he appeared in David Rudkin’s play about fruit pickers in the Black Country, Before night comes, during RSC’s pilot season in London, then joined the company.

As the 1960s passed, Warner turned more and more into film work, and after 1973, when he developed stage fright during a bad run. I, ClaudiusHe spent most of his screen time.

“He just disappeared from view,” Peter Hall recalls. “And the next thing we knew he was in Hollywood, filming.”

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He made his talk show debut in Tony Richardson’s Tom Jones (1963), when on the small screen, he appeared with Bob Dylan in the BBC play Madhouse on Castle Street.

Three years later, the role made his reputation for playing somewhat simplistic characters, like the artist Morgan Delt in Morgan: A case suitable for treatment. He also developed a tendency to play villains, in movies like Thirty-nine steps (1978); Time thief (1981), in which he is a villain appropriately named the Devil; and was one of the first movies to rely heavily on CGI, Tron (In 1982).

In Omen (1976) he was the extraordinary journalist Keith Jennings, who was eventually beheaded by a glass panel. In 1987, he moved to Los Angeles, where he remained for 15 years.

His divisions during that time were varied. He plays a professor in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), while in 1997 he was Spicer Lovejoy, Billy Zane’s servant in James Cameron’s Titanic.

In 2001, he returned to the much heralded stage, as Andrew Undershaft in the Broadway revival of George Bernard Shaw. Major Barbarathen four years back to the Shakespearean stage, like King Lear at the Chichester Festival Theater.

David Warner was twice married and divorced, to Harriet Lindgren (1969-72) and Sheilah Kent (1981-2002). He is survived by his partner, actress Lisa Bowerman, and a daughter and son in his second marriage.

(© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2022)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/theatre-arts/obituary-david-warner-acclaimed-stage-actor-of-the-1960s-who-went-on-to-play-wildly-varied-characters-on-the-big-screen-41894423.html Obituary: David Warner, the famous stage actor of the 1960s who went on to play incredibly diverse characters on the big screen

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