David Warner, who starred in films such as Titanic and Tron, has died at the age of 80.
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The actor’s family announced the news “with an extremely heavy heart” in a statement on Monday, July 25, explaining that Warner died after battling a cancer-related illness.
“Over the past 18 months, he has approached his diagnosis with his usual grace and dignity,” his relatives told the BBC. “He will be greatly missed by us, his family and friends, and we will remember him as a kind-hearted, generous and compassionate person, partner and father, whose legacy of outstanding work has touched the lives of many people over the years. We are heartbroken.”
The Emmy Award winner died on Sunday, July 24, at Denville Hall, a London nursing home for veterans of the entertainment industry.
Born in 1941, Warner made his stage debut in 1962, and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company a year later. He got his first screen role in 1963 in Tom Jones, an adaptation of Henry Fielding’s 1749 classic novel The Story of Tom Jones, the Foundling.
Over the years, Warner has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, but modern audiences remember him best from the 1997 film Titanic, in which he played Spicer Lovejoy, the villainous sidekick of Billy Zane’s character, Cal Hockley.
Almost 20 years ago, Warner starred in a TV movie about the famous shipwreck called S.O.S. Titanic, but in this project he played a real person: Lawrence Beazley, a teacher who survived the shipwreck. “It wasn’t until years later that I found out that when I was working in Stratford-upon-Avon, I was working with his grandson!” Warner recalled The A.V. Club in July 2017.
Warner has also become known for his roles in sci-fi and horror films over the years, gaining recognition in the films Time Bandits, Tron and Star Trek: The Next Generation. In “Omen” in 1976, he played a photographer whose head was famously cut by a window pane. Asked about the location of the severed head in the 2010 documentary series Horror Story, Warner quipped, “I lost it in a divorce.”
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The Penny Dreadful graduate last appeared on the big screen in the movie “Mary Poppins Returns” in 2018, playing Admiral Boom. In the same year, he starred in one of the episodes of the TNT drama “Alienist”.
Warner was married twice over the years: to Harriet Evans from 1969 to 1972 and to Sheila Kent from 1981 to 2002. His family added that he was left with “his beloved partner Lisa Bowerman, his very beloved son Luke and daughter-in-law.” Sarah Law, his good friend Jane Spencer Pryor, his first wife Harriet Evans, and his many gold dust friends.”