David Warner, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Omen’ actor, dies at 80

David Warner, the British actor best known for his roles in the films “Titanic” and “The Omen,” died Sunday of a “cancer-related illness.” He was 80 years old.

The veteran playwright’s family confirmed his death “with a heavy heart” in a statement to the BBC.

“Over the past eighteen months, he has approached his diagnosis with distinct grace and dignity,” they wrote. “He will be greatly missed by us, his family and friends, and remembered as a kind-hearted, generous, compassionate man, partner and father whose legacy of exceptional work has touched the lives of so many over the years. We are heartbroken.”

At the time of his death, Warner was residing at Denville Hall in Northwood, the care home for figures in the entertainment industry.

David Warner during the Star Trek conference in 2011.
David Warner during the Star Trek conference in 2011.
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David Warner as Spicer Lovejoy
David Warner as Spicer Lovejoy in Titanic.
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Born in Manchester in 1941, the theatrical artist is perhaps best known for his role in James Cameron’s 1997 romance epic “Titanic,” in which he portrayed Spicer Lovejoy, the evil man of corrupt Pittsburgh businessman Billy Zane Cal Hockley.

He is also best known for appearing in the 1976 classic horror film The Omen as photographer Keith Jennings, whose head has been cut off by a pane of glass.

Warner addressed the iconic scene on the 2010 BBC program History of Horror. Host Mark Gates had asked Warner what happened to his severed head, at which point, without missing a beat, he quipped, “I lost it in the divorce.”

David Warner, shown here with Susan St. James, also starred in 1979
David Warner, shown here with Susan St. James, also starred in the 1979 movie “SOS Titanic.”
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David Warner and Gregory Peck in
David Warner and Gregory Peck in “The Omen.”
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Warner, who mainly played in villainous roles, appeared in “Tron” (1982), “Little Malcolm” (1974), “Time Bandits” (1981), “French Lieutenant” (1981), “The Man with Two Brains” (1983) and 1964 Best Picture Winner “Tom Jones.” In his last role, the actor starred in the 2018 sequel “Mary Poppins Returns”.

Not only was the Brit a force on the big screen, the Brit boasted a variety of TV roles, including “Penny Dreadful”, “Ripper Street”, “Star Trek”, “Doctor Who”, the original “Twin Peaks” and Masada (1981). ), who is considered an Emmy Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Special.

David Warner at the premiere of the movie
David Warner at the 1991 premiere of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
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David Warner as King Henry VI in theatrical play
David Warner as King Henry VI in “The Wars of the Roses” in 1964.
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Rada-trained Warner has also enjoyed an impressive career on stage, gaining widespread acclaim for his starring roles in “Henry VI” and “Hamlet” for the Royal Shakespeare Company early in his career.

Warner is survived by partner Lisa Bowerman, son of Luke and daughter-in-law Sarah, good girlfriend Jane Spencer Pryor, first wife Harriet Evans and many other friends.

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