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

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

The veteran comedian’s family confirmed his passing “with extremely heavy hearts” in a statement to the BBC.

“Over the past 18 months, he has approached his diagnosis with characteristic grace and dignity,” they wrote. “He will be sorely missed by us and his family and friends, and we will remember him as a kind-hearted, generous and compassionate man, partner and father, whose legacy extraordinary work has touched the lives of so many people over the years. We are heartbroken.

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

David Warner, star of
David Warner, star of ‘Titanic’ and ‘The Omen’, has died.
Popperphoto via Getty Images
David Warner at the Star Trek convention in 2011.
David Warner at the Star Trek convention in 2011.
Getty Images
David Warner as Spicer Lovejoy in
David Warner as Spicer Lovejoy in ‘Titanic’.
CBS via Getty Images

Born in Manchester in 1941, the playwright is perhaps most famous for his role in James Cameron’s 1997 romantic epic ‘Titanic’, in which he played Spicer Lovejoy, the steel magnate’s villainous henchman of Pittsburgh by Billy Zane, Cal Hockley.

He was also known for his appearance in the 1976 horror classic “The Omen” as photographer Keith Jennings, who has his head cut off by glass.

Warner addressed the iconic scene in the 2010 BBC program “A History Of Horror”. Host Mark Gatiss had asked Warner what happened to his severed head, whereupon, without missing a beat, he quipped, “I lost it in the divorce.”

David Warner, seen here with Susan Saint James, also starred in the 1979s
David Warner, seen here with Susan Saint James, also starred in 1979’s ‘SOS Titanic’.
FilmPublicityArchive/United Arch
David Warner and Gregory Peck in
David Warner and Gregory Peck in “The Omen”.
FilmPublicityArchive/United Arch

Warner, who played mostly villainous roles, also appeared in “Tron” (1982), “Little Malcolm” (1974), “Time Bandits” (1981), “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” (1981), “The Man with Two Brains” (1983) and the 1964 Best Picture winner “Tom Jones”. In his last credited role, the actor starred in the 2018 sequel “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Not just a force on the big screen, the Brit has boasted an assortment of TV roles including ‘Penny Dreadful’, ‘Ripper Street’, ‘Star Trek’, ‘Doctor Who’, the original ‘Twin Peaks’ and Masada (1981), for which he won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Special.

David Warner at the premiere of
David Warner at the premiere of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze” in 1991.
Getty Images
David Warner as King Henry VI in the play
David Warner as King Henry VI in the play ‘War of the Roses’ in 1964.
Getty Images

The Rada-educated Warner also enjoyed an illustrious stage career, earning accolades for his title roles in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Henry VI’ and ‘Hamlet’ early in his career.

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

Leave a Comment