(written from a Production point of view)
|Date of birth:||29 July 1941|
|Place of birth:||Manchester, England, UK|
|Character(s):||St. John Talbot; Gorkon; Madred|
|... as Chancellor Gorkon|
|... as Gul Madred|
David Warner (born 29 July 1941; age 74) is an English actor who has appeared in two Star Trek movies and a two-part episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He first played the part of Ambassador St. John Talbot in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1989. In 1991, he returned to the Star Trek franchise to play Klingon chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The following year, he portrayed the Cardassian Gul Madred in the TNG sixth season episodes "Chain of Command, Part I" and "Chain of Command, Part II". He reprised the role of Chancellor Gorkon for the video game Star Trek: Klingon Academy.
Warner took over the role of Madred on three days notice and, though he had previously appeared in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, he knew nothing about the Cardassians from The Next Generation. As he recalled in a 2011 interview; "I took over on three days' notice. It was another makeup job. It was with Pat Stewart, who's an old colleague. It was great to be a part of that. I thought, "Oh, I've done two of the others, the old classic ones, and here I am in The Next Generation. I'll go for it." So I wasn't aware of it, of the Cardassians. I didn't know their history at all, except of course, that they weren't very nice." Due to the short time in which he had to prepare, Warner also did not have enough time to memorize his lines. As such, they were written down on cue cards. As he commented; "There was too much technobabble and dialogue that doesn't come naturally to me. So they wrote everything up for me. I don't mind people knowing this. Every line I said, I actually was reading it over Patrick's shoulder or they put it down there for me to do it." 
Warner was also approached by the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine production staff for the role of Akorem Laan in "Accession". Ira Steven Behr commented, "Personally, I wanted David Warner as Akorem. He wanted to do it, but his wife talked him out of it because he was on vacation and she didn't want him to work. To this day I still wish David Warner was in it." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages)
Life and career
Born in Manchester, England, Warner trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) before becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). As part of the RSC, he earned acclaim for his portrayal in the title role of Hamlet in 1965. In a revival of the play the following year, Warner resumed the role of Hamlet while Patrick Stewart played the role of the Player King. Stewart has stated that he enjoyed being on stage with Warner, whom he called his hero.   Stewart and Warner later worked together on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
In the early 1960s, Warner made the move from stage to film, making his feature debut as the hapless Blifil in Tom Jones, which won the 1963 Academy Award for Best Picture. In 1966, he starred in the title role of Morgan!, an oddball artist obsessed with Karl Marx and gorillas. His performance in this film made him a star in Britain. Two years later, Warner made his United States debut with a supporting role in John Frankenheimer's drama The Fixer, co-starring TOS guest actor David Opatoshu. This was followed in 1970 with a role in the Western comedy The Ballad of Cable Hogue, which would be the first of three collaborations with acclaimed director Sam Peckinpah. The second would be the following year in Straw Dogs, a film which was ironically banned from being released on video in Warner's native England until 2002. Warner's third and final project with Peckinpah was 1977's Cross of Iron.
Prior to co-starring together on Star Trek VI, David Warner and Christopher Plummer (who played General Chang) worked together on the 1977 film The Disappearance. The two later reunited for the video game Star Trek: Klingon Academy.
In the US, Warner has become well-known for his role as the unfortunate Keith Jennings, a photo-journalist who becomes one of the evil Damien's victims, in the classic horror movie The Omen. Another role for which he is remembered is that of Jack the Ripper, opposite Malcolm McDowell's H.G. Wells, in writer/director Nicholas Meyer's acclaimed 1979 science fiction adventure Time After Time. For his performance in this film, Warner was nominated for a Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Since then, he has become well identified with villainous roles, typically in "genre" films. In the 1980s alone he played: the role of the "Evil Genius" in Terry Gilliam's sci-fi comedy Time Bandits; the villainous ENCOM executive Ed Dillinger, his evil creation, Sark, and voiced the Master Control Program in the Disney's 1982 cult sci-fi film Tron (co-starring Dan Shor, Vince Deadrick, Jr., Tony Brubaker, and Erik Cord); mad scientist Alfred Necessiter in the 1983 sci-fi comedy The Man with Two Brains (with James Cromwell, Jeffrey Combs, and Earl Boen); and a demented vampire hunter determined to kill the young protagonist in the 1988 horror comedy My Best Friend is a Vampire (co-starring Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor Rene Auberjonois). However, he did continue to play more benign characters, such as Bob Cratchit in the 1984 TV version of A Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Warner's other film credits during the 1980s include The Island (1980), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), The Company of Wolves (1984), and, in 1988, Mr. North (with Virginia Madsen) and Spies Inc. (with Alice Krige). He co-starred with Star Trek: Voyager guest player Zach Galligan in two films: Waxwork in 1988 and Mortal Passions in 1989.
Warner continued portraying antagonists in films such as Tripwire (1990, with Meg Foster), Quest of the Delta Knights (1993, with Brigid Brannagh), and, most notably, in the 1997 blockbuster hit Titanic, in which he played slick manservant and bodyguard Spicer Lovejoy. That film had Jenette Goldstein in a small role, and music by James Horner. Warner also played the cruel James Sawyer, captain of the HMS Renown, in the Horatio Hornblower TV movie series starring Ioan Gruffudd.
His penchant for villainous roles carried over to voice acting, most notably as the mystical Ra's al Ghul on Batman: The Animated Series (appearing in episodes opposite Brock Peters, Robert Costanzo, Nichelle Nichols, Loren Lester, and Malcolm McDowell again); the sorcerer villain Jon Irenicus in the computer game Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate II - Shadows of Amn; the mutant Herbert Landon on Spider-Man: The Animated Series; as The Lobe on Freakazoid!; rogue agent Alpha on Men in Black: The Series; and the evil Doctor Klench in Radio 4 audio drama/comedy Nebulous.
Warner did play the occasional "good guy" role, however. Some examples include Professor Jordan Perry in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991, co-starring Josh Pais, Michelan Sisti, Frank Welker, Brian Tochi, Lee Spencer, and Lisa Chess), and Adouis Gajic in a first season episode of the sci-fi television series Babylon 5 (co-starring with Bill Mumy and Jim Norton). He also played the protagonist in Doctor Who on audio in two adventures entitled "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Masters of War", where he portrayed an alternate version of the Doctor's third incarnation.
Other notable films in which Warner has appeared include The Lost World and its sequel, Return to the Lost World (both 1992), In the Mouth of Madness (1995, with John Glover), Naked Souls (1995, with Clayton Rohner and Dean Stockwell), Ice Cream Man (1995, starring Clint Howard in the title role), Money Talks (1997), Scream 2 (1997), the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes (co-starring Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Erick Avari), and Ladies in Lavender (2004). He also played Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn in 1999's Wing Commander; his Time After Time co-star, fellow Star Trek film actor, and fellow Englishman Malcolm McDowell had originally played the role of Tolwyn in the video games on which the film was based.
On television, Warner has participated in numerous mini-series. Among these are 1978's Holocaust (co-starring Fritz Weaver), for which Warner received an Emmy Award nomination, 1981's Masada (for which Warner won an Emmy Award), 1982's Marco Polo (in which DS9 guest star Kenneth Marshall played the titular character and TOS star Leonard Nimoy appeared), and 1993's Wild Palms (co-starring fellow Star Trek VI star Kim Cattrall as well as Brad Dourif, Bob Gunton, Bebe Neuwirth, and Charles Rocket). He has also made guest appearances on Murder, She Wrote, Twin Peaks, and Lois & Clark, among other popular shows, and was nominated for an Annie Award for his portrayal of Doctor Vic Frankenstein on the animated series Toonsylvania. In the mid-90s, he voiced the character Arthur Dearborn in an episode of The Marvel Action Hour: Iron Man, an animated TV show which regularly featured the voice talent of James Avery as War Machine; Avery as War Machine made a two-part guest-appearance on Fox Kids' Spider-Man animated series, which also occasionally featured Warner as the voice of Herbert Landon. In 1998, Warner starred as The Man in the short-lived MTV/WB spy series Three alongside Bumper Robinson.
Warner is one of the many Star Trek performers to lend their voices to the animated series Gargoyles. Others who have done so include Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton, Nichelle Nichols, Michael Dorn, Avery Brooks, and Brent Spiner.
Other Trek connections
Additional projects in which Warner worked with fellow Star Trek alumni include:
- Nightwing (1979 film) with Stephen Macht
- The Concorde: Airport '79 (1979 film) with Ed Begley, Jr. and Robin Gammell
- The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1993 film) with John Rhys-Davies and Brad Blaisdell
- Tryst (1994 film) with Louise Fletcher
- Inner Sanctum II (1994 film) with Michael Nouri
- Beastmaster: The Eye of Braxus (1996 TV movie) with Tony Todd and Patrick Kilpatrick
- Houdini (1998 TV movie) with Ron Perlman and Paul Sorvino
- In the Beginning (2001 TV movie) with William O. Campbell and Steven Berkoff
- Sweeney Todd (2006 TV movie) with Tom Hardy