Titanic actor David Warner dies at 80 from cancer-related illness

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 David Warner, known for playing the villain in The Omen (1976) and a malicious valet Spicer Lovejoy in Titanic (1997), died of cancer-related illness.

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David Warner, a versatile British actor whose roles ranged from Shakespearean tragedies to sci-fi cult classics, has died. He was 80.

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Warner’s family said he died from a cancer-related illness on Sunday at Denville Hall, a retirement home for entertainers in London.

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Often cast as a villain, Warner had roles in the 1971 psychological thriller Straw Dogs, the 1976 horror classic The Omen, the 1979 time-travel adventure Time After Time — he was Jack the Ripper — and the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, where he played the malicious valet Spicer Lovejoy.

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Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Warner became a young star of the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing roles including King Henry VI and King Richard II.

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His 1965 performance in the title role of Hamlet for the company, directed by Peter Hall, was considered one of the finest of his generation.

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Gregor Doran, the RSC's artistic director emeritus, said Warner's Hamlet, played as a tortured student, “seemed the epitome of 1960’s youth, and caught the radical spirit of a turbulent age.”

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Warner also starred in Hall’s 1968 film of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, opposite Helen Mirren and Diana Rigg.

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Despite his acclaim as as a stage actor, chronic stage fright led Warner to prefer film and TV work for many years.

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He was nominated for a British Academy Film Award for the title role in Karel Reisz’s Swinging London tragicomedy Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment, released in 1966.

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He later won an Emmy for his role as Roman politician Pomponius Falco in the 1981 TV miniseries Masada.

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