RIP David Warner (Dillinger/Sark)

by Curtis Lanclos

It’s interesting that our latest podcast episode (RetroZest #106) celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Disney’s TRON (which was released theatrically on July 9, 1982). The legendary Hollywood actor who portrayed Ed Dillinger and his program Sark in that film, the great DAVID WARNER, just passed away yesterday (July 24, 2022) at the age of 80. If he had lived 5 more days, he would have made it to his 81st birthday.

Warner appeared in theater, television, and motion pictures throughout his career. Before becoming well-known on screen in 1966 with his main role in the Karel Reisz movie Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment, for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and worked in the theater.

He played both love interests and villains in a variety of media, including The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Straw Dogs, Cross of Iron, The Omen, Holocaust, The Thirty Nine Steps, Time After Time, Time Bandits, A Christmas Carol, Portrait in Evil, Titanic, Mary Poppins Returns, and various Star Trek characters in the movies Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and the Star Trek: The Next Generation series. For his performance as Pomponius Falco in the television miniseries Masada, he received an Emmy Award in 1981 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special.

Warner’s participation in TRON lent much gravitas to the production. His TRON co-star Dan Shor (who portrayed programmer Roy Kleinberg and his program Ram in the film) indicated that, although the film’s writer/director Steven Lisberger was relatively inexperienced at directing at the time, he was smart enough to recruit great actors; Warner being one of them.

Listen to our TRON celebration episode by clicking HERE, or simply use this player:

RetroZest #106 – TRON – 40th Anniversary – With Special Guests Dan Shor and Todd Hobbs

RIP, Mr. Warner. Thank you for bringing much dignity to Hollywood by giving us so many legendary roles on the big screen and television alike.

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