David Warner, veteran actor of stage and screen who voiced Baldur’s Gate 2’s iconic villain Jon Irenicus, has died aged 80.
The Shakespearean actor, who the BBC reports (opens in new tab) died of a “cancer-related illness”, was best known for his cinematic roles such as Jennings in classic horror film the Omen, and Billy Zane’s sidekick in Titanic. He was the Evil Genius in Terry Gilliam’s film Time Bandits, and played the roles of Ed Dillinger, Sark, and the Master Control Program in Disney’s pioneering CGI movie Tron.
Warner was also a prolific TV actor, appearing in Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Wallander, and had several major voice-acting roles in video games. His earliest gaming role came in 1996, when he played Rhineheart in the space-sim Privateer 2: The Darkening, as part of an all-star cast that included John Hurt and Clive Owen. Later, he had roles in games like Star Wars: Force Commander, Descent 3, and Star Trek: Klingon Academy.
But Warner’s most notable video-game performance came in 2000, when he played Jon Irenicus in Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn. His commanding portrayal of the arrogant elven mage made Irenicus one of the most memorable villains in RPGs, and is one of the key reasons why Baldur’s Gate 2 remains such an arresting experience today. Warner returned to the role in 2016 for Siege of Dragonspear, the official expansion to Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition which fills in the gaps between the original game and its sequel.
“Over the past 18 months he approached his diagnosis with a characteristic grace and dignity,” Warner’s family said in a statement to the BBC. “He will be missed hugely by us, his family and friends, and remembered as a kind-hearted, generous and compassionate man, partner and father, whose legacy of extraordinary work has touched the lives of so many over the years. We are heartbroken.”