British actor David Warner, who voiced dark wizard Jon Irenicus in classic CRPG Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows Of Amn, has died at the age of 80, the BBC reports. The actor also appeared in other games during the late 1990s and early 2000s, mostly on PC. You can hear Warner’s evocative performance as Irenicus in the trailer for Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition below.
Warner’s most recent role in video games was a return to the character of Irenicus in 2016’s Baldur’s Gate: Siege Of Dragonspear. Beamdog, developers of Dragonspear along with the Enhanced Edition revamps of Baldur’s Gate and its sequel, managed to coax the actor back to record new lines for their version of the second game too. Andrew Foley, who worked with Warner on Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, said in 2016:
Everyone in the office, but especially me, were kind of in awe/borderline terrified of him, but he was just the sweetest guy, with a great sense of humour. I'd given him some notes for a pick-up session, asking for him to pull back on the emotion in a specific line, to do a more "Spock-like" delivery.
"I'm just curious what you mean by this note, what is 'Spock-like'?"
I've worked with him (remotely, he was in London, we were in a studio here in Edmonton, but still) for four hours now, but he's still DAVID FREAKIN' WARNER, and this is the first time we've talked in a few months, so I say, "Uh, well, Spock was this character in Star Trek who spoke in a measured, emotional tone--"
"Yes I know about Star Trek, I've only done three of them. I just wanted to make sure--you don't want me to do a Leonard [Nimoy] impression, do you?" And then he started chuckling.
As a classically trained actor who’d played Hamlet and Henry VI in Royal Shakespeare Company productions, Warner helped make Baldur’s Gate 2 into one of the best RPGs of the 2000s. It’s a game RPS still rates as one of the best RPGs to play on PC even today. Outside of games, Warner had acted in everything from classic '60s cop show Z-Cars to James Cameron's Titanic, along with genre film and TV roles in Tron, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Warner’s voice-over work in games consisted largely of PC releases. The actor played Morpheus in the original Fallout, and contributed to Privateer 2: The Darkening, Descent 3, and Star Wars: Force Commander. Memorably, he reprised his movie role as Chancellor Gorkon from The Undiscovered Country in 2000’s FMV space flight-sim Star Trek: Klingon Academy.