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Lance Henriksen

Lance Henriksen

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: May 5, 1940 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, mime, screenwriter, dishwasher, manual laborer, fruit picker, miner, sailor, shrimp fisherman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Outstanding character actor Lance Henriksen boasted a wonderfully cragged face and graveled voice that he earned through rugged real world experience gained prior to beginning his prolific screen career at the age of 32. From the very start, he enjoyed collaborations with some of the leading filmmakers of the time, including Sidney Lumet, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron. In fact, it was Cameron who initially envisioned Henriksen in the role of the catchphrase-spouting killer robot in "The Terminator" (1984). And although he was only seen in that film in a much smaller part, Cameron came through with another memorable character for him to embody in the smash hit "Aliens" (1986). From there it was on to a near constant output of work in films such as "Near Dark" (1987), "Johnny Handsome" (1989), "Alien3" (1992), "Hard Target" (1993), and "The Quick and the Dead" (1995). On television he headlined a series of his own as ex-FBI profiler Frank Black in the critically lauded, but ratings-challenged "Millennium" (Fox, 1996-99). Later career roles included voice work in video games and on animated television series, as well as turns in films like "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" (2004) and "Appaloosa" (2008)....

Outstanding character actor Lance Henriksen boasted a wonderfully cragged face and graveled voice that he earned through rugged real world experience gained prior to beginning his prolific screen career at the age of 32. From the very start, he enjoyed collaborations with some of the leading filmmakers of the time, including Sidney Lumet, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron. In fact, it was Cameron who initially envisioned Henriksen in the role of the catchphrase-spouting killer robot in "The Terminator" (1984). And although he was only seen in that film in a much smaller part, Cameron came through with another memorable character for him to embody in the smash hit "Aliens" (1986). From there it was on to a near constant output of work in films such as "Near Dark" (1987), "Johnny Handsome" (1989), "Alien3" (1992), "Hard Target" (1993), and "The Quick and the Dead" (1995). On television he headlined a series of his own as ex-FBI profiler Frank Black in the critically lauded, but ratings-challenged "Millennium" (Fox, 1996-99). Later career roles included voice work in video games and on animated television series, as well as turns in films like "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" (2004) and "Appaloosa" (2008). While the vast majority of character actors blended into the background of the public consciousness, garnering little name recognition with audiences, Henriksen managed to become a sort of working man's movie star, delivering performances just as iconic as those of the megawatt stars he appeared alongside.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Phantom (2013)
3.
 Beautiful Wave (2012)
4.
5.
6.
 Seamstress, The (2009)
8.
 Blood Shot (2009)
9.
 Dark Reel (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised by his grandmother for the first couple of years of his life
:
Parents separated when he was two
:
Began running away from home at age five
:
Went to sea with his father and was dropped off with relatives in Borneo for three years
:
Went "island hopping" with father around Fiji and Malaysia for a year
:
Returned to New York; attended military school
:
By age 12 was living on his own, hitchhiking back and forth across the country and riding freight cars
:
Arrested for vagrancy on numerous occasions beginning at age 16
:
Appeared as an extra in a Lee Marvin movie while in the Yuma, Arizona county jail; earned five dollars
:
Met movie stunt double Rex Rossi who taught him how to ride a horse and pilot a plane and advised him to become an actor
:
Returned to New York as a young man; studied at the Actors Studio
:
Shipped out as a crew member on a Swedish freighter; joined the crew of a windjammer in the Bahamas
:
Spent three years in the Navy, rising to Petty Officer Third Class
:
Spent two years in the Merchant Marine
:
Returned to NYC; created ceramic murals
:
Joined Boston Opera Company as a mime; appeared in Schoenberg's first US production of "Moses and Aaron"
:
Learned to read at age 30, while starring in an off-off-Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's sea plays
1972:
Feature acting debut in "It Ain't Easy"
1976:
TV-movie debut in "Return to Earth"
1977:
Appeared on Broadway with Al Pacino in a production of David Rabe's "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel"
1981:
First film with writer-director James Cameron, "Piranha II: Flying Killers" (the director's debut)
1983:
Posed for good friend Cameron's preliminary character sketches for the robot antagonist of "The Terminator"; the producers backed the concept but balked at Henriksen in the role; part went to Arnold Schwarzenegger
1984:
Screenwriting debut, credited as one of the writers on Cameron's "The Terminator"; also acted
1984:
Early TV guest shot, the pilot for "Scene of the Crime", an NBC detective anthology
1986:
Breakthrough feature supporting role, played Bishop, the gruff sympathetic android in Cameron's "Aliens"
1988:
First starring role in a feature, "Pumpkinhead" (the feature directorial debut of FX artist Stan Winston)
1989:
Rare TV guest shot, "Beauty and the Beast", played a hired assassin named "Snow" in an episode with that title
1989:
Starred in "The Horror Show"
1990:
Appeared in "Cutting Cards", a Walter Hill-directed episode of "Tales From the Crypt"
1992:
Reprised the role of Bishop for "Alien3"
1992:
Narrated the Books on Tape adaptation of "Alien3"
1996:
TV series debut as regular on Fox's "Millennium", a sci-fi crime drama series produced by Chris Carter
1996:
Had his first feature as a writer-director in development, a sci-fi Western tentatively entitled "Tracer Pierce"
1998:
Portrayed Abraham Lincoln in the TNT movie "The Day Lincoln Was Shot"
2000:
Cast in Wes Craven's "Scream 3"
2002:
Starred opposite Dennis Hopper in "Unspeakable"
2004:
Reprised the role of Bishop in "Alien vs. Predator" written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Actors Studio: New York , New York -

Notes

Henriksen had already written nine unproduced film scripts as of 1988.

He sells his own pottery on the Internet at www.bylancehenriksen.com

"'Lance is like a weapon,' says ["Millennium" executive producer Chris] Carter, "yet he's gentle, with all these heroic attributes'" --From "The Next Files" by Benjamin Svetkey in Entertainment Weekly, October 18, 1996.

"'I love [director] Walter [Hill], he's my favorite. He leaves it up to the actors. He said to me, 'I leave it up to the actors so I don't have to worry about it.' Here's a guy who just wants to make Westerns his whole life and that's what I want to do. If only I could, I would just do Westerns." --from "Lance A lot" by Dominic Griffin in Film Threat, June 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jane Pollack. Artist. Married on April 22, 1995.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Alcamy Henriksen. Born in 1987; child of first marriage.
daughter:
Sage Ariel Henriksen. Born on October 12, 1999; mother, Jane Pollack.

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