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Lance Henriksen

Lance Henriksen
Born Lance James Henriksen
(1940-05-05) May 5, 1940
New York City, New York, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, voice actor, artist
Years active 1961–present
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Spouse(s) Mary Jane Evans (1985–1989)
Jane Pollack (1995–2006)
Children Alcamy Henriksen (b. 1987)
Sage Ariel Henriksen (b. 1999)

Lance James Henriksen (born May 5, 1940) is an American actor and artist best known to film and television audiences for his frequent collaboration with James Cameron as well as his roles in science fiction, action, and horror films such as Bishop and the Weyland family members in the Alien film franchise, and on television shows such as Millennium.[2] Henriksen is also a voice actor, notably having voiced Kerchak the gorilla in Disney's Tarzan.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Filmography 3
    • Film 3.1
    • Television 3.2
    • Video games 3.3
    • Promotional videos 3.4
  • Books 4
    • Autobiography 4.1
    • Comic books 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Henriksen was born in New York City. His father was a Norwegian merchant sailor and boxer nicknamed "Icewater" who spent most of his life at sea. His mother, Margueritte Werner, struggled to find work as a dance instructor, waitress, and model.[3][4][5] His parents divorced when he was two years old, and he was raised by his mother. As he grew up, Henriksen found himself in trouble at various schools and even saw the inside of a children's home. Henriksen left home and dropped out of school at the age of twelve; he would not learn to read until he was 30, when he taught himself by studying film scripts. Henriksen served in the United States Navy from 1955-1958 and attained the rank of Petty Officer Third Class.[6]


Henriksen's first job in the theater world was as a designer of theatrical sets; in fact, he received his first role because he built the set for the production. In his early 30s, Henriksen graduated from the prestigious Actors Studio and began acting in New York City.[6] In film, he first appeared in It Ain't Easy in 1972. Henriksen went on to portray a variety of supporting roles in noteworthy genre films such as Dog Day Afternoon, Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Damien: Omen II (1978).[7] He also played "Police Chief Steve Kimbrough" in Piranha Part Two: The Spawning,[7] the astronaut Walter Schirra in The Right Stuff (1983) and actor Charles Bronson in the 1991 TV-movie Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story (1991).

When James Cameron was writing the movie The Terminator (1984), he had originally envisioned Henriksen, whom he had worked with on Piranha II: The Spawning, playing the title role.[8] Regardless, the role ultimately went to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Henriksen did appear in the film, in the supporting role of Detective Hal Vukovich. Henriksen is perhaps best known for portraying the android Bishop, an artificial life-form, in Aliens (1986, another Cameron film) and Alien 3 (1992).[9] He also played Charles Bishop Weyland, the man Bishop's appearance was based on, in Alien 3 and Alien vs. Predator (2004). Henriksen also portrayed renegade vampire leader Jesse Hooker in Kathryn Bigelow's Vampire cult film Near Dark.[7]

Hard Target (1993) is one of Henriksen's favorite films. He especially enjoyed working with director John Woo, saying "He let me do some real work as an actor. 'No' never came out of his mouth: it was always 'What could this be?' He's one of the greatest directors ever: gentle, communicative and supportive. He caught everything that was important to me as an actor on film and oddly enough used the lot. The times I've seen my work and gone 'Jesus, they cut the behaviour, the motivation, the only reason I made the movie in the first place.' Not John. All my major scenes are intact." That film was also notable for a scene in which Henriksen was accidentally engulfed in flames, as a stunt double was not used. Although surprised, the film crew let the cameras keep rolling so that the incident became part of the final cut. Henriksen later commented, "My training makes me fight until the very last cell in my body collapses with exhaustion. I competed with Van Damme using tremendous will against his iron strength. I held my ground pretty well although I didn't really like him until we came to reshoot the ending to give it a higher octane finish." Reviewer Neil H. Jones stated that this film showed "Henriksen at his best. Henriksen's deep voice waxes eloquently to an unknowing [sic] victim of the hunt, Elijah Roper (Willie Carpenter): "Think of what this $10,000 can do for you (if you reach the river alive). You can have respect, you can restore yourself to dignity rather than the shadow of a man who used to be." Lance exudes confidence, intellect, and talent whether playing Beethoven on the piano or firing his Thompson-Contender handgun at Chance. His acting is so convincing, you would not want his steel-cold eyes to glance your way. If you like Lance, you'll love Hard Target."[10] Henriksen portrayed gunfighters in westerns Dead Man and The Quick And The Dead and appeared alongside British actor Bruce Payne in Aurora: Operation Intercept in 1995. He would appear alongside Payne again in Face the Evil in 1997 and the dystopian classic Paranoia 1.0 in 2004. That same year, he played the role of Sheriff Doug Barnum in the controversial film Powder.

In 1996, Henriksen starred in the television series Millennium, created and produced by Chris Carter, the creator of The X-Files. Henriksen played Frank Black, a former FBI agent who possessed a unique ability to see into the minds of killers. Carter created the role specifically for the actor. Henriksen's performances on Millennium earned him critical acclaim, a People's Choice Award nomination for Favorite New Male TV Star, and three consecutive Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series (1997–1999). The series was cancelled in 1999. Henriksen's daughter, Alcamy, appears uncredited in an episode of Millennium. He later moved to the state of Hawaii with his wife Jane Pollack and their daughter Sage Ariel.

No less than three prominent franchise roles have been written specifically for Henriksen, though he would only star in one of them. James Cameron wrote The Terminator (1984) hoping Henriksen would play the title character. Chris Carter created Millennium (1996) specifically for Henriksen, then convinced him to become hero Frank Black. Lastly, Victor Salva wrote Jeepers Creepers (2001) with Henriksen in mind for the role of the Creeper.

On television, Henriksen appeared in the ensemble of Into the West (2005), a miniseries executive-produced by Steven Spielberg. He has also recently appeared in a Brazilian soap opera, Caminhos do Coração (Ways of the Heart) from Rede Record. Henriksen guest-starred on a Season 6 episode of NCIS (2009) playing an Arizona sheriff, and appeared in a recurring role as The Major on NBC's The Blacklist.

Henriksen receiving the Aliens Legacy Gold Award at Atlanta, Georgia

In the years after Millennium, Henriksen has become an active voice actor, lending his distinctive voice to a number of animated features and video game titles. In Disney's Tarzan (1999) and its direct-to-video followup Henriksen is Kerchak, the ape who serves as Tarzan's surrogate father. He provided the voice for the alien supervillain Brainiac in Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006). He voiced the character Mulciber in Godkiller for HALO 8 Entertainment in 2009. Henriksen is the voice of the character Molov in the video game Red Faction II (2002), which was developed by Volition, Inc. and published by THQ, and has also contributed to GUN (2005), Run Like Hell (2002), the canceled title Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (2004),[11] and BioWare's role-playing game Mass Effect (2007) as Admiral Hackett of the Human Systems Alliance. Henriksen was also the voice behind PlayStation 3's internet promotional videos. In 2005, Henriksen was the voice of Andrei Rublev in Cartoon Network's IGPX. Currently, the actor is lending his voice to the animated television series Transformers: Animated as the character Lockdown. In 2009, Henriksen voiced Lieutenant General Shepherd in the award-winning game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. He would later voice Karl Bishop Weyland in Aliens vs. Predator; also, this character's appearance resembles Henriksen's. Henriksen voiced Master Gnost-Dural in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and he also reprised his role as Admiral Hackett in Mass Effect 3. He is also the narrator of the recent Verizon Droid commercials. Recently, Henriksen reprised his role as Bishop in Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Henriksen maintains a prominent role in live action television. He has starred in a 2003 series of Australian television commercials for Visa, titled Unexplained (about the raining of fish from the sky[12] over Norfolk)[13] and Big Cats (about the Beast of Bodmin Moor).[14] In these commercials, Henriksen speaks as a Frank Black-type character about these phenomena as Mark Snow-inspired mysterious music plays in the background, as a link to Henriksen's former series, Millennium. Unexplained went on to a gold world medal at the 2004 New York Festivals.[15]

In addition to his television and voice acting work, Henriksen continues to be active in film. He made a cameo appearance in the 2009 horror comedy Jennifer's Body, and starred in the After Dark Horrorfest film, Scream of the Banshee, released in 2011.[16] He played Henry Gale in Leigh Scott's The Witches of Oz.[17] It has been announced that Henriksen will star in Frost Road, the directorial debut of video game director Keith Arem.[18] In January 2015 was signed for the lead of Indie thriller Monday at 11:01 A.M. on the side of Briana Evigan.[19]

Henriksen is also an accomplished ceramic artist and has work in the permanent collection of the American Museum of Ceramic Art.



Year Title Role Notes
1961 The Outsider U.S. Marine Uncredited
1975 Dog Day Afternoon Murphy
1976 Mansion of the Doomed Dr. Dan Bryan
1976 Network Network lawyer at Khan's place
1976 The Next Man Federal Security
1977 Close Encounters of the Third Kind Robert
1978 Damien: Omen II Sergeant Neff
1979 The Visitor Raymond Armstead
1981 Piranha II: The Spawning Police Chief Steve Kimbrough
1981 Prince of the City D.A. Burano
1983 Blood Feud Mel Pierce TV film
1983 Nightmares MacLeod
1983 The Right Stuff Wally Schirra
1984 The Terminator Detective Hal Vukovich
1985 Jagged Edge Frank Martin
1985 Savage Dawn Stryker
1986 Aliens Bishop
1986 Choke Canyon Brook Alastair
1987 Near Dark Jesse Hooker
1988 Pumpkinhead Ed Harley
1989 House III: The Horror Show Detective Lucas McCarthy
1989 Survival Quest Hank
1989 Johnny Handsome Rafe Garrett
1989 Hit List Chris Caleek
1990 The Pit and the Pendulum Torquemada
1991 Stone Cold Chains Cooper
1992 Jennifer 8 Sgt. Freddy Ross
1992 Alien 3 Bishop/Bishop II
1992 Delta Heat Jackson Rivers
1993 Excessive Force Devlin
1993 Super Mario Bros. The King Cameo appearance
1993 Man's Best Friend Dr. Jarret
1993 Hard Target Emil Fouchon
1993 Knights Job
1994 No Escape The Father
1994 Color of Night Buck
1994 Boulevard McClaren
1994 Felony Taft
1995 Aurora: Operation Intercept William Stenghel
1995 The Quick and the Dead Ace Hanlon
1995 Dead Man Cole Wilson
1995 Powder Sheriff Doug Barnum
1995 Mind Ripper Stockton a.k.a. The Outpost
1995 The Nature of the Beast Jack Powell
1996 Dusting Cliff 7 Colonel Roger McBride a.k.a. Last Assassins
1997 Gunfighter's Moon Frank Morgan
1997 No Contest II Eric Dane / Erich Dengler
1998 The Day Lincoln Was Shot Abraham Lincoln TV film
1999 Tarzan Kerchak Voice
2000 Scream 3 John Milton
2001 Lost Voyage David Shaw TV film
2001 The Mangler 2 Headmaster Bradeen
2002 The Untold Harlan Knowles a.k.a. Sasquatch
2003 Antibody Dr. Richard Gaynes
2003 Mimic: Sentinel Garbageman
2003 Unspeakable Pitchford
2004 Modigliani Foster Kane
2004 Madhouse Dr. Franks
2004 Alien vs. Predator Charles Bishop Weyland
2004 Starkweather The Mentor
2004 Paranoia 1.0 Howard a.k.a. One Point O
2005 Into the West Daniel Wheeler TV miniseries
2005 Tarzan II Kerchak Voice
2005 Supernova Colonel Harlan Williams TV film
2005 Hellraiser: Hellworld The Host
2006 When a Stranger Calls Voice of the Stranger
2006 The Garden Ben Zachary
2006 Abominable Ziegler Dane
2006 Sasquatch Mountain Chase Jackson
2006 The Da Vinci Treasure Dr. John Coven
2006 Superman: Brainiac Attacks Brainiac Voice
2006 Pirates of Treasure Island Long John Silver
2006 Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes Ed Harley TV film
2007 Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud Ed Harley TV film
2007 Bone Dry Jimmy
2007 In the Spider's Web Dr. Lecorpus TV film
2007 The Chosen One Cardinal Fred (voice)
2008 Deadwater Col. John Willets a.k.a. Black Ops
2008 Dying God Chance
2008 Dark Reel Connor Pritchett
2008 Appaloosa Ring Shelton
2008 Necessary Evil Dr. Fibrian
2008 Pistol Whipped The Old Man Direct-to-video
2008 Prairie Fever Monte James Direct-to-video
2008 Alone in the Dark II Abner Lundbert Direct-to-video
2008 Ladies of the House Frank TV film
2009 Screamers: The Hunting Orsow Direct-to-video
2009 The Slammin' Salmon Dick Lobo
2009 The Seamstress Sheriff Virgil Logan
2009 The Lost Tribe Gallo
2009 Jennifer's Body Passing Motorist Cameo
2010 Cyrus Emmett
2010 The Genesis Code Dr. Hoffer
2010 Godkiller Mulciber Voice
2010 Scream of the Banshee Broderick Duncan
2010 Good Day for It Lyle Tyrus
2010 The Witches of Oz Henry Gale
2010 The Penitent Man Mr. Darnell
2011 Beautiful Wave Jimmy
2011 Monster Brawl God Voice
2012 The Arcadian Father Reed
2012 Astronaut: The Last Push Walter Moffitt
2013 Gingerclown 3D Braineater Voice
2013 The Book of Daniel Cyrus
2013 Phantom Markov
2014 The Sector Shadow Man
2014 Hollows Grove Bill
2014 Garm Wars: The Last Druid Wydd[20]
2015 Harbinger Down Graff
2015 Lake Eerie[21] Pop
2015 Fragile Storm Norman Short film
2015 Kids vs Monsters Heinrich
2015 Stung Caruthers


Video games

Promotional videos

  • To Hell You Ride (Motion-Comic Video from Dark Horse Comics) (2012) - Lance Henriksen and Joseph Maddrey (co-authors), Tom Mandrake (artist), Lance Henriksen (narrator), TKU: Tecamachalco Underground (Cesar Gallegos/Mateo Latosa) (musical score)



Comic books

  • To Hell You Ride (5-issue comic book from Dark Horse Comics) (2012) - Lance Henriksen and Joseph Maddrey (co-authors) with Tom Mandrake (artist)


  1. ^
  2. ^ New York Times
  3. ^ Myatt, Sue (2004-02-06). "Short Early Biography of Lance Henriksen". Lance Henriksen Magic. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  4. ^ Lance Henriksen Biography (1940?-)
  5. ^ Lipton, Michael A. (1992-11-30). "Misfit No More". People magazine. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  6. ^ a b Myatt, Sue (2004-02-06). "The Web Magic Interview with Lance Henriksen: Frankly Speaking". Lance Henriksen Magic. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  7. ^ a b c Gambin, Lee. """Exclusive Q&A: Lance Henriksen Opens Up on "DAMIEN: OMEN 2. Fangoria. Retrieved 2006-12-01. 
  8. ^ Ross, Dalton (2001-10-10). "Boiling a Lance".  
  9. ^ "SD Comic-Con '10: Enter the 'Alien' Pods at the Fox Booth!!". 
  10. ^ "Lance's Films: Hard Target". 
  11. ^ Mirabella, Fran (2002-10-29). "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". IGN. Retrieved 2006-12-01. 
  12. ^ "It's raining fish!". BBC News. 2000-08-07. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "First Image of Lance Henriksen in 'Scream of the Banshee'!". BloodyDisgusting. 
  17. ^ "First Preview of Leigh Scott's The Witches of Oz". DreadCentral. 
  18. ^ "Video Game Director Keith Arem Heading to Frost Road". DreadCentral. 
  19. ^ "Lance Henriksen and Briana Evigan Meet Up Monday at 11:01 A.M.". DreadCentral. 
  20. ^ Deborah Young (October 24, 2014). Garm Wars: The Last Druid': Tokyo Review"'".  
  21. ^ "Lake Eerie". 
  22. ^ "Star Wars: The Old Republic. Timeline 1: The Treaty of Coruscant". Retrieved 2009-03-28. 

External links

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