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Lance Henriksen (born May 5, 1940) is a U.S. actor, painter, and potter. A versatile and prolific performer, his trademarks as an actor are his deep, gravelly voice, piercing stare, and chiseled, weathered features.
Henriksen finally found good use for his talent as a painter with his first job, designing theater sets. The first play he acted in he did because he had built the set. In his early 30s, Henriksen graduated from the prestigious Actors Studio and began acting in New York City's Off-Broadway theater circuit. 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 Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Damien: Omen II (1978). He also portrayed astronaut Walter Schirra in The Right Stuff (1983) and actor Charles Bronson in the 1991 TV-movie Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story.
When James Cameron was writing the movie The Terminator (1984), he had originally envisioned Henriksen playing the title role. Cameron went so far as to paint a picture of the Terminator using Henriksen's face, and he had the actor dress-up as the character and attend an Orion Pictures production meeting in character. Regardless, the famous role ultimately went to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Henriksen did appear in the film, albeit in the minor role of Detective Hal Vukovich. Henriksen is perhaps best known for portraying the android Bishop, an artificial life-form, in Aliens (1986) and Alien³ (1992). He would go on to play Charles Bishop Weyland, the man Bishop's appearance was based on, in Alien vs. Predator (2004). Like Bill Paxton, Henriksen has claimed the honor of being killed on screen by an Alien, Predator, and a Terminator. In Aliens, his character, the android Bishop, is severely damaged by an Alien Queen and "dies" in the following film (though whether this is as a result from the dismemberment or the crash is not clear). He was shot to death by a Terminator in the first Terminator film, and then stabbed by a Predator in Alien Vs. Predator.
The 1993 John Woo film Hard Target contains a scene that depicts Henriksen wearing a burning trench coat following a scripted explosion. The fire was real and accidental. With the situation at hand, Henriksen continued acting and blended the circumstances into the story. The incident also explains why the other actors, who played the henchmen, were so surprised at what had happened to Henriksen. The look on their faces is genuine surprise.
In 1996, Henriksen starred in the TV 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.
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 titular 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 most recently appeared in the ensemble of Into the West (2005), a miniseries executive-produced by Steven Spielberg.
In recent years Henriksen has also been active as a 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 prequel 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). 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), and the canceled title Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (2004). In 2005, Henriksen was the voice of Andrei Rublev in Cartoon Network's IGPX. Henriksen is also the voice behind PlayStation 3 internet promotional videos.
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