Ask any film lover about the guy whose head was sliced off by a plate of glass in The Omen, and they’ll say “of course…yes.” Ask about the man who played Jack the Ripper in Time After Time…the guy who noted that in Victorian-era London he was a freak but in late ’70s San Francisco he’s an amateur…and the film lover will say “yup, definitely….I know that guy.” Or Spicer Lovejoy, the snooty manservant and bodyguard of Billy Zane‘s Caledon Hockley in Titanic.

But very few will name the actor who played these characters — David Warner.

For me the seminal Warner impression will always be Henry Niles in Sam Peckinpah‘s Straw Dogs (’71), although I could never figure out several things about Niles, whom one of the tough-guy characters calls “you bloody pervert.” Which Niles was, in a sense. Or at the very least a creep. He even tried to sexually attack Susan George during the climax, but it stopped when Dustin Hoffman grabs him by the shoulders, looks in Niles’ watery eyes and shakes his head in a stern no-no fashion.

The great David Warner, who was also an excellent stage actor, has expired at age 81.