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Lance Henriksen Biography

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Lance Henriksen
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Lance Henriksen Biography

An intense, versatile actor as adept at playing clean-cut FBI agents as he is playing psychotic motorcycle-gang leaders, who can go from portraying soulless, murderous vampires to burned-out, world-weary homicide detectives, Lance Henriksen has starred in a variety of films that have allowed him to stretch his talents just about as far as an actor could possibly hope. One of his latest projects was AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. He also appeared in the TNT original movie Evel Knievel (2004) (TV), directed by John Badham and executive produced by Mel Gibson. Henriksen portrayed "Awful Knoffel" in this project based on the life of the famed daredevil, played by George Eads. Henriksen starred for three seasons (1996-1999) on "Millennium" (1996), Fox-TV's critically acclaimed series created by Chris Carter ("The X Files" (1993)). His performance as "Frank Black", a retired FBI agent who has the ability to get inside the minds of killers, landed him three consecutive Golden Globe nominations for "Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Drama Series" and a People's Choice Award nomination for "Favorite New TV Male Star". FOX Home Entertainment has just released the first season of "Millennium" on DVD.

Born in New York, Henriksen studied at the Actors Studio and began his career off-Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's "Three Plays of the Sea." One of his first film appearances was as an FBI agent in Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon (1975), followed by Lumet's Network (1976) and Prince of the City (1981). He then appeared in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) with Richard Dreyfuss and François Truffaut, Damien: Omen II (1978) and in Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff (1983), in which he played Mercury astronaut Capt. Wally Schirra.

James Cameron cast Henriksen in his first directorial effort, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981), then used him in The Terminator (1984), and cast him as the android Bishop in the sci-fi classic Aliens (1986). Director Sam Raimi, who used Henriksen in his quirky western The Quick and the Dead (1995) opposite Russell Crowe, Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman, says, "Lance is a brilliant performer who goes way beyond acting. He becomes his character completely, leaving no trace of his former self and making something of every moment on screen."

Henriksen's additional feature credits include what is one of his best-known roles, that of the head of a family of murderous redneck vampires in Kathryn Bigelow's cult vampire film Near Dark (1987). He's also appeared in Jagged Edge (1985), Pumpkinhead (1989), The Horror Show (1989), Survival Quest (1989), director Walter Hill's Johnny Handsome (1989), The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) (V), Bruce Robinson's Jennifer Eight (1992), Alien³ (1992), Richard Rush's Color of Night (1994), Powder (1995), Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man (1995), Disney's animated feature Tarzan (1999) and John Woo's first American film, Hard Target (1993), for which Henriksen received a Saturn Award as Best Supporting Actor.

He was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in the TNT original film The Day Lincoln Was Shot (1998) (TV) and had starring roles in PBS' Emmy-winning The Dark End of the Street (1981) and HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" (1989). Henriksen also played actor Charles Bronson in the television movie Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story (1991) (TV).

In addition to his abilities as an actor, Henriksen is an accomplished painter and potter. His talent as a ceramist has enabled him to create some of the most unusual ceramic artworks available on the art market today. He resides in Southern California with his wife Jane and their five-year-old daughter Sage.

Lance Henriksen Trivia

Daughters: Sage Ariel (12 October 1999), Alcamy (b. 1987).

Was illiterate until the age of thirty. Learned to read by studying movie scripts.

His father was a Merchant Marine nicknamed 'Icewater'.

Parents divorced when he was two.

Left home at the age of twelve.

Served in the Navy.

There was talk of having him reprise his role as Detective Vukovich in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003). The idea was to have his character bound in a wheelchair (after having survived the events of the original film). That idea, however, was eventually rejected.

Was considered for the title role in The Terminator (1984), but was ruled out when it was decided that Arnold Schwarzenegger (who was reading for the role of Kyle Reese) would be the perfect choice as the Terminator.

Has had at least two franchise characters written for him over the years. James Cameron originally wrote The Terminator (1984) character with him in mind, as did Victor Salva with the Creeper from the Jeepers Creepers (2001) movies.

Dropped out of school at 12.

In addition to having faced off against lethal aliens in the "Alien" and "Predator" films, he has also appeared in a film about more benevolent aliens: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).

As a young man, he hitchhiked across the United States.

He was James Cameron's original choice for the title role in The Terminator (1984) when the concept was for a machine that could blend into a crowd. Cameron had even made concept drawings of Henriksen as the Terminator. When the concept was changed, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was cast, Henriksen was re-cast as Det. Vukovich. When Cameron made Aliens (1986), he cast Henriksen as Bishop, an android.

Lived in Borneo for three years when he was a kid.

Enjoys pottery and has been doing it for over 40 years.

He has filmed over 7 movies in Romania.

He was walking through a hotel lobby in Romania (where he was wrapping up another film) when he was offered One Point 0.

Is a big fan of Eminem's music.

Loves to vacation in Hawaii.

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