Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Incredible Life Of Actor Lance Henriksen

The life story of great character actor Lance Henriksen is one of the most amazing stories of any Hollywood actor ever. This year alone, the 69 year old actor is starring in at least eight feature films, not to mention any TV show appearances or video game voice work. The actor has a far longer list of film appearances than most in Hollywood will ever achieve, and probably well over 100 film credit roles so far, ranging from a supporting actor to playing the lead role in films often in the sci fi, horror, action or western genres.

But life wasn't always so good for this great actor. He was born into serious poverty, and his Norwegian father was a merchant sailor often sailing the world. At age 2, his parents divorced, which left his mother struggled to raise young Lance, who quit school at age 12. He had a number of small run-ins with the law while basically living on the streets. Incredibly, Henriksen didn't learn to read until he was 30 years old. But meeting some in film like James Cameron really helped to change his life, and Lance studied acting which led to him becoming the great actor he is today.

Strangely, Lance Henriksen was actually supposed to play THE TERMINATOR in the original 1984 film in the series, but soon found himself recast as just a minor player in the movie after Cameron opted to use Arnold Schwarzenegger instead in a major casting shakeup. But Henriksen had many big roles in other films such in ALIENS, THE QUICK AND THE DEAD, as well as playing Abraham Lincoln in the critically acclaimed and Emmy nominated cable TV movie, THE DAY LINCOLN WAS SHOT.

In movies such as ALIENS, Henriksen played the loyal android, Bishop, while in films like STONE COLD, he played the immensely evil and mean motorcycle gang leader, Chains Cooper. And in films such as THE QUICK AND THE DEAD, he played the braggart trick-shot artist, Ace Hanlon, who was exposed as something of a fraud. Henriksen is the man of a thousand different roles and personalities.

Even as the actor ages, his career hasn't slowed down at all. In fact, the eight films that he is scheduled to appear in during 2010 represent one of his busiest years of work ever. However, his television role as Frank Black in the ultra-dark and mysterious TV series, MILLENNIUM, created by Chris Carter, is probably one of the greatest roles of his career. Sometimes, there is talk of reprising the role of Frank Black for a movie version of the show. And Henriksen sounds on-board to do such a film if such an opportunity would ever present itself.

While not entirely a recognizable name by most folks, Lance Henriksen remains one of the most recognizable faces in films today. His distinctive, Craggy and roughly hewn looks loan themselves to a wide number of great character roles, and his immense talent as an actor makes Lance Henriksen one of the greatest talents today in films.


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