LANCE HENRIKSEN Biography - Other artists & entretainers


Biography » other artists entretainers » lance henriksen


Upon graduation from the Actor’s Studio, Manhattan-born Lance Henriksen spent nearly two decades playing villains. An agreeable-looking fellow offscreen, Henriksen portrayed the foulest of murderers, rapists, perverts, extraterrestrials, and other antisocial types on the stage (Richard III) and screen. He made his first film, It Ain’t Easy, in 1972 (although his studio bios list his screen debut as Dog Day Afternoon in 1975), then concentrated his skills on the melodramatic requirements of The Jagged Edge (1985), Johnny Handsome (1989), Jennifer Eight (1992), Dead Man (1995), and many others.


In interviews, Henriksen claimed to “live” his parts while portraying them, which, he admitted, was a self-defeating practice. A close friend of director James Cameron, Henriksen posed for Cameron’s preliminary character sketches for the robotic antagonist of the 1984 thriller The Terminator. The producers liked the sketches but not Henriksen, and the role instead went to Arnold Schwarzenegger. In compensation, Cameron saw to it that Henriksen was cast as a heroic android in his 1986 film Aliens.