Date of Birth : May 5th 1940
An American 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 was born in Manhattan, New York City to a poor family. His father was a Norwegian merchant sailor and boxer nicknamed “Icewater” who spent most of his life at sea. Henriksen’s mother struggled to find work as a dance instructor, waitress, and model. His parents divorced when he was only two years old and he was raised by his mother from then on. As he grew up, Henriksen found himself in trouble at various schools and even saw the inside of a children’s home. Henriksen left home and dropped out of school at the age of twelve. He was illiterate until the age of 30, when he taught himself to read by studying film scripts. He spent most of his adolescence as a street urchin in New York. Riding on freight trains across the country, he would also do time in jail for petty crimes such as vagrancy. It was during this period of wayfaring that he met lifetime friends James Cameron and Bruce Kenselaar.
Henriksen finally found good use for his talent as a painter during his first job, designing theater sets. In fact, 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.Lance Henriksen as Charles Bishop Weyland in Alien vs. Predator (2004)
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).