Walter Charles Dance, OBE (born 10 October 1946) is an English actor, screenwriter, and film director.
Some of his highest profile roles are Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones (2011–2015), Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child (1986), Jonathan Clemens in Alien 3 (1992), Benedict in Last Action Hero (1993), the Master Vampire in Dracula Untold (2014), Lord Havelock Vetinari in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal (2010), Alastair Denniston in The Imitation Game (2014), and Emperor Emhyr var Emreis in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015).
Dance made his screen debut in 1974, in the ITV series Father Brown as Commandant Neil O'Brien in "The Secret Garden". Other small parts followed, including a 1983 cameo as a South African assassin in The Professionals, but his big break came the following year when he played the major role of Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (Granada Television, Christopher Morahan 1984), an adaptation of Paul Scott's novels that also made stars of Geraldine James and Art Malik. He appeared in Paris Connections (2010) as the Russian oligarch Aleksandr Borinski. Dance made one of his earliest big screen appearances in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only as evil henchman Claus. Though he turned down the opportunity to screen test for the James Bond role, in 1989 he played Bond creator Ian Fleming in Anglia Television's dramatised biography directed by Don Boyd, Goldeneye (the name of Fleming's estate in Jamaica and a title later used for a James Bond film).
He has also starred in many other British television dramas such as Edward the Seventh (as dissolute Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Edward VII's oldest son, and heir to the throne), Murder Rooms, Randall and Hopkirk, Rebecca, The Phantom of the Opera, Fingersmith and Bleak House (for which he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie). He was name-checked in the British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, as being slated to play the title character in The Life of Jesus Christ 2, which was filming in Morocco at the same time as the main characters of the series were there for a photo shoot. He also played Guy Spencer, the pro-Hitler propagandist, in the second instalment of Foyle's War, and had an ongoing role as Dr. Maltravers in the ITV drama Trinity.
Dance made a guest appearance on the BBC drama series Merlin as the Witchfinder Aredian, and as a vainglorious version of himself in the third series of Jam & Jerusalem. He played Havelock Vetinari in the 2010 Sky adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. He played the role of Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones, based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin. Dance was wooed for the role by the producers while filming Your Highness in Belfast. Dance also played Conrad Knox on the British television series Strike Back: Vengeance as the primary villain in the series.
On 30 June 2013, Dance appeared with other celebrities in an episode of the BBC's Top Gear as a "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" for the debut of the Vauxhall Astra. In summer 2018, Dance narrated a documentary entitled "Spitfire", which featured the legendary Supermarine Spitfire and recounted the efforts of the RAF pilots who flew them during the Second World War.
Dance is represented by Tavistock Wood Management.
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