Walter Charles Dance (born 10 October 1946) is an English actor. He is known for playing strict, authoritarian characters and villainous characters. His most notable film roles include Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child (1986), Dr. Jonathan Clemens in Alien 3 (1992), Benedict in Last Action Hero (1993), Lord Havelock Vetinari in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal (2010), the Master Vampire in Dracula Untold (2014), Alastair Denniston in The Imitation Game (2014), Alan Jonah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), and William Randolph Hearst in Mank (2020).
On television, Dance played Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones (2011–2015), and Lord Mountbatten in the third and fourth seasons of The Crown (2019–2020). For his role in the latter, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.
Dance lives in North London. He married Joanna Haythorn in 1970, and they had a son named Oliver (born 1974) and a daughter named Rebecca (born 1980) before divorcing in 2004. He later dated Eleanor Boorman from 2008 to 2012, and they had a daughter named Rose (born 2012). He has been engaged to Italian film producer and painter Alessandra Alma Masi since October 2019.
Walter Charles Dance was born in Redditch, Worcestershire on 10 October 1946, the younger son of Eleanor Marion (née Perks; 1911–1984), a cook, and Walter Dance (1874–1949), an electrical engineer who served as a sergeant in the 2nd Regular Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers during the Second Boer War (having previously served in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion) and who was in his 70s when his younger son was born. By his father's previous marriage, Dance had two older half-sisters, Norah (1898–1993) and Mary (1903–1908). He also has an elder brother, Michael (born 1936).During filming of an episode for the genealogical series Who Do You Think You Are? in 2016, Dance also discovered that his mother had Belgian ancestry, which traced back to the city of Spa. His immigrant ancestor Charles François Futvoye (1777–1847) had been a pioneer in the art of Japanning during the early half of the 19th century. Growing up in Plymouth, Dance attended the now-defunct Widey Technical School for Boys (then known as Widey High School) in Crownhill. He later attended Plymouth College of Art and De Montfort University (then known as the Leicester College of Arts), where he studied graphic design and photography.