Respected in North America and the United Kingdom, actor John Vernon has worked steadily on stage, television, and feature films since the 1950s. A native of Montréal, Canada, Vernon's formal studies began after he won a scholarship to London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Prior to attending the school, Vernon gained experience in amateur theater. During his time in London, Vernon worked with several repertory companies. In 1956, he voiced the part of Big Brother in 1984, but he did not make his formal film debut until 1958 in The Long Rifle and the Tomahawk. By the mid-'50s, Vernon had returned to Canada and went on to specialize in Shakespearean television shows and theater presentations. Vernon made his first Broadway bow in Royal Hunt of the Sun. From there he went to Hollywood to start a prolific career as a supporting and occasional lead actor. Vernon was frequently cast as a villain.