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Vernon Wells

The Road Warrior, Power Rangers, Commando
Celebrity Hall, Bay Center 2nd Floor

Pensacon is pleased to welcome from The Road Warrior, Commando, and Power Rangers: Time Force, actor Vernon Wells!

As a kid, Vernon’s only contact with the film world was the biweekly screenings of Hollywood westerns at the local cinema. His favorites were always the “bad guys.” Little did he realize that one day he would portray one of cinema’s classic bad guys—destined to become a cult hero.

At only 14, Vernon followed in his mother’s footsteps and became the lead singer of a successful rock show band for five years. While pursuing his singing career, Vernon graduated with an engineering degree in telecommunications. But by now, he had been bitten by the entertainment bug and he was not interested in telecommunications. He wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

Vernon began his entertainment career as a model and managed to become a highly successful male model in the '70s. He then moved into acting, landing small parts on various television shows.

While working as an actor, Vernon’s interest in the art of making movies gradually moved him into producing and directing. He joined one of Australia’s premiere commercial producers, Mike Browning & Associates, and worked his way up to Assistant Director and Producer, working on television advertising campaigns and documentaries. After five years, Vernon established his own commercial production company. He became very involved in the conceptual writing and production of commercials, eventually stepping behind the camera as director.

Directing had consumed Vernon’s career—acting was all but forgotten...until he was asked to star in the stage play Hosanna. During the successful run of the play, he received critical acclaim for his role. This led to an interview by director George Miller to play the role of Wez, the mohawked marauder, for his forthcoming production Mad Max II – The Road Warrior, a film that eventually became a worldwide cult classic.

In 1984, Vernon parodied his role of Wez in Mad Max II – The Road Warrior for John Hughes. The film was Weird Science, starring Kelly LeBrock. While working on the film, Vernon was amazed to discover that his portrayal of the villain, Wez, in Mad Max II, had become such a cult classic.

Upon completion of Weird Science, Vernon did a HBO movie called Fortress with Rachel Ward. Soon after, he starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando for producer Joel Silver. Vernon also continued working on television with guest starring roles on The Fall Guy, MacGyver, Knight Rider, Hunter, and TNT.

Vernon traveled to Toronto, Canada to star in the independent film Circle Man, portraying a mentally handicapped boxer. He was at last playing the good guy with a love interest! But it didn’t last...

For his next assignment, Vernon was asked by Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante to portray, the villain—Igo—in Innerspace, starring Martin Short and Meg Ryan.

Vernon has continued working on such projects as The Gamble (with Matthew Modine and Faye Dunaway), Circuitry Man I and II (starring as Plughead), Undeclared War in Hong Kong (with Olivia Hussey), Another Shrimp on the Barbie (with Cheech Marin), Fortress (with Christopher Lambert and his soon-to-become favorite director, Stuart Gordon0, Space Truckers (with Dennis Hopper), and Sunset (with Bruce Willis). Vernon has also starred in many independent features, like Stranglehold, Ultimatum, and Hard Justice with David Bradley.

Vernon became the first “human” villain for the Power Rangers series (starring in Time Force for the 2001 season). The 2001 season of Power Rangers became one of the highest rated seasons for Fox Kids Television/Sabaan. Vernon also starred in the 100th and 101st episodes of JAG, Conan the Barbarian, and The Amazing Sea Monkeys.

Vernon has worked with Joe Dante on Looney Tunes: Back in Action with Steve Martin, My Gardener with Carlos Ponce, and King of the Ants, directed by Stuart Gordon. In all, Vernon has worked on not less than 52 films and countless television shows. He now divides his time between directing and acting. Aside from his wife, these are his two greatest loves.