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John Wood as Prof Steven Falken
John Wood, CBE was born on 5th July 1930. He was an English actor noted for his performances in Shakespeare and his work with playwright Tom Stoppard.

John Wood was born in Derbyshire (England), and was educated at Bedford School. He did his national service as a lieutenant with the Royal Artillery, where he was invalided out after being accidentally shot in the back and later almost killed in a jeep accident.

He read law at Jesus College, Oxford. He was president of the Oxford University Dramatic Society. He had seen Sir John Gielgud as Angelo in Peter Brook's 1950 Stratford-upon-Avon production of Measure for Measure, "and suddenly knew what I wanted to do". He played Malvolio – "looking as lean, lanky and statuesque as Don Quixote," said the Oxford Mail - in a Mansfield College gardens production of Twelfth Night with Maggie Smith as Viola. He directed and starred in a student production of Richard III and invited one of the leading critics of the day, Harold Hobson, to the performance, telling Hobson that he would be "wanting in his duties" to ignore a Richard III that was "finer than Olivier's". Out of curiosity, Hobson went to the performance, and reported that he had seen "something not to be missed"; the young actor had a "sardonic, amused condescension and visible superiority complex", and the critic foresaw "a considerable future". John Wood graduated from Oxford in 1953.


From 1983 and 1986 he acted in a variety of Hollywood films, including WarGames (1983), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1984), Ladyhawke (1985), and Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986). He then played the Player in the 1987 New York revival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

John Wood died of natural causes on 6 August 2011.

Many believe that starring in the movie "War Games" alongside Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Ally Sheedy, put John on the map. The story is about a young hacker (David played by Matthew) and his girlfriend (Jennifer played by Ally) breaking into a military super computer (Owned by NORAD - North American Aerospace Defence Command) and almost starting World War 3. The computer (WOPR - War Operation Plan Response) thinks that "Global Thermonuclear War" is just a game and seems totally unaware that real damage would happen if it launched any missiles, it also thinks that David is Professor Steven Falcon (John Wood). Together David, Steven and Jennifer teach the WOPR about futility by making it play Noughts and Crosses (Tic-Tac-Toe) with it's self - it quickly learns that sometimes there is simply no point of playing certain games as it's often a stalemate.

In the movie, David demonstrated some brilliant hacking techniques. He wrote a program to systematically dial phone numbers to see if there was a human or a modem at the other end and log them in some kind of file or database. He got in to WOPR by researching the original creator, Prof Steven Falcon. David learned that the professor had a son that died and tried that as a password. To his astonishment, it worked and he was able to gain access to the WOPR computer through the unsecured phone line.

Some brilliant quotes from the movie

  1. While at school

    • Teacher: Asexual reproduction. Could someone tell me please who first suggested the idea of reproduction without sex ?
    • David to Jennifer : His wife !


  2. General Beringer :-

    • Mr. McKittrick, after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defence system sucks.
    • God damn it, I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it'd do any good !




General Beringer
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