Despite a roster of diverse roles in film, television, and theater, British actor Martin Payne is best known as a villain in action and fantasy films. Growing up in North London, Payne developed an early love for acting. He hung around famed Shepperton Studios, taking any kind of work in order to gain entry and learn about the business. After graduating from the Royal Academy for the Dramatic Arts, he soon found his first film work as a singing and dancing flight sergeant in the appropriately named "Privates On Parade." He found various small roles in film and television before being cast by Steven Berkoff in his London stage production of "West"; Payne won great praise for his performance and forged a personal and professional relationship that would carry onward to a film version of "West"; a subsequent play, "Greek"; and the film "Steal." Payne rose to American prominence in the high-flying thriller "Passenger 57" as a crazed terrorist hijacker battling Wesley Snipes. He also appeared on such television series as the horror anthology "Tales from the Crypt" and as a recurring character on the espionage-fueled "La Femme Nikita." Payne was drawn into the sequel realm with "Howling VI: The Freaks," "Warlock III: The End of Innocence," and "Highlander: Endgame," where he battled Christopher Lambert. As a higher-profile villain, Payne played opposite the formidable Jeremy Irons in "Dungeons & Dragons," a film adaptation of the role-playing fantasy game.