Oliver Reed

Biography

Date of Birth 13 February 1937, Wimbledon, London, England, UK Date of Death 2 May 1999, Valletta, Malta (heart attack) Birth Name Robert Oliver Reed Height 5' 11" (1.80 m) Starting off as an extra in films in the late 1950s (Reed had no acting training or theatrical experience), Reed got his first notable roles in Hammer films Sword of Sherwood Forest, The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (both 1960), The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), Paranoiac, and The Damned (not the Visconti film, but an earlier English movie directed by Joseph Losey and released in North America as These Are the Damned) (both 1963). In 1964 he starred in the first of six films directed by Michael Winner, The System, (known as The Girl-Getters in the U.S.). He first collaborated with director Ken Russell in a biopic of Claude Debussy in 1965, after which came his famous role in Women in Love (1969), in which he wrestled naked with Alan Bates in front of a log fire; then the controversial 1971 film The Devils, and finally the 1975 musical film Tommy, based on The Who's 1969 concept album Tommy and starring its lead singer Roger Daltrey. In between those films for Russell, Reed played his memorable role of Bill Sikes in his uncle Carol Reed's 1968 screen version of the hit musical Oliver!, and the title role in the 1969 comedy Hannibal Brooks, again for director Winner. Reed starred as Athos in three films based on Alexandre Dumas's novels, first in 1973's The Three Musketeers, followed by The Four Musketeers in 1974, and fifteen years later with The Return of the Musketeers. He starred in a similarly historical themed film, Crossed Swords (aka The Prince and the Pauper), as Miles Hendon alongside Raquel Welch in 1977, and returned to horror as Dr. Hal Raglan in David Cronenberg's 1979 film The Brood. From the 80s onwards Reed's films garnered less success, his more notable roles being Gen. Rodolfo Graziani in the 1981 film Lion of the Desert, which costarred Anthony Quinn and chronicled the resistance to Italy's occupation of Libya during World War II; and as the middle aged Gerald Kingsland, who is trapped for a year on a desert island with (a mostly naked) Amanda Donohoe in Castaway (1986). He also starred in the Iraqi historical film "Clash of Loyalties" in 1982 where he played a British General during the 1920 revolution in Iraq. His last major successes were Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) (as the god Vulcan), Treasure Island (1990) (as Captain Billy Bones), Funny Bones (1995), and his final role as Proximo in Gladiator, released after his death in 2000 (some footage depicting Reed's character was filmed after his death with a double digitally mixed with outtake footage taken before Reed's death). When the UK government raised taxes on personal income, Reed initially declined to join the exodus of major British film stars to Hollywood and other more tax-friendly locales. During this time he began proclaiming himself as "Mr England", and turned down major roles in two hugely successful Hollywood movies: The Sting (1973) and Jaws (1975). His Daily Telegraph obituary noted that in the late 1970s Reed was finally obliged to relocate to the Channel Islands as a tax exile. An anecdote holds that Reed could have been chosen to play James Bond. In 1969, Bond franchise producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were looking for a replacement for Sean Connery, and Reed was a prime candidate. They ultimately decided against hiring him, however, because they felt his public, alcohol-fueled antics made him too much of a liability. After Reed's death, the Guardian Unlimited called the casting decision "one of the great missed opportunities of post-war British movie history ... He would also have spared us George Lazenby, and perhaps Roger Moore as well." In 1959, Reed wed Kate Byrne. They had one son, Mark, before their divorce in 1969. He then lived with dancer Jackie Daryl, with whom he had a daughter, Sarah. In 1985, he married Josephine Burge, and stayed with her until his death.

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Birth Name

Robert Oliver Reed

Birth Place

Wimbledon, London, England, UK

Birth Date

2/13/1938

Death Date

5/2/1999
Known For
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Gladiator

Proximo

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The Brood

Dr. Hal Raglan

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The Three Musketeers

Athos

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Tommy

Frank Hobbs

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The Four Musketeers

Athos

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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

Vulcan

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Burnt Offerings

Ben Rolf

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The Hunting Party

Frank Calder

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Condorman

Krokov

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The Devils

Urbain Grandier

Starring In
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The Rebel

Artist in Cafe

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Gladiator

Proximo

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Parting Shots

Jamie Campbell-Stewart

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Since You've Been Gone

Athos

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Marco Polo I

Captain Cornelius Donovan

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Jeremiah

General Safan

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The People vs. Larry Flynt

Governor Rhodes

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Severed Ties

Dr. Hans Vaughan

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The Pit and the Pendulum

Cardinal

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The Revenger

Jack Fisher

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Treasure Island

Capt. Billy Bones

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Hired to Kill

Michael Bartos

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A Ghost in Monte Carlo

The Rajah

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The Lady and the Highwayman

Sir Phillip Gage

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The House of Usher

Roderick Usher

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The return of the three musketeers

Athos

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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

Vulcan

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L'Altra Africa

Ian Ballinger

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Skeleton Coast

Capt. David Simpson

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Fair Trade

General Belmondo

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Rage to Kill

Major General Edward Turner

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The Misfit Brigade

The General

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Gor

Sarm

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Dragonard

Captain Shanks

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Castaway

Gerald Kingsland

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Black Arrow

Sir Daniel

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Two of a Kind

Beasley

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The Sting II

Lonnegan

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Fanny Hill

Mr. Edward Widdlecome

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Spasms

Jason Kincaid

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Condorman

Krokov

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The Lion Of The Desert

Gen. Rodolfo Graziani

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Venom

Dave

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Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype

Dr. Henry Heckyl / Mr. Hype

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The Brood

Dr. Hal Raglan

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The Big Sleep

Eddie Mars

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Assault in Paradise

Nick McCormick

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Crossed Swords

Miles Hendon

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The Sell-Out

Gabriel Lee

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The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday

Joe Knox

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Burnt Offerings

Ben Rolf

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Tommy

Frank Hobbs

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Royal Flash

Otto von Bismarck

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Lisztomania

Princess Carolyn's Servant (uncredited)

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And Then There Were None

Hugh Lombard

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The Four Musketeers

Athos

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Mahler

Train Conductor (uncredited)

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Blueblood

Tom

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Days of Fury

Palizyn

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The Three Musketeers

Athos

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Revolver

Vito Cipriani

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Sitting Target

Harry Lomart

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ZPG: Zero Population Growth

Russ McNeil

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The Triple Echo

the Sergeant / Sergeant

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The Hunting Party

Frank Calder

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The Devils

Urbain Grandier

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The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun

Michael Caldwell

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Take a Girl Like You

Patrick Standish

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Women in Love

Gerald Crich

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The Assassination Bureau

Ivan Dragomiloff

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Hannibal Brooks

Stephen 'Hannibal' Brooks

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Oliver!

Bill Sikes

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The Shuttered Room

Ethan

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The Jokers

David Tremayne

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I’ll Never Forget What’s is Name

Andrew Quint

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The Trap

La Bete

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Bunny Lake Is Missing

Plain Clothes Policeman (uncredited)

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The Party's Over

Moise

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The Brigand of Kandahar

Eli Khan

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The System

Tinker

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The Scarlet Blade

Capt. Tom Sylvester

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Paranoiac

Simon Ashby

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The Damned

King

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The Pirates of Blood River

Brocaire - a Pirate

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Night Creatures

Harry Cobtree

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Captain Clegg

Harry Cobtree

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The Curse of the Werewolf

Leon Corledo

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His and Hers

Poet

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The Bulldog Breed

Teddy Boy in cinema fight (uncredited)

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No Love for Johnnie

Man with Bucket on His Head (uncredited)

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The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll

Tough (uncredited)

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Sword of Sherwood Forest

Lord Melton (uncredited)

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The League of Gentlemen

Babes in the Woods Chorus Boy (uncredited)

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The Angry Silence

Mick

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Wild for Kicks

Plaid Shirt

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The Square Peg

(uncredited)

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Value for Money

Extra (uncredited)

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Java Head

Dr. Henry Heckyl / Mr. Hype

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