Oliver Reed

Oliver Reed

  • Highest Rated: 100% Castaway (1987)
  • Lowest Rated: 0% The Sting II (1983)
  • Birthday: Feb 13, 1938
  • Birthplace: Wimbledon, London, England, UK
  • Burly British actor Oliver Reed juggled over 60 film roles in 40 years and a full-blooded social life of women, booze, and bar fights, both of which became fodder for stories about one of England's darker leading men and villainous character actors. After getting his start in cult monster movies from Hammer Studios, Reed forged a body of work most associated with acclaimed directors Ken Russell, Richard Lester, and Michael Winner, in which he was able to sidestep his typecasting as a brooding heavy. Reed remains one of the only prominent British thespians never to amass any stage work, making him a pure film actor. Reed was born on February 13, 1938, in Wimbledon, England, a nephew of film director Sir Carol Reed (The Third Man). An antsy type given to partying with friends, Reed did not complete high school. He ended up taking on a variety of blue-collar jobs, including nightclub bouncer and hospital porter, and even a short career in pugilism. In 1960, he suddenly burst into films, showing up in the background of the Hammer films The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll and Sword of Sherwood Forest, and as a gay ballet dancer in The League of Gentlemen. His first starring role came with Hammer in 1961, as the title character in Curse of the Werewolf. Years later, he would serve as narrator on a full Hammer retrospective, putting his sonorous speaking voice to good use and paying homage to his roots. Such early work paved the way for a steady flow of bad-guy roles in horrors, costume dramas, and suspense thrillers. Reed's intense, glowering features could also be manipulated for believable ethnic characterizations. Titles such as These Are the Damned and Pirates of Blood River (both 1962) followed. His first of six collaborations with Michael Winner came with The Girl Getters in 1966. In 1968, he won his first leading role in a universally well-received film, the Oscar-winner Oliver!, directed by his uncle, in which he played murderous thief Bill Sikes. Despite complaints of nepotism, Reed insisted he had to persuade his uncle to cast him, even though his credentials closely matched the needs of the part. Another watershed moment came in 1969, when Ken Russell cast him as one of the leads in his adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love. While the film was a well-received treatise on sexuality and marriage, it achieved some notoriety for featuring the first-ever full-frontal male nudity in an English-language commercial film. Reed and Alan Bates engage in a memorable nude wrestling match that audaciously fleshes out the film's themes. Reportedly, Russell had planned to scrap the scene, worried about censor backlash, until Reed wrestled him into including it, literally pinning him down, in Russell's kitchen. Still, Reed told the Los Angeles Times he had to drink a bottle of vodka before he could relax enough to film the scene. The actor and director would work together five more times, including The Devils (1971) and Tommy (1975), in which Reed played Frank Hobbs. Reed was also known for portraying musketeer Athos in three of Richard Lester's film versions of Alexandre Dumas' famous tale. Reed appeared in The Three Musketeers (1973) and its sequel, The Four Musketeers (1975), which originally had been planned as one long movie. He revived the role in 1989 for The Return of the Musketeers. During filming of the windmill scene in the first film, Reed was nearly killed when he received an accidental stab wound in the neck. Add in 36 facial stitches following a bar fight in 1963, and the actor had more than his share of scrapes. Reed peaked in many ways in the mid-'70s, and had to settle on genre work for much of his career. Films such as Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hipe (1980), Venom (1982), Gor (1987), and Dragonard (1987) became his regular source of paychecks for many years. For every respite, such as Nicolas Roeg's Castaway (1987) or Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989), there was a return to familiar territory with garbage

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet Yirmiyahu Actor 2012
No Score Yet Las Increíbles Aventuras de Marco Polo en su Viaje Actor 2000
76% Gladiator Proximo 2000
No Score Yet Parting Shots Jamie 1999
No Score Yet Jeremiah General Safan 1998
89% The People Vs. Larry Flynt Governor Rhodes 1996
61% Funny Bones Dolly Hopkins 1995
No Score Yet Severed Ties Dr. Hans Vaughan 1992
No Score Yet Prisoner of Honor Gen. de Boisdeffre 1991
56% The Pit and the Pendulum Cardinal 1991
No Score Yet Hired to Kill Bartos 1990
No Score Yet A Ghost in Monte Carlo Actor 1990
No Score Yet Treasure Island (Devil's Treasure) Billy Bones 1990
No Score Yet The Revenger Actor 1990
60% The Return of the Musketeers Athos 1989
No Score Yet The Lady and the Highwayman Sir Phillip Gage 1989
92% The Adventures of Baron Munchausen Vulcan 1989
No Score Yet The House of Usher Roderick 1988
No Score Yet Master of Dragonard Hill Capt. Shanks 1988
No Score Yet Skeleton Coast Capt. Simpson 1988
No Score Yet Gor Sarm 1988
No Score Yet Wheels of Terror The General 1988
No Score Yet Blind Justice Actor 1988
No Score Yet Captive Rage Gen. Belmondo 1988
No Score Yet Rage to Kill Gen. Turner 1988
100% Castaway Gerald Kingsland 1987
No Score Yet Captive Gregory Le Vay 1986
No Score Yet Black Arrow Sir Daniel Brackley 1985
No Score Yet Ransom Actor 1984
20% Two of a Kind Beazley 1983
No Score Yet Spasms Jason Kincaid 1983
0% The Sting II Lonnegan 1983
No Score Yet Fanny Hill Mr. Widdlecombe 1983
25% Condorman Krokov 1981
71% Lion of the Desert (Omar Mukhtar) Gen. Rodolfo Graziani 1981
43% Venom Dave Averconnelly 1981
No Score Yet Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype Dr. Henry Heckyl / Mr. Hype 1980
No Score Yet Blue Blood Actor 1980
81% The Brood Dr. Hal Raglan 1979
No Score Yet Tomorrow Never Comes Jim Wilson 1978
No Score Yet Class of Miss MacMichael Terence Sutton 1978
80% The Big Sleep Eddie Mars 1978
No Score Yet Crossed Swords (The Prince and the Pauper) Miles Hendon 1977
No Score Yet Maniac Nick McCormick 1977
No Score Yet That's Action Actor 1977
No Score Yet The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday (Wildcat) Joe Knox 1976
No Score Yet Sell Out Gabriel Lee 1976
40% Burnt Offerings Ben Rolf 1976
No Score Yet Royal Flash Otto Von Bismarck 1975
74% Tommy Frank Hobbs 1975
80% The Four Musketeers Athos 1975
50% Lisztomania Princess Carolyn's Servant 1975
No Score Yet Ein unbekannter rechnet ab (Ten Little Indians)(And Then There Were None) Hugh Lombard 1974
No Score Yet Mahler Stationmaster 1974
82% The Three Musketeers Athos 1973
No Score Yet One Russian Summer Actor 1973
No Score Yet Triple Echo Sergeant 1973
No Score Yet Revolver Actor 1973
No Score Yet Blue Blood Tom 1973
No Score Yet Zero Population Growth Russ 1972
No Score Yet Z.P.G. Actor 1972
No Score Yet Sitting Target Harry Lomart 1972
73% The Devils Urbain Grandier 1971
0% The Hunting Party Frank Calder 1971
No Score Yet Take a Girl Like You Patrick 1970
No Score Yet The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun Caldwell 1970
No Score Yet Hannibal Brooks Hannibal Brooks 1969
75% The Assassination Bureau Ivan Dragomiloff 1969
82% Women in Love Gerald Crich 1969
82% Oliver! Sikes 1968
No Score Yet I'll Never Forget What's'isname Andrew Quint 1968
No Score Yet The Jokers David Tremayne 1967
No Score Yet The Shuttered Room (Blood Island) Ethan 1967
No Score Yet Dante's Inferno Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1967
No Score Yet The Trap (The Mad Trapper) Jean La Bete 1966
No Score Yet The Girl-Getters Tinker 1966
No Score Yet Party's Over Moise 1966
No Score Yet The Brigand of Kandahar Ali Khan 1965
No Score Yet Monitor: Always on Sunday Narrator 1965
No Score Yet The Debussy Film Actor 1965
No Score Yet The System (The Girl-Getters) Actor 1964
86% The Damned (These Are the Damned) King 1963
No Score Yet Paranoiac Simon Ashby 1963
No Score Yet The Scarlet Blade (The Crimson Blade) Capt. Tom Sylvester 1963
No Score Yet Pirates of Blood River Brocaire 1962
No Score Yet Captain Clegg (Night Creatures) Harry Crabtree 1962
No Score Yet No Love for Johnnie Actor 1961
50% The Curse of the Werewolf Leon Corledo 1961
No Score Yet The Rebel Artist in Cafe 1961
No Score Yet Beat Girl Yough Tough 1960
No Score Yet Sword of Sherwood Forest Melton 1960
83% The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) Actor 1960
No Score Yet The Angry Silence Mick 1960
No Score Yet The Bulldog Breed Tough youth (uncredited) 1960
86% The League of Gentlemen Ballet Dancer 1959
No Score Yet The Square Peg Actor 1958

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

No Score Yet The Saint
1962-1969
Catelli

QUOTES FROM Oliver Reed CHARACTERS

Dr. Hal Raglan
They're her children. More exactly, the children of her rage.
Proximo
And the great whore will suckle us until we are fat and happy and can suckle no more.
Proximo
You should see the Colosseum Spaniard. Fifty-thousand Romans... watching every movement of your sword... willing you to make that killer blow. The silence before you strike and the noise afterwards. It rises. It rises up... like a storm. As if you were the thunder god himself.
Proximo
You should see the Colosseum Spaniard. Fifty-thousand Romans watching every movement of your sword, willing you to make that killer blow. The silence before you strike and the noise afterwards. It rises. It rises up like a storm. As if you were the thunder god himself.
Proximo
Gladiators... I salute you.
Proximo
Ultimately, we are all dead men. Sadly we cannot choose how but we can decide how we meet that end in order that we are remembered as men
Proximo
Ultimately, we are all dead men. Sadly we cannot choose how but we can decide how we meet that end in order that we are remembered as men.
Proximo
We are nothing but dust and shadows. Dust and shadows!
Proximo
You have sold me queer giraffes.