Oliver Reed - Film & Theater Personalities, Career and Childhood

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Oliver Reed's Personal Details

Oliver Reed was a famous English actor, known for his beefy screen presence

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 13, 1938
Died onMay 2, 1999
NationalityBritish
FamousFilm & Theater Personalities, Actors
SpousesJosephine Burge (m. 1985–1999), Kate Byrne (m. 1959–1969)
SiblingsSimon Reed
Known asOliver Reed
Childrens Mark Reed, Sarah Reed
Universities
  • Ewell Castle School
Cause of deathAlcoholism
Birth PlaceWimbledon, London, England
GenderMale
FatherPeter Reed
MotherMarcia (née Napier-Andrews)
Sun SignAquarius
Born inWimbledon, London, England
Famous asActor
Died at Age61

// Famous Actors

Oliver Reed's photo

Who is Oliver Reed?

When Oliver Reed passed away while filming for the ‘Gladiator’, the world lost one of the most gripping and spellbinding on-screen and off-screen personalities. Since then, his catalogue of work, spanning over four decades, seems to have been largely forgotten or flouted. At the height of his career, he was Britain’s most highly paid and internationally celebrated film star and was constantly surrounded by a mammoth female fan club. However, his career hit a dead-end and he soon became known for his off-screen antics rather than his earlier film successes, which eventually led to diminishing screen presence. Whether he was brawling with the Cardinal’s guards, as Athos, in ‘The Three Musketeers’ or as Captain Billy Bones in ‘Treasure Island’, Reed was always determined to give it his best shot and remained optimistic about his wallowing acting career. His vibrant and momentous life, although now largely overlooked, is one of true determination and talent and although he could never really make a successful ‘comeback’, he is still remembered for his burly presence. His movies, ‘The Trap’, ‘Oliver!’, ‘Lion of the Desert’ and ‘Tommy Castaway went on to earn him a permanent place in the annals of Hollywood.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Childhood & Early Life

Oliver Reed was born as Robert Oliver Reed to Peter Reed and Marcia Reed in Wimbledon, London. He is believed to be a descendent of ‘Peter the Great’, the Tsar of Russia, although this has never been proved.

He attended Ewell Castle School in Surrey and later, enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps before commencing his acting career in the late 50s.

Career

Without any formal training, his career debuted with ‘The Golden Spur’ in 1959, which was a British kids’ series.

He landed his first major role in ‘The Curse of the Werewolf’ in 1961, where he played the role of a young man who transformed into a hairy beast during the full moon.

The following year, he appeared in ‘Pirates of the Blood River’ alongside Christopher Lee and also starred in ‘Captain Clegg’ with Peter Cushing.

In 1963, he attracted widespread fame as the lecherous gang leader in ‘The Damned’.

He was cast as a supporting actor in ‘The Brigand of Kandahar’, in 1965 and in the action-adventure film, ‘The Trap’, in 1966. However, in the 60s, his memorable performance was in the classic musical adaptation of ‘Oliver!, where he played the role of the evil, Bill Sykes.

He spent his first decade as an actor playing dependable supporting roles and soon, he began signing more projects where he was cast as the lead actor. Soon, he played the assassin in the black-comedy, ‘The Assassin Bureau’, in 1969.

In 1969, he shot to international fame after his homoerotic wrestling scene with Alan Bates in the movie, ‘Women in Love’, which not only became a subject of controversy, but was also one of the first films with a brazen depiction of male nudity.

Through the 70s, he went on to play a number of varied and challenging roles in movies like ‘The Hunting Party’, The Three Musketeers’ and ‘The Devils’, which got him internationally recognized in the film circuit, but the fame was very short-lived.

It was around this time, he joined hands with three other British actors; Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Peter O’Toole, with whom he engaged in heavy drinking, vandalism and public brawls with bystanders. This eventually affected his career, which spiraled downwards then on.

After a few unsuccessful films, he embarked on a string of unproductive horror flicks including ‘Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype’, ‘The String II’, ‘Venom’ and ‘Spasms’.

He then continued to sign unsuccessful films like ‘Fanny Hill’ in 1983 and the failed screwball comedy, ‘Two of a Kind’, released in the same year.

He later, appeared as Martin Pinzon, in the two-part miniseries, ‘Christopher Columbus’ in 1985.

In 1986, he starred in the erotic thriller, ‘Castaway’, where he played a middle-aged man looking for a companion on a deserted island and receives a response from a drab, uninteresting desk clerk.

He then signed a number of other films as a supporting actor including ‘Gor’, ‘Prisoner of Honor’ and ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen’.

In the 1990s, he finally started getting over the addictions that had plagued his career and he appeared in ‘Return to Lonesome Dove’ in 1993. He was then cast in the well-received, ‘Funny Bones’ alongside Oliver Pratt and Jerry Lewis.

In 1999, he was cast in the historical thriller, ‘Marco Polo’ and in the comedy film, ‘Parting Shots’. He also appeared in what turned out to be his final film, ‘Gladiator’, but died before the film could get completed. He was cast as a gruff former Gladiator who transforms Russell Crowe into a champion gladiator.

Major Works

Reed was known for portraying the musketeer ‘Athos’ in Richard Lester’s film on Alexander Dumas’ classic, ‘The Three Musketeers’. His portrayal is considered to be one of the ‘most memorable roles of all times’ and he received worldwide recognition for his stellar performance. He was re-cast as Athos in its sequel, ‘The Four Musketeers’ and was also cast in the adaptation, ‘The Return of the Musketeers’.

Awards & Achievements

He has been ranked fifth in the list of ‘most popular stars at the box office’ by British exhibitors.

He was posthumously nominated for the Academy Award for Best-Supporting Actor in the film, ‘Gladiator’ and was also nominated for the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’. The ‘Gladiator’ won ‘Academy Award for Best Picture’, which was dedicated to the actor.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Kate Byrne in 1960 and the couple had one son, but they got divorced in 1969.

He then met Jacquie Daryl, a classical dancer and had a daughter with her.

In 1985, he married Josephine Burge; the marriage was intact till his death in 1999.

He passed away of a heart attack while filming for the ‘Gladiator’. He was 61 years old and several scenes of the ‘Gladiator’ had to be completed using CGI techniques. He is interred at Churchtown, County Cork, Ireland.

Trivia

While filming for ‘The Three Musketeers’, this famous British actor was severely injured, when he was stabbed in the throat during a windmill duel scene.

Contrary to popular belief, this famous English actor, of ‘The Three Musketeers’ fame, was a bouncer at a nightclub before he got into acting.

// Aquarius Celebrities

Oliver Reed biography timelines

  • // 13th Feb 1938
    Oliver Reed was born as Robert Oliver Reed to Peter Reed and Marcia Reed in Wimbledon, London. He is believed to be a descendent of ‘Peter the Great’, the Tsar of Russia, although this has never been proved.
  • // 1959
    Without any formal training, his career debuted with ‘The Golden Spur’ in 1959, which was a British kids’ series.
  • // 1960 To 1969
    He married Kate Byrne in 1960 and the couple had one son, but they got divorced in 1969.
  • // 1961
    He landed his first major role in ‘The Curse of the Werewolf’ in 1961, where he played the role of a young man who transformed into a hairy beast during the full moon.
  • // 1963
    In 1963, he attracted widespread fame as the lecherous gang leader in ‘The Damned’.
  • // 1969
    He spent his first decade as an actor playing dependable supporting roles and soon, he began signing more projects where he was cast as the lead actor. Soon, he played the assassin in the black-comedy, ‘The Assassin Bureau’, in 1969.
  • // 1969
    In 1969, he shot to international fame after his homoerotic wrestling scene with Alan Bates in the movie, ‘Women in Love’, which not only became a subject of controversy, but was also one of the first films with a brazen depiction of male nudity.
  • // 1985
    In 1985, he married Josephine Burge; the marriage was intact till his death in 1999.
  • // 1986
    In 1986, he starred in the erotic thriller, ‘Castaway’, where he played a middle-aged man looking for a companion on a deserted island and receives a response from a drab, uninteresting desk clerk.
  • // 1993
    In the 1990s, he finally started getting over the addictions that had plagued his career and he appeared in ‘Return to Lonesome Dove’ in 1993. He was then cast in the well-received, ‘Funny Bones’ alongside Oliver Pratt and Jerry Lewis.
  • // 1999
    In 1999, he was cast in the historical thriller, ‘Marco Polo’ and in the comedy film, ‘Parting Shots’. He also appeared in what turned out to be his final film, ‘Gladiator’, but died before the film could get completed. He was cast as a gruff former Gladiator who transforms Russell Crowe into a champion gladiator.
  • // 2nd May 1999
    He passed away of a heart attack while filming for the ‘Gladiator’. He was 61 years old and several scenes of the ‘Gladiator’ had to be completed using CGI techniques. He is interred at Churchtown, County Cork, Ireland.

// Famous British

Oliver Reed's FAQ

  • What is Oliver Reed birthday?

    Oliver Reed was born at 1938-02-13

  • When was Oliver Reed died?

    Oliver Reed was died at 1999-05-02

  • Where was Oliver Reed died?

    Oliver Reed was died in Valletta, Malta

  • Which age was Oliver Reed died?

    Oliver Reed was died at age 61

  • Where is Oliver Reed's birth place?

    Oliver Reed was born in Wimbledon, London, England

  • What is Oliver Reed nationalities?

    Oliver Reed's nationalities is British

  • Who is Oliver Reed spouses?

    Oliver Reed's spouses is Josephine Burge (m. 1985–1999), Kate Byrne (m. 1959–1969)

  • Who is Oliver Reed siblings?

    Oliver Reed's siblings is Simon Reed

  • Who is Oliver Reed childrens?

    Oliver Reed's childrens is Mark Reed, Sarah Reed

  • What was Oliver Reed universities?

    Oliver Reed studied at Ewell Castle School

  • What is Oliver Reed's cause of dead?

    Oliver Reed dead because of Alcoholism

  • Who is Oliver Reed's father?

    Oliver Reed's father is Peter Reed

  • Who is Oliver Reed's mother?

    Oliver Reed's mother is Marcia (née Napier-Andrews)

  • What is Oliver Reed's sun sign?

    Oliver Reed is Aquarius

  • How famous is Oliver Reed?

    Oliver Reed is famouse as Actor