May. 5th, 1944
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, UK
Guest TV Roles
King Hugo (Voiced)
Laughing Spam Fritter
Grand Pabbie (Voiced)
Acclaimed British actor John Rhys-Davies graduated from the University of East Anglia and is probably best known to film audiences for his roles in the blockbuster hits Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). He has also had leading roles in Victor Victoria (1982), The Living Daylights (1987) and King Solomon's Mines (1985).
Rhys-Davies, who was raised in England, Africa and Wales, credits his early exposure to classic literature for his decision to pursue acting and writing. he later refined his craft at London's renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His television credits include James Clavell's "Shogun" (1980) and "Noble House" (1988), "Great Expectations" (1989), "War and Remembrance" (1988) and "Archaeology" (1991).
An avid collector of vintage automobiles, Rhys-Davies has a host of theater roles to his credit, including "The Misanthrope", "Hedda Gabler" and most of Shakespeare's works. He divides his time between Los Angeles and the Isle of Man.
- Keeps busy by developing a new hobby with each movie.
- Played the character of Malone in the TV Series _"The Untouchables" (1993)_ (qv). The character was played by 'Sean Connery' (qv) in the movie version _The Untouchables (1987)_ (qv). Both actors also played Richard the Lionheart, King of England, in separate versions of Robin Hood: Rhys-Davis in TV's _"Robin of Sherwood" (1984)_ (qv) and Connery (albeit uncredited) in _Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)_ (qv). Connery and Rhys-Davies appeared together in between these projects in _Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)_ (qv).
- Two of his television movies have been followed up with similarly themed theatrical films starring 'Eric Bana (I)' (qv). He played "The Kingpin" in _The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989) (TV)_ (qv); the film _Hulk (2003)_ (qv) starred Bana. He played "King Priam" in _Helen of Troy (2003) (TV)_ (qv); 'Eric Bana (I)' (qv) played "Hector" in _Troy (2004)_ (qv).
- While working on the Lord of the Rings films, he lost seventy pounds from all the running around the part involved. When he went back to New Zealand for re-shoots, the makeup artists had to alter his Gimli makeup to better fit his slimmed-down facial features.
- Attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London, England, and is an Associate Member.
- Has lived with Lisa Manning since 2004. They have a daughter, Maia. Although he separated from his wife Susie in the early 1980s, he has not divorced her and has no plans to. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1995 and he remains close to her.
- According to an article in the Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), December 14, 2003, the actors who played the members of the Fellowship of the Ring got a tattoo as a memento of their shared experiences, except for Rhys-Davies, who sent his stunt double instead. According to the BellaOnline body art website, the double was martial artist 'Brett Beattie' (qv), who in fact spent more film hours performing as Gimli the Dwarf.
- Before getting the role of Gimli, he auditioned for the role of Denethor. Orlando Bloom, who played Legolas, auditioned for the role of Denethor's other son, Faramir. In Helen of Troy, Rhys-Davies played Priam, and in _Troy (2004)_ (qv), Bloom played Paris, Priam's younger son.