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.
- Is one of four "Lord of the Rings" stars to star, pre-"Rings," with 'Harrison Ford (I)' (qv). He starred with Ford in _Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)_ (qv) and _Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)_ (qv), and Ford starred with 'Viggo Mortensen' (qv) (Aragorn) in _Witness (1985)_ (qv), with 'Sean Bean' (qv) (Boromir) in _Patriot Games (1992)_ (qv), and with 'Miranda Otto' (qv) (Eowyn) in _What Lies Beneath (2000)_ (qv).
- John Rhys-Davies spent up to 5 hours a day putting on makeup for the role of Gimli in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was discovered early on that he was allergic to the prosthetics, so he could only put them on and work about every third day. The first week, it burned off the skin under his eyes.
- Ironically, he is actually taller than _The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)_ (qv) co-stars 'Viggo Mortensen' (qv), 'Orlando Bloom' (qv) and 'Ian McKellen' (qv), yet he plays the Dwarf.
- Although a double needed to be used to make Rhys-Davies look much smaller than his shorter co-stars 'Viggo Mortensen' (qv) and 'Orlando Bloom' (qv), his height was exactly the right proportions to those of his hobbit co-stars and no body doubles were used in their shots together. The hobbits are supposed to average about 3' 6" (2 feet shorter than the actors who played them) and Gimli, at just over 4 feet tall, is about 2 feet shorter than the real Rhys-Davies.
- 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.
- April 2004 - Appeared as the special Lord of the Rings guest at the Armageddon Sci-Fi and Comics Convention in Auckland, New Zealand.
- His son urged him to accept the role in _The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)_ (qv).
- 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.