May. 5th, 1944
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, UK
John Rhys-Davies' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
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.
- 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.
- 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).
- His son urged him to accept the role in _The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)_ (qv).
- 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.
- Parents: Rhys Davies (a mechanical engineer) and Mary Margaretta Phyllis Jones (a nurse).
- 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.
- Keeps busy by developing a new hobby with each movie.
- Children: Tom, Ben.