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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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).
- Every film he has made with 'Kiran Shah' has been nominated for Best Picture: _Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)_ (qv), _The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)_ (qv), _The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)_ (qv), _The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)_ (qv).
- Lost the end tip of his left hand middle finger to the knuckle while changing out a van motor. During filming of _The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)_ (qv), he was fitted with a gel tip for the finger. Rhys-Davies and the crew played a prank on director 'Peter Jackson (I)' (qv) by slicing the gel tip nearly in half and inserting prop blood inside. Rhys-Davies approached Jackson to tell him he was hurt and pulled open the tip, letting the blood flow out.
- 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.
- 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.
- Graduated from the University of East Anglia.