Oliver Reed (13 February 1938 – 2 May 1999) was an English actor known for his burly screen presence. Reed exemplified his real-life macho image in "tough guy" roles. His films include The Trap, Oliver!, Women in Love, Hannibal Brooks, The Triple Echo, The Devils, The Three Musketeers, Tommy, Castaway, Lion of the Desert and Gladiator.
Reed was born Robert Oliver Reed in Wimbledon, London, to sports journalist Peter Reed and his wife Marcia (née Andrews). He was the nephew of film director Sir Carol Reed, and grandson of the actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree by his alleged mistress May Pinney Reed. He was alleged to have been a descendant (through an illegitimate step) of Tsar Peter the Great of Russia. Reed attended Ewell Castle School in Surrey.
After time in the British Army, serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Reed commenced his thespian career as an extra in films in the late 1950s. He had no acting training or theatrical experience.
Oliver Reed appeared uncredited in an early Norman Wisdom film, The Square Peg in 1958, and in another Wisdom comedy, The Bulldog Breed in 1960, where Reed played the leader of a gang of Teddy Boys roughing up Wisdom in a cinema....
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