Steven Berkoff's list of film credits is impressive, and in most of them he is cast as some sort of 'villain'. Well known are Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971) in which he plays a bullying interrogator, Beverley Hills Cop (1984), Rambo 2 (1985), The Krays (1990), Decadance (1994) which he wrote, directed, and co-starred with Joan Collins, Legionnaire (1998), 9 Dead Gay Guys (2002) and The Headsman (2005).
This actor's career has been full of so many things that a short summary is very difficult to write. I have included a lot of links below so that you can find out more about this controversial star.
Steven Berkoff's TV work is less memorable but ranges from a 1965 episode of The Avengers and the star-studded War And Remembrance (1988) in which Berkoff plays Adolf Hitler, to more recent performances in In The Beginning (2000), Hotel Babylon (2006) and an adaptation of Agatha Christie's By The Pricking Of My Thumbs (2006).
Steven Berkoff's one appearance in a James Bond film was as the hot-tempered General Orlov in Octopussy (1983). Orlov attempts to convince the Kremlin leaders to attack Europe, and collaborates with gem-smuggler Kamal Khan to try and detonate a nuclear bomb on a US Airbase in West Germany, during a performance of Octopussy's circus. Bond foils the plan by defusing the bomb, with only a second to spare!
Born Leslie Steven Berks in London in 1937, Steven Berkoff is now a leading actor, playwright and theatre director. He studied drama in both Paris and London, and performed in repertory companies before starting his own London Theatre Group. This radical company performed mostly original plays, some of which were Berkoff's own adaptations.
Steven Berkoff is also the author of a number of books. In Tough Acts he writes about many of the stage people with whom he has worked, while Gross Intrusion and Graft are two volumes of short stories.
It was a privilege to meet this acclaimed actor at London's Autographica in March 2007. He first of all signed my Jeff Marshall lithograph of Octopussy. When he saw it he said, "This is very nice, can I keep it?" I had to say no!
He then signed a photo of himself as General Orlov, after which he asked me if I had come as Bond. When I replied, "Yes'", he remarked, "You do look like him." Then he said, "Have you got the watch as well?" So I pulled up my left sleeve to show him my Omega Seamaster "God, you have got everything!" was his surprised reply.
For a man who plays scary villains, I found Steven very friendly and charming!
The Pricking of my Thumbs
As Freddie Eccles in
Books by Steven Berkoff
As Mr Wiltshire in Hotel Babylon
Steven Berkoff as General Orlov in Octopussy
Scottish artist Peter Howson
Portrait of Steven Berkoff by
Photo of General Orlov signed for me by Stephen Berkoff
On stage in Coriolanus
As Potiphar in In The Beginning
With Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in
As John A Roebling in Seven Wonders
of the Industrial World
Click on a name below to take you to that page
In February 2012, I saw Steven Berkoff in his one-man show Shakespeare's Villains. In this, hetal
I met Steven Berkoff after the show, when he signed a photo for me, and also my copy of his book Tales from an Actor's Life.
he talked about Shakespeare's most villainous characters including Shylock, Richard III, Macbeth and Iago. As it says in the promotional material for this: "Incisive insights into the psyche give way to Shakepeare’s own words which explode into the auditorium from the lips of Steven Berkoff, one of the UK’s most formidable and maverick talents."
Title page of Steven Berkoff's book
book Tales from an Actor's Life
Steven has signed this photo to me
With Steven Berkoff at the Nottingham Playhouse in February 2012