He now has homes in both Los Angeles and the Isle Of Man. Away from acting, he is a keen collector of vintage cars and also holds a pilot's license.
John Rhys-Davies was born in 1944 in Salisbury, Wiltshire. His parents were both Welsh - his father was a mechanical engineer and his mother was a nurse. He spent his childhood in Ammanford, Wales, and also in Cornwall, where he was educated at Truro School.
He was one of the first intake of students at the University of East Anglia where he founded the Dramatic
Since leaving RADA, Rhys-Davies honed his skills as a stage actor, appearing in over one hundred plays, including Shakespeare with the RSC at Stratford.
John Rhys-Davies has appeared in just the one James Bond film The Living Daylights (1987) where his character is the Russian General Leonid Pushkin, an ally of James Bond played by Timothy Dalton.
Other TV work over the years has included James Clavell's Shogun (1980) & Noble House (1988), War and Remembrance (1988), Great Expectations (1989), 15 episodes of The Untouchables (1993-94) and
1981 saw Steven Spielberg cast Rhys-Davies as the comic, fez-wearing Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first of the Indiana Jones films. Rhys-Davies' comedy skills made Sallah a favourite with audiences, and he played the character again in the second film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). In these films he worked alongside Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.
John Rhys-Davies is separated from his wife Suzanne, whom he married in 1966 and now suffers from
In 1999, John Rhys-Davies auditioned for the minor character of Denethor who appears in just the second part of the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy The Lord of the Rings (2001-03). Instead, he was offered the major role of the warrior dwarf Gimli, in all three films. The part required him to wear
He was 28 when he made his television debut in 1972 as Laughing Spam Fritter in the BBC comedy Budgie starring former British pop star Adam Faith. In 1975, he joined John Hurt in the cast of The Naked Civil Servant and one year late
I first met John Rhys-Davies in May 2005. I met him again at Milton Keynes in September 2008. As I expected, he was again very friendly - he even remembered me!
He signed several things for me including my litho of The Living Daylights, two Indiana Jones posters and a photograph of him as Sallah.
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, after briefly working as a secondary school teacher.
Society. He won a place at the Royal
later, he and Hurt teamed up again, along with Derek Jacobi and Patrick Stewart for the BBC's three-part adaptation of Robert Graves' I, Claudius.
12 episodes of Gargoyles (1995-
96). He found more fame in the medium of television - playing Professor Maximilian Arturo in 40 episodes of the time-travelling series Sliders (1995-97).
John Rhys-Davies signing my photo
John Rhys-Davies in Budgie
John Rhys-Davies as Sallah in
Raiders of the Lost Ark
(left) John Rhys-Davies & Jerry O'Connell in Sliders
Timothy Dalton and John Rhys-Davies in The Living Daylights
John Rhys-Davies signed this photo for me.
It shows him as Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark
A John Rhys-Davies Sliders trading card
John Rhys-Davies also signed this photo for me.
It shows him as Leonid Pushkin in The Living Daylights
John Rhys-Davies in Chupacabra Terror
John Rhys-Davies in The Trial of The Incredible Hulk
wear heavy facial prosthetics which took five hours to apply. The 6' 1" actor also had to perform on his knees in order to portray the 4'2" dwarf! The three films of the trilogy were all shot simultaneously in New Zealand, over a period of 18 months.
John Rhys-Davies as the dwarf Gimli in
John Rhys-Davies as the dwarf Gimli in
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
from Alzheimer's. They have two boys Tom and Ben. Rhys-Davies also has a daughter by his current partner the former TV host Lisa Manning.
John Rhys-Davies with his close
John Rhys Davies with Lisa Manning
and their daughter Maia
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friend Deb at a Lord of the Rings premiere