|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
(m. 1966; died 2010)
|Partner(s)||Lisa Manning (2000–present)|
John Rhys-Davies (born 5 May 1944) is a Welsh actor. He portrayed the role of Gimli and the voice of Treebeard in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Sallah in the Indiana Jones films. He also played Michael Malone in the 1993 remake of the 1950s television series The Untouchables, Vasco Rodrigues in the mini-series Shōgun, Prof. Maximillian Arturo in Sliders, King Richard I in Robin of Sherwood, General Leonid Pushkin in the James Bond film The Living Daylights, and Macro in I, Claudius. He provided the voices of Cassim in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Ranjan's father in The Jungle Book 2, Macbeth in Gargoyles, Man Ray in SpongeBob SquarePants, Hades in Justice League and Tobias in the computer game Freelancer.
John Rhys-Davies was born on 5 May 1944 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England and was brought up in Tanganyika and in Ammanford, Wales. His mother, Phyllis Jones, was a nurse, and his father, Rhys Davies, was a mechanical engineer and colonial officer. In the early 1950s, his family lived for several years in Kongwa, Dar es Salaam, Moshi and Mwanza, Tanganyika, while his father was serving there as a colonial police officer. He was educated at Truro School and at the University of East Anglia where he was one of the first 105 students admitted, and where he founded the Dramatic Society. After teaching at Watton County Secondary School in Norfolk, he won a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
He appeared sporadically on UK television in the early 1970s, including his role as the gangster Laughing Spam Fritter opposite Adam Faith in Budgie. Later he played Praetorian officer Naevius Sutorius Macro in I, Claudius. He then began to appear more frequently, and not just in the UK, with roles as a Portuguese navigator Rodrigues in the 1980 television miniseries Shogun, based on the novel by James Clavell, and as Sallah in two of the Indiana Jones films. In 1989, he played Marvel Comics character Kingpin in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. Rhys-Davies also starred in another Clavell adaption, Noble House, set in Hong Kong, in which he plays Ian Dunross' corporate enemy, Quillian Gornt. He has since appeared in numerous television shows and miniseries, including Agent Michael Malone in the 1993 remake of the 1950s television series The Untouchables as well as a leading role in the television series Sliders as Professor Maximillian Arturo from 1995 to 1997.
He also appeared in Reilly, Ace of Spies in 1983, made several appearances in Star Trek: Voyager as a holodeck version of Leonardo da Vinci, starred as an ally of James Bond in The Living Daylights, and appeared in the film One Night with the King. Davies has played the character Porthos in two separate projects; a two-part episode of The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, and the Hallmark Channel film La Femme Musketeer. He appears in the full motion video cut scenes of computer games including Ripper (as Vigo Haman) (1996), Dune 2000 (as Noree Moneo) (1998), and the Wing Commander series (as James Taggart, doubling as the voice of Thrakhath nar Kiranka in the third game of the series).
In 2004, he narrated The Privileged Planet, a documentary that makes the case for intelligent design. In 2013, he appeared in the family history programme Coming Home, in which he discovered information about his grandfather's life in the Carmarthenshire coal mines.
In 2015, he had a role in the single-player campaign of the PC game Star Citizen alongside Mark Hamill and Gary Oldman. The work consisted of full body motion capture, including facial expressions and his voice; it was recorded primarily at the Imaginarium studios in the UK.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Rhys-Davies appeared as the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The cinematography of the films was aided in that Rhys-Davies is tall – 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m), compared to the actors playing hobbits at around 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m). Therefore, although his character was supposed to be short, he was properly in proportion compared to the hobbit actors. Had he been of more similar height, shots of the entire fellowship would have required three camera passes rather than two.
Rhys-Davies is the only one of the nine Fellowship of the Ring actors who did not receive a tattoo of the word "nine" written in the Tengwar script; his stunt double, Brett Beattie, got the tattoo instead as Rhys-Davies was disinclined to get one himself.
Rhys-Davies suffered severe reactions to the prosthetics used during filming, and his eyes sometimes swelled shut. When asked whether he would consider returning to the role for the film version of The Hobbit, he said, "I have already completely ruled it out. There's a sentimental part of me that would love to be involved again. Really I am not sure my face can take that sort of punishment any more." He added that this time around "[t]hey've got a different set of problems ... because you've got 13 dwarves, a whole band of them ... You're trying to represent a whole race ... You're trying to do for dwarves what The Lord of the Rings did for hobbits."
Rhys-Davies, together with Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, Miranda Otto, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, Karl Urban, and Elijah Wood, plus writer Philippa Boyens and director Peter Jackson on 31 May 2020 joined Josh Gad's YouTube series Reunited Apart, which reunites the cast of popular movies through video-conferencing and promotes donations to non-profit charities.
In addition to voicing the Ent Treebeard in Lord of the Rings, Rhys-Davies has lent his distinctive voice to many video games and animated television series, including the role of Hades in Justice League, the original voice of Man Ray in SpongeBob SquarePants, and numerous times in Gargoyles (1994–1996), as the character Macbeth He also lent his vocal talents to the games Freelancer (as Richard Winston Tobias) and Lords of Everquest (both in 2003) and the game Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness, which was released with his narration on a CD-ROM version in 1995. He also had a voice role on Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance as the character Jherek, and narrated a documentary called The Glory of Macedonia.
John Rhys-Davies' voice can be heard on the 2009 documentary Reclaiming The Blade. In the narration, Rhys-Davies explores swords, historical European swordsmanship and fight choreography on film, a topic very familiar to him from his experiences in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, where his character wielded an axe in many scenes.
In 2004, he was the unknowing subject of an internet prank that spread false rumours in several mainstream media sources that he was scheduled to play the role of General Grievous in Star Wars Episode III.
Rhys-Davies is the narrator of The Truth & Life Dramatized audio New Testament Bible, a 22-hour, celebrity-voiced, fully dramatised audiobook version of the New Testament which uses the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition translation. In 2011, he presented KJB: The Book That Changed The World, which features him reading diverse snippets from the King James Version.
John Rhys-Davies’ voice work also includes voice-over work with Breathe Bible.
A resident of the Isle of Man since 1988, John Rhys-Davies provides the introductory voice-over to the Island's Castle Rushen, one of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in Britain. In 2018, he lent his voice to the Isle of Man's tourism commercial.
Rhys-Davies voice was recorded for some of the callouts in the 1993 Williams SuperPin Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure
Rhys-Davies married Suzanne Wilkinson in December 1966. They had two sons. Although they separated in 1985, they remained married until her death in 2010 from Alzheimer's disease. He remained close to her and took care of her until she died.
Rhys-Davies is a self-described "rationalist" and "sceptic" when it comes to religion. He holds Christianity in high regard, and has stated that "Christian civilisation has made the world a better place than it ever was[.]"
All the things that we value, the right of free speech, the right of the individual conscience, these evolved in first and second century Roman Christendom, where the individual Christian said, 'I have a right to believe, [sic] what I believe and not what the Emperor tells me.' From that our whole idea of democracy and the equality that we have has developed[.] . . . [w]e owe Christianity the greatest debt of thanks that a generation can ever have, and to slight it and to dismiss it as being irrelevant is the detritus of rather ill-read minds, I think.— Rhys-Davies, in an interview at the 28th Movieguide Awards
He has played roles in several Christian films, including Mordecai in One Night with the King (2006), Charles Kemp in Beyond the Mask (2015), Saint Peter in The Apostle Peter: Redemption (2016), the Evangelist in The Pilgrim's Progress (2019), and Saint Patrick in I Am Patrick (2020).
Rhys-Davies is not a member of any political party. As a university student in the 1960s, he had been a radical leftist, but changed his views when he went to heckle Margaret Thatcher. Rhys-Davies says that "she shot down the first two hecklers in such brilliant fashion that I decided I ought for once to shut up and listen".
There is a demographic catastrophe happening in Europe that nobody wants to talk about, that we daren't bring up because we are so cagey about not offending people racially. And rightly we should be. But there is a cultural thing as well. By 2020, 50 per cent of the children in Holland under the age of 18 will be of Muslim descent.
His comments were endorsed by the British National Party. Rhys-Davies commented that the BNP was so insignificant in numbers that it "could do no harm" yet stating it was "distressing to find yourself on a BNP leaflet". He was also endorsed in a National Vanguard editorial. In an interview with the conservative journal National Review, he said that he is opposed to Islamic extremism because he feels that it violates the "Western values" of equality, democracy, tolerance and the abolition of slavery.
Rhys-Davies is a supporter of Brexit. On 25 April 2019, he appeared as a panellist on the BBC's Question Time, where his conduct was described as "thuggish and sexist" by some viewers after he shouted "Oh, woman!" at politician Caroline Lucas after she commented on Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election.
|1974||Fall of Eagles||Zinoviev||Episode: "The Secret War"|
|1975||The Sweeney||Ron Brett||Episode: "Poppy"|
|1976||I, Claudius||Macro||2 episodes|
|Warship||CPO Cook Mantell||Episode: "Heart of Oak"|
|1977||1990||Ivor Griffith||Episode: "Health Farm"|
|Just William||Authority||Episode: "William and the Wonderful Present"|
|1978||Z Cars||Terry Larkin||Episode: "Fat Freddie B.A."|
|1979–80||BBC Television Shakespeare||Chapuys, Salerio||2 episodes|
|1979||The Danedyke Mystery||Armchair||6 episodes|
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1982||CHiPs||Nakura||Episode: "Force Seven"|
|1983||Reilly, Ace of Spies||Tanyatos|
|1984||Robin of Sherwood||King Richard||Episode: "The King's Fool"|
|Scarecrow and Mrs. King||Lord Bromfield||Episode: "Affair at Bromfield Hall"|
|1987||Marjorie and the Preacher Man||Seymour||Television drama|
|The Little Match Girl||Police Chief Murphy||Television film|
|1988–94||Murder, She Wrote||Harry Mordecai, Harry Waverly, Lancaster||3 episodes (he played different characters)|
|1988||Noble House||Quillan Gornt||Miniseries|
|War and Remembrance||Sammy Mutterperl||Miniseries|
|1989||The Trial of the Incredible Hulk||Wilson Fisk||Television film|
|1991||Great Expectations||Joe Gargery|
|The Mystery of the Black Jungle||O'Connor||Miniseries|
|Tales from the Crypt||Duval||Episode: "Dead Wait"|
|The Strauss Dynasty||Gribov||Miniseries|
|1992||Batman: The Animated Series||Waclaw Jozek / Baron (voice)||Episode: "The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy"|
|Perry Mason||Phillip Graff||Episode: "The Case of the Fatal Framing"|
|Archaeology: Voyages of the Vikings||Narrator||Documentary series (TLC)|
|Ring of the Musketeers||Maurice Treville||Television film|
|1992–93||The Legend of Prince Valiant||King Hugo, King Donovan (voice)||8 episodes|
|1993–94||The Untouchables||Agent Malone||15 episodes|
|1994||A Flintstones Christmas Carol||Charles Brickens||Television special|
|1995–96||Gargoyles||Macbeth (voice)||13 episodes|
|1995–97||Sliders||Professor Maximillian Arturo||40 episodes|
|1995||Fantastic Four||Thor (voice)||2 episodes|
|Archaeology: Florida's Lost Empire||Host||Documentary series (TLC)|
|1996||The Incredible Hulk||Thor (voice)||Episode: "Mortal Bounds"|
|1996||Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh||Narrator (voice)||Halloween television special|
|Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm||Asgarth||Episode: "Overthrown"|
|1997||You Wish||Madman Mustapha||3 episodes|
|Star Trek: Voyager||Leonardo da Vinci||2 episodes ("Scorpion" and "Concerning Flight")|
|1999||Au Pair||Nigel Kent||Television film|
|2002||Justice League||Hades (voice)||Episode: "Paradise Lost" Parts 1 & 2|
|The Zeta Project||Edgar Mandragora (voice)||Episode: "Ro's Gift"|
|2000–02||SpongeBob SquarePants||Man Ray (voice)||2 episodes|
|2002||Fillmore!||Lenny||Episode: "Ingrid Third, Public Enemy #1"|
|2003||Helen of Troy||King Priam||Miniseries|
|2004||Dragon Storm||King Fastrad||Television film|
|2005||Revelations (Omnium Finis Imminet)||Professor Jonah Lampley||Miniseries|
|2006||Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!||Captain Proteus (voice)||Episode: "Demon of the Deep"|
|2008||Anaconda 3: Offspring||Murdoch||Television film|
|Fire & Ice: The Dragon Chronicles||Sangimel||Television film|
|Kiss Me Deadly||Yale Ericson||Television film|
|2009||Dark Days in Monkey City||Narrator||3 episodes|
|Anacondas: Trail of Blood||Murdoch||Television film|
|Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire||Grimshank||3 episodes|
|2010||Legend of the Seeker||Horace||Episode: "Vengeance"|
|Three Wise Women||Archangel Green||Television film|
|2012||Psych||Museum curator||Episode: "Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger"|
|Missing Christmas||Narrator, Santa Claus||Television special|
|2014||Let The Season In||Narrator||Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert Special (filmed in 2013)|
|Once Upon a Time||Grand Pabbie (voice)||3 episodes|
|The Adventures of Puss in Boots||Goodsword (voice)||Episode: "Sword"|
|2016||The Shannara Chronicles||Eventine Elessedil||Regular|
|Winter Thaw||Martin Avdeitch||Television film|
|The Lion Guard||King Sokwe (voice)||Episode: "The Lost Gorillas"|
|2018||A Dickens Christmas (Mormon Tabernacle Choir)||Narrator||Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert Special|
|2019||Fresh Eggs||Cutter Anderson|
|2020||Wizards: Tales of Arcadia||Galahad (voice)|
|1994||Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness||Narrator||Voice|
|Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger||James Taggart |
/ Prince Thrakhath
|1996||Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom||James Taggart|
|1998||Dune 2000||Noree Moneo|
|2001||Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate - Dark Alliance||Jherek||Voice|
|2002||The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers||Gimli|
|2003||The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King||Gimli / Treebeard|
|Freelancer||Richard Winston Tobias, Esq. ('Tobias')|
|TBA||Star Citizen||Graves||Voice and actor|
- Rescued (2006)
- Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince (2009)
- Affabel: Window of Eternity (2007 John Bevere, 2009 Bethany House)
- The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty: In the Reign of Terror (2016)
- The Trials of Saint Patrick (2017)
- "Hollywood actor John Rhys-Davies: 'I'm very proud of being a Welshman'". Wales Online. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- "John Rhys-Davies Biography (1944–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- "John Rhys-Davis". Ntz.info. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- "The Privileged Planet: John Rhys-Davies, Lad Allen: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "BBC One – Coming Home, Series 8, John Rhys-Davies". Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "Exclu: de nouvelles photos de la saison 2 de "Metal Hurlant" [PHOTOS]". AlloCiné. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Star Citizen features Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Mark Hamill". PC Gamer. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- Mackintosh, Kieran. "Video Shows How Star Citizen intends to Use Motion Capture". Load the Game. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "John Rhys-Davies celebrity". Mooviees.com. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- Fellowship of the Rings Extended Edition DVD
- "You think I'm going to be tattooed by some drunken Maori with a dirty needle? Think again. If I had a bloody tattoo for every film I'd done, I'd be a walking billboard". Metro.co.uk.
- O'Hara, Helen (30 October 2009). "Exclusive: Rhys-Davies On The Hobbit". Empire. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
- "Actor Josh Gad reunites stars of "Lord of the Rings" while raising money for kids in need". www.cbsnews.com.
- "John Rhys-Davies Signs on as Narrator". Reclaiming the Blade. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "John Rhys-Davies in Star Wars Episode III: A Grievous Media Hoax". The Rubber Chicken. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- John Rhys-Davies, Narrator BreatheBible.com Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Van Canto: Audio Samples Of Entire 'Voices Of Fire' Album". Blabbermouth.net. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Williams 'Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure'". Ipdb.org.
- Mainwaring, Rachel (20 June 2009). "John Rhys-Davies tells of his family's Alzheimer's agony". Walesonline.co.uk.
- "Lord of the Rings star John Rhys-Davies says New Zealand show Fresh Eggs is a hoot". Thisnzlife.co.nz. 3 March 2019.
- "Lord of the Rings star wants EU vote". Bbc.co.uk. 29 January 2016.
- Jeannie Law (4 February 2020). "Hollywood actor John Rhys-Davies says Christianity's not irrelevant, has made the world better". Christian Post. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
- Lori Arnold (13 February 2020). "Lord of the Rings Star Says the World Owes Christianity 'the Greatest Debt of Thanks'". ChristianHeadlines.com. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
-  Archived 23 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine
- Ballinger, Lucy (18 January 2004). "Welsh star in race row". Wales on Sunday. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- BNP, Gimli battles for the West Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine ()
- BNP, "Stand, men of the West" Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine (), "BNP Leaflet" (PDF). Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2009.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- Camberly, Neil (7 January 2004). "The Lord of the Rings' GIMLI speaks up for the West". National Vanguard. Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- Leigh, Andrew. "No Sean Penn". National Review. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- "John Rhys-Davies on Gimli, Brexit and rural hell". RNZ National. 15 February 2019.
- Bonnie Christian. "John Rhys-Davies on Question Time: Gimli actor slammed for banging hands on table and shouting 'oh woman' at Caroline Lucas". Evening Standard. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Roisin O'Connor (8 September 2020). "Fiona Bruce regrets not shutting down John Rhys-Davies on Question Time: 'I don't like it when passion edges into nastiness'". Independent. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
- Beyond the Mask - Official Website, January 2015.
- "The King's Fool". BFI Film Forever. British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 29 September 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- "Marjorie and the Preacherman (1987) | BFI". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
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