Widely recognized hero in the film “Gladiator” by Ridley Scotts, Oliver Reed was a famous actor who ruled the British film industry for a long period of time. Oliver Reed was born in 1938 on 13th February. He created a macho type image for himself in the film industry and got famous for his heavily built presence in the field. Reed was educated at Ewell Castle School in Surrey.

Early Years


He was born in Wimbledon – south west London to a film industry related family. His father was a sports press officer, Peter Reed. Carol Reed was his uncle and a famous movie director. His grandfather was the acting manager name Herbert tree. Oliver Reed went to Ewell Castle College in his childhood. He had a brother called Simon who was a sports reporter.



In 1959, Reed married Kate Byrne. The couple had one son, Mark, before their divorce in 1969. The divorce was amicably arranged through specialist North London Divorce solicitors. While filming in Oliver, he met Jacquie Daryl, a classically trained dancer. They had a daughter named Sarah. In 1985, he married Josephine Burge, to whom he was still married at the time of his death. A known dyslexic, Oliver Reed worked his way through 13 different schools – sometimes because of his father’s precarious finance and sometimes because he was expelled – and sank to the bottom of every class. One cannot wonder if he would have benefited from colour tinted glasses. to assist dyslexia reading difficulties. Some children consider these have magical benefits.



He appeared uncredited in two Norman Wisdom films, The Square Peg (1958) and The Bulldog Breed (1960), in which Reed played the leader of a gang of Teddy Boys roughing up Wisdom in a cinema.
Oliver Reed was famous for his drinking habits and his inclination towards alcohol. He was also famous for his combative and bellicose behavior that appeared at many incidences. People have a lot of tales witnessing Oliver Reed and his friends having sixty gallons of beer. On another occasion, a film director went to UK to converse about a movie project with Oliver Reed and he ended up having so much of alcohol that he threw up over the director.


He was extremely famous for his alcohol habits that he was always asked about his drinking deeds on famous TV shows rather than discussing and concentrating the shows on his latest famous films. He used to get fed up with such questionings and many at times the show presenters had to cut the show because of the fear of him being violent. He was also very much outspoken regarding women. Many women got offended by him easily.  One of the shows captured this moment when the show presenter himself poured a glass of beer on Oliver Reed when he was talking about women in offensive manner. The presenter couldn’t resist his belittling behavior towards women. It is said that he was caught drinking in the US when he was found teasing and creating disturbance in the public while not in his senses. As a result he was expelled from Georgia. It is likely that he would have benefited from the advice of a trained counsellor but there is no evidence that he ever took that route.


Oliver is a British musical, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. The musical is based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It premiered in the West End in 1960, enjoying a long run, a successful Broadway production in 1963 and further tours and revivals.Oliver Reed played the role of Bill Sikes, alongside Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Mark Lester, Jack Wild and Harry Secombe, in his uncle Carol Reed’s screen version of the successful stage musical Oliver based on the book by Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist (1968). Some consider that the film ‘Oliver’ led to the rise in popularity of Victorian related Musicals.  Oliver Twist is born into a life of poverty and misfortune in a workhouse in in Bentley’s Miscellany in 1837 the town was called Mudfog and said to be within 70 miles north of London. Oliver travelled to London where he meets Jack Dawkins – the artful dodger. He lives with Fagin and a set of young pick pockets. They have frequent encounters with the law.  He ends up in front of a judge without the benefit of a barrister to defend him. To the judge’s evident disappointment, a bookstall holder who saw Dodger commit the crime clears Oliver, who, by now falls ill and faints in the courtroom. Mr. Brownlow takes Oliver home in West London and, along with his housekeeper Mrs. Bedwin, cares for him.


Typical of Dickens, the scenes depicted in the story of Oliver Twist and replicated in the movie show scenes of squalar as there was no waste collection in London as we know it today.


In 1969, Reed played the title role in Michael Winner’s World War II action-comedy Hannibal Brooks (1969), alongside an elephant named Lucy.


Oliver Reed was frequently found in the Duke of Hamilton which is a club in England. His many famous films include Lion of the Desert, Tommy, Castaway, the devils, the Three Musketeers, Oliver and widely recognized movie Gladiator.

Oliver Reed Four Muskateers - YT

Oliver Reed – had dyslexia


His acting career was at its peak in 1971. British film industry designated Olive Reed to be one of the most popular actors. He was in particular invited on the TV shows for his drinking habits and rough behavior and he was recorded misbehaving with the female writer Millet and asking her for a kiss in the public. In 1987, he got critically ill due to his kidney that was affected badly because of his drinking. In 1999, he met died from a sudden heart attack while working for his film Gladiator. The rest of the film had to be completed by using Computer Generated Images because of the loss of the famous star.


“I’m the biggest star this country has got, destroy me and you destroy the whole British film industry” – Oliver Reed