Wimbledon, London, England, UK
Place of Death
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
The Three Musketeers
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Profile Bio Text
Robert 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 Oliver!, Women in Love, Hannibal Brooks, The Triple Echo, The Devils, The Three Musketeers, Tommy, Castaway and Gladiator. Reed was born in Wimbledon, London, to sports journalist Peter Reed and his wife Marcia (nï¿½e 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 attended Ewell Castle School in Surrey. He is alleged to be a descendent (through an illegitimate step) of Tsar Peter the Great of Russia.
In 1959, Reed wed Kate Byrne. They had one son, Mark, before their divorce in 1969. While filming his part of Bill Sikes in Oliver!, he met one of the dancers hired for the film, the classically trained Jacquie Daryl. By the end of the film they were lovers, and subsequently had a daughter named Sarah. In 1985, he married Josephine Burge, to whom he was still married at the time of his death. When the UK government raised taxes on personal income, Reed initially declined to join the exodus of major British film stars to Hollywood and other more tax-friendly locales. Reed turned down major roles in two hugely successful Hollywood movies: The Sting (1973) (although he did appear in the sequel) and Jaws (1975). In the late 1970s Reed finally relocated to the Channel Islands as a tax exile. Reed was also drawn to Ireland, as his first wife was Irish and relatives from his mothers side had long ago emigrated from Ireland. Reed was a regular visitor to Ireland and loved the land and its people. In an early interview, Reed had called Ireland his "spiritual home" and stated that, "One day I should like to live in Ireland. I love the Irish, the more I see of other races the more I believe the Irish are the only real people left, and apart from that they have space and clear air in which to wander and think and to feel free". He located to County Clare, where he had property. Reed lived out his last years in Churchtown, County Cork, where he and his wife Josephine were well settled, having moved there in 1992 and Reed was a much loved member of the community.
Reed died of a sudden heart attack during a break from filming Gladiator in Valletta, Malta on 2 May 1999. He was 61 years old and was reported to be heavily intoxicated at the time of his death.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Robert Oliver Reed
Often sported a thick handle-bar moustache, Marvellous speaking voice
brother, David Reed, half-brother, Simon Reed
Uncle, film director Sir Carol Reed, Son, Mark Reed, Daughter, Sarah Reed, Grandfather, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Cousin of actress Tracy Reed, Cousin of actor David Tree.
Keith Moon, Charlton Heston, Michael Winner, Alex Higgins
Marcia (nee Andrews)
Ewell Castle School
Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole
Robert Oliver Reed (13 February 1938 – 2 May 1999) was an English actor known for his upper-class, macho image, hellraiser lifestyle, and "tough guy" roles. His films include The Trap (1966), Oliver! (1968), Women in Love (1969), Hannibal Brooks (1969), The Devils (1971), The Three Musketeers (1973), Tommy (1975), Lion of the Desert (1981), Castaway (1986) and Gladiator (2000). For Gladiator, Reed was posthumously nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and the film was dedicated to him.
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