Oliver Reed, Now He Should Have Dipped His Big Toe in Prof. Wrestling


Jon Rowe

Jon Rowe is a full Professor of Business at Mercer County Community College, where he teaches business, law, and legal issues relating to politics. Of course, his views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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14 Responses

  1. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I don’t think I ever knew anything about Reed’s off-camera life.

    I find it somehow gratifying that his off-screen persona appears to be quite similar to my favorite of his on-screen personas: Porthos.Report

    • Athos.

      Not that the movies got Porthos exactly right; they made him a silly dandy instead of a lovably dim, unshakably loyal, well-nigh unstoppable force of nature. But they did make him comic relief, where Athos is a brooding, wounded, tragic figure.Report

    • Avatar Montaigne says:

      Except in the “(Three and Four) Musketeers” movies, he played Athos.* Frank Findlay portrayed Porthos.

      * And did it with great sensitivity as the thoughtful, broken senior member of the group. He was a good actor.Report

  2. Avatar Michael M. says:

    I’d have begged borrowed and stole any amount necessary to sneak on the set of Women in Love the day the wrestling scene between Reed and Alan Bates was filmed, had I been old enough at the time to have any sense.Report

  3. Avatar SaulDegraw says:

    Brilliant actor. He is also the nephew of Carrol Reed who directed the Third ManReport

  4. Avatar El Muneco says:

    I’d never thought of it this way, but I wonder how much of the character of Alan Swann in “My Favorite Year” was actually Peter O’Toole stealing from not just his own experiences but his relationships with contemporaries like Reed.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      That might be.

      I had always heard that Alan Swann was modeled — both and script and by O’Toole — after Errol Flynn, and that for those who are insiders the movie is full of tiny jokes an anecdotes you wouldn’t get if you didn’t know Flynn (or his biography) really well.

      This might well be apocryphal, for all I know.Report

    • Avatar SaulDegraw says:

      Old theatre joke:

      Rex Harrison is doing a matinee performance. The woman calls out “Rex Harrison, you’re drunk.” Harrison replies “Madame, wait until you see Peter O’Toole”Report

    • Avatar SaulDegraw says:

      “I am not an actor, I’m a movie star!!!”Report

      • Avatar El Muneco says:

        Exactly what I had been thinking – the character was based on Errol Flynn, but I can’t help but thinking that O’Toole brought into it a lot of personal history. Kind of like how basically every early heavy metal band thought that “This Is Spinal Tap” was about them because the creators had tapped into the zeitgeist.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The story that makes me laugh and shake my head is the story of his last bar tab.

    From the article: Witnesses said Reed, 61, knocked them back at a bar in Valletta, the Maltese capital, for three hours during a break in filming.

    As his wife, Josephine, and friends watched in amusement, Reed – as well-known for his tippling exploits as for his 53 movie roles – bought drinks for everyone at the bar.

    Then he arm-wrestled sailors from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Cumberland and shared two bottles of rum with them.

    “The sailors could not take the pace and left,” one bar employee told London’s Sun newspaper.

    “When they’d gone, Oliver drank a couple of glasses of whiskey before his collapse.”