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John Rhys-Davies (born May 5, 1944) is a Welsh actor best known for portraying Sallah in the Indiana Jones movies and Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. His other roles include Michael Malone in the 1993 TV series The Untouchables, Vasco Rodrigues in the mini-series Shōgun, Professor 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. In voice acting, he portrayed Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 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 Freelancer.

Career[]

Rhys-Davies 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 2014, he joined the cast of the television show Metal Hurlant Chronicles to play Holgarth, an immortal alchemist.

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.

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, was offered the tattoo instead as Rhys-Davies was disinclined to get one himself and Beattie had spent so much time as his double that he almost received co-credit.

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." He offered help as a dwarf advisor in 2011, but ruled out returning as Gimli in the LOTR prequel The Hobbit because of the punishing makeup required.

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.

In 2016, he provided spoken words for Voices of Fire, the sixth album by a cappella power metal band van Canto.

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

Filmography[]

Live-Action Dubbing[]

Puppet Shows[]

Animation Dubbing[]

Animated Films[]

External Links[]

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