I like to give my inhibitions a bath now and then
Famous for his hellraising antics and outrageous remarks, Oliver Reed was also a very fine actor, who won a posthumous Oscar nomination for his final role.
“I have two ambitions” he said.
“One is to drink every pub dry, the other is to sleep with every woman on earth.”
Broodingly handsome in his heyday, he was the definitive and brutal Bill Sikes in Oliver! and memorable in Ken Russell’s Women In Love, which famously featured a nude fireside wrestling scene with co-star Alan Bates.
Nudity was also a talking point of his 1986 film, Castaway, in which he starred with Amanda Donohoe.
Ollie was burned at the stake in The Devils and also appeared in the film version of the Who’s rock musical Tommy (where he met drummer Keith Moon, who became a long time drinking partner).
Well known for his hard-drinking ways, Ollie appeared on TV chat shows while under the influence, sometimes appearing to play up to the devil-may-care character that viewers had become familiar with.
“I don’t live outside the world of sobriety” he once said.
The actor died in Malta after a night out drinking while friends, during a break from making his last film, Gladiator. Director Ridley Scott used CGI technology to complete scenes featuring Ollie after his death.
The actor’s role as elderly slave trader Antonius Proximo garnered him a posthumous Oscar nomination – a fitting tribute to his talent.