John Rhys-Davies

John Rhys-Davies


5/5/1944, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, UK

Birth Name



Also Known As

John Rhys Davies, John Rhys-Davis, Jonathan Rhys-Davies
out of 10
User Rating
85 votes



Acclaimed Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies graduated from the University of East Anglia and is probably best known to film audiences for his roles in the blockbuster hits Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). He has also had leading roles in…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • John attended Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England.

    • John Rhys-Davies develops a new hobby during the shooting of each film he is in. This keeps his mind sharp and prevents him from getting bored on the set.

    • John Rhys-Davies has enjoyed good health through most of his film career. He reports that he was only sick during two of his movies: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (where he had sciatica) and The Raiders of the Lost Ark (when he had cholera and "nearly died on the set").

    • John Rhys-Davies performed a voice part in the radio version of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

    • John Rhys-Davies survived a plane crash in 1985 while filming King Solomon's Mines.

    • John Rhys-Davies was the subject of an elaborate Internet prank in 2004 that spread rumors that he had been selected to play General Grievous in Star Wars: Episode III.

    • John Rhys-Davies received criticism in 2004 when he compared The Lord of the Rings to the situations in Western Europe. He drew attention to the way Europe's culture was being diminished by Islam.

    • John Rhys-Davies provided the voice for the narrator in Sierra's Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness.

    • In 2003, John Rhys-Davies & company were nominated for the DVDX Award for Best Audio Commentary (New for DVD) for: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).

    • In 2004, John Rhys-Davies & company won the BFCA Award for Best Acting Ensemble for: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).

    • John Rhys-Davies lost the third knuckle of his left hand middle finger in an accident several years ago.

    • In March 2004, John Rhys-Davies attended The Scandinavian Sci-Fi, Game & Film Convention in Gõteborg, Sweden.

    • John Rhys-Davies graduated from the University of East Anglia.

    • John Rhys-Davies's son urged him to accept the role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    • John Rhys-Davies is happily married to wife Deborah, and they have one child together.

    • While playing the role of Gimli in Lord of the Rings trilogy, it was discovered that John Rhys-Davies was allergic to the prosthetics. During the first week, it burned off the skin under his eyes. After that he only put the prosthetics on every third day.

    • John Rhys-Davies did additional voice acting for the animated series Pirates of the Darkwater in season 2.

    • John Rhys-Davies did the voice for "Jherek" in Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate - Dark Alliance on the PS2.

    • John Rhys-Davies did the voice for "Lord Huigar" in the Lords of Everquest video game.

    • John Rhys-Davies did not get along with the new Sliders (1995) executive producer David Peckinpah, who came in on the third season of the show - which resulted in his character getting a brain tumor, then shot, then finally blown up.

    • John Rhys-Davies is an Associate Member of RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), London, England, UK.

    • Ironically, John Rhys-Davies is actually taller than Lord of the Rings trilogy co-stars Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, and Ian McKellen. Yet he plays the Dwarf.

    • John Rhys-Davies spent up to 5 hours a day putting on makeup for the role of "Gimli" from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    • John Rhys-Davies is an avid collector of vintage automobiles, and has an extensive collection.

  • Quotes

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Defending some of his controversial interviews) If Tolkien's got a message, it's that "Sometimes you've got to stand up and fight for what you believe in."

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Responding to the filming of The Lord of the Rings) I am proud to say that within two weeks of being the great skeptic, I think I was the first to say "Gentlemen, we are making a masterpiece."

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Commenting on not getting a tattoo after filming Lord of the Rings) You think I'm going to be tattooed by some drunken Maori with a dirty needle? Think again. If I had a bloody tattoo for every film I'd done, I'd be a walking billboard.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Answering the statement "Life's supposed to begin at 40") I can assure you I started living way before that.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Sharing his opinion on screenwriting) The thing I have noticed as the years pass -- which probably just means I'm getting old -- is that the textures in film scripts get thinner and thinner, if they exist at all. There's very little resonance in writing.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (When asked, Is there any role that you really want to play that you haven't had the chance to play yet?) I suppose the glib answer to that is, The next one.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Reflecting on life) For myself, traveling in the great circle of life, I find that I loathe the clichés that I once endorsed.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Speaking on his love of acting) The great secret of life is to get other people to pay for what you would do for free.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Voicing his opinion of ethics in the film industry) The level of dishonesty in the industry is too high. They eat innocence like sharks take to guppies in the water.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Commenting on 35 years of acting) I am enormously grateful for the career that I've had, If it ends tomorrow, I will have nothing to complain about. It will end one day, you know. One day, the phone will simply stop ringing and it will be all over. I assume that every job is my last job… It's probably one of the reasons why I've managed to survive so long.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (The three roles that have defined the direction his career) Shogun… Obviously, I suppose, Raiders… And to a certain extent, Gimli.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Reflecting on the unemployment rate of actors) Actors can always screw up their careers. We are our worst enemies.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Commenting on how acting has taken him all over the world) I think I have more stamps in my passport than most stamp collectors have in their collections.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Reflecting on his early exposure to slavery) As a child, my father showed me a dhow in the harbor at Dar es Salaam and said, "You see that how? Twice a year it comes down from Aden filled with boxes of goods. On the way back up it's got two or three black boys on it. Those boys are slaves. And the U.N. won't let me do a thing about it."

    • John Rhys-Davies: (Joking about his candor during interviews) Every time I open my mouth, I may be committing career suicide.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (On playing the role of the villain) Villains are a lot of fun. My villains have a lot of tongue-in-cheek. They are sometimes conscious of and a little bit gleeful of their villainy. But I actually despise certain forms of villainy. In England, we have a class of villain that's very proud of itself. I've found them totally uncharming. I'm not the slightest bit impressed by how he has robbed a bank, how he has killed someone. I only once played a real villain. He was based on the life of a real man. I really didn't like him.

    • John Rhys-Davies: I'm burying my career so substantially in these interviews that it's painful. But I think that there are some questions that demand honest answers. I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged. And if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization ... There is a demographic catastrophe happening in Europe that nobody wants to talk about ... By 2020, fifty percent of the children in Holland under the age of 18 will be of Muslim descent.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (on attempting to heckle Margaret Thatcher) She shot down the first two hecklers in such brilliant fashion that I decided I ought for once to shut up and listen.

    • John Rhys-Davies: I'd love to spend more time on the Isle of Man. I love the anonymity of putting on a boiler suit and going down to buy parts for the compressor. And Norman Wisdom's a neighbor; I salute him occasionally.

    • John Rhys-Davies: (On a 4th Indiana Jones) Every three or four years the rumours start again, but any new script has got to be approved by Steven, and by George, and by Harrison. Everyone would like to do one, but the script has got to be better than the other three. Every year Paramount must send boxes of goodies to all three, saying 'please please please make us another one.....'

    • John Rhys-Davies: (on shooting Fellowship of The Ring) One of my abiding memories is being halfway up a mountain and watching two men carrying a basket with my clothes up to me, and another two carrying my armour and axe, then a woman carrying my helmut up, and finally another with my big, heavy boots to give that dwarfish trouser-look. Then they put it all on me and the director said 'now run up that hill.'

    • John Rhys-Davies: (On why he left Sliders) I like SF. I love intelligent SF. We had the most wonderful series concept with Sliders, but we did everything that had been done before and we did it every damned episode. We did Species. We did Tremors. We did Twister. We did War of the Worlds. We did The Island of Dr. Moreau. It was out of control, just out of control. In the end, Sliders wasn't the worst experience I ever had. I was just disappointed. Again, I love SF. I'm a passionate believer in Sliders. The series could have been great. The public always understood that of Sliders. The public understood that you could go anywhere in the galaxy. The writers, though, would try to graft a Law and Order story, or something they had done or seen before, onto Sliders and just make the characters work around it.

  • Best known as Gimli in the lord of the rings trilogy

    John Rhys-Davies is a talented actor, Though The only movies I've seen him im are The Lord of the Rings Movies and The Princess Diaries 2. He brought humor to the character of gimli, at first he was a character I wasn't to crazy about because of his attitude towards elfs, nut as the movies progress I really started to like Gimli, espically his antics,he was like the comic relief of the trio. The Princess Diaries 2 he played Viscount Mabrey a vile man who wanted his son to take the crown. No matter what character he plays he does it well.moreless
  • Pretty cool actor.

    I have seen both of the Indiana Jones movies with him doing Salleh and I have seen the episodes of SpongeBob where he does the voice of Manray. He has quite a big talent if you ask me. I can not wait for Indiana Jones 4 and any newer MM&BB episodes of SpongeBob with him doing the voice of Manray.