Robert Oliver Reed (13 February 1938 – 2 May 1999) was an English actor known for his "hellraiser" lifestyle. After making his first significant screen appearances in Hammer Horror films in the early 1960s, his notable films include The Trap (1966), playing Bill Sikes in the 1968 Best Picture Oscar winner Oliver! (a film directed by his uncle Carol Reed), Women in Love (1969), Hannibal Brooks (1969), The Devils (1971), portraying Athos in The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974); the lover and stepfather in Tommy (1975), Funny Bones (1995) and Gladiator (2000).
For playing Antonius Proximo, the old, gruff gladiator trainer in Ridley Scott's Gladiator, in what was his final film, Reed was posthumously nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2000. At the peak of his career, in 1971, British exhibitors voted Reed fifth most popular star at the box office. The British Film Institute (BFI) stated that "partnerships with Michael Winner and Ken Russell in the mid-60s saw Reed become an emblematic Brit-flick icon", but from the mid-1970s his alcoholism began affecting his career, with the BFI adding "Reed had assumed Robert Newton's mantle as Britain's thirstiest thespian".
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