In May 1999, after a 40 year career including 100 films Oliver Reed died as he had invariably lived, Drinking With Friends while making another film is well received performance in the Blockbuster gladiator and having Risen through hammer horror films to international starred up as Bill Sikes in Oliver Reed became in his own words the biggest star this country has got With his legendary off screen exploits and blue opinions especially of his co-stars he was one of the most infamous.
All quotes belong to Oliver Reed or others, and copyright belongs to Cliff Goodwin.
Previously in this Blog -.We witnessed Oliver begin to try a control his drinking and behavior, and start a new relationship with a young woman who was about leave sixth form collage much to the shock and horror of the British press. But there ideas couldn’t further from the truth if they tried. But the old hellraiser Oliver doesn’t go down with a fight.
Chapter Sixteen – I’m always wondering whether I’ve got to apologise for my behaviour last night.
Oliver’s patriotism, was uncompromising and with a little help from drink serious and dangerous concern. While filming the Hannibal books film in the Alps he ended up drunken me Tearing Down the Australian flag, and a few years after he wrecked a bar because the Union Jack was prominently displayed. And in 1982 the start of the Falklands War Oliver was given the opportunity to indulge in the kind of jingoism he had witnessed in his Grandfather. He would have phone calls at 3 or 4 in the morning, and run around his house relaying troop movements to anybody in ear shot.
In many ways Oliver was a relic of his class he was born into living by the Old standards was desperately trying to keep the new ones. When he wasn’t defending his country, he was marching another fixation out of a blind and time as a basket but more than likely from his time in the army as a squad corporal at church Cookham.
By the mid 1960s Oliver had already a mass and impressive Arsenal of antique weapons. One summer night after the pubs that closed he equipped seven of his friends with a swords, blunderbuss and several other implements and then formed them a squad. He informed them in his best colonel blimp voice that they were going to take the police station and without question the heavily armoured party was marching down Wimbledon Hill Road, and brought to a halt beneath the blue lamp of the town’s police station. Oliver strutted in and merged a few seconds later with a stone faced sergeant Oliver brought his men to arms and quickly match them through the station yard and into a big black Mariah where they all were taken back to Oliver’s home like a bunch of a naughty school boy with a warning if the sergeant caught them with those weapons again he would confiscate a lot. Another such incident occurred when he was at a scouting event in a village green at Ockley, when he marched a pack of cubs straight through the village pond not one cup broke ranks and what all splashing through the pond in waist high water to emerge on the other side dripping and smiling.
By the mid 1960s film studio bosses on Malta realised it was not the island cloudy sky and long hot summer days that would win them a place on the Worlds filmmaking map, but fact they were able to deliver storms on-demand in a safe and controllable manner. with a 600 by 400 ft like built next to the shipyards yards from the sea and using the natural Mediterranean as a backdrop. In 1983 it was Oliver’s turn to face the full Force of the world’s fiercest man-made storm when recreating Christopher Columbus epic discovery of North America. For the six hour Italian mirrors series Christoforo Colombo written and shot in English but later to be dubbed into Italian. It was Oliver’s first visit to Malta, hired to play Martin Pinzon, the captain of the caravel Pinta. He slowly fascinated with the tanks and refused a stand up when one was called fliming, in fact he remained on deck of the ship the whole night, Impressing many of the crew playing grown-up pirates.
for the first time in almost 30 years Oliver, was considering quitting the film industry he was depressed by a series of of health problems and also acting he felt he had a little more than become an emotional prostitute, saying “I love you” and not really meaning it when he smile he didn’t feel happy, there was a whole new new generation watching movies and not having the first clue who he was they see this old chap on the screen and they read about my punch ups in pubs but they don’t really know what I am and the things I have done. Andrew Rissik a writer of Guardian newspaper had his own theory about the actors apparent decline.
Perhaps Oliver himself took to lightly a view of his own stardom, the dyslexic boozer and practical joker inside him they always have bridled at the serious pretensions of straight acting as an artist as a screen presence he was in decline not because of any lack of capacity but because directors could no longer be bothered to put into the test.
the child within Oliver never really left him, and he had one real fear that he should never become boring, ” he suffered from a very low threshold of boredom and irritation” one interviewer said and “frankly likes to make things happen and usually at most unexpected moments.
When Cristoforo Colombo was finally ready for launch the Producers hired an Italian cruise liner, where guests were wine and dine and treated to 3 to 2 hours screens of a many days, the final night was marked with a black tie dinner in the luxury liners main dining room by Constance Lino Cassar the managing director of the film studio in Malta all went well until the pre-screening interval when Oliver excused himself and left to visit the bathroom but a few minutes later Caesar caught sight of the actor notting to guests as he nonchalance returned to the table his trousers.
making things happen in a London television studio produced predictably bigger reaction than Oliver would ever imagine and unlike his later on air exploits this was not one he could ever conveniently pass off as a prearranged stunt, he was booked to make a surprise appearance at the end of a London weekend television programme called all the stars secrets. The show’s subject was boxer Henry Cooper who the Actor at last with while filming royal flash 10 years earlier. Psyching himself up in the green Oliver ended up performing a spontaneously shadow boxing session and slicing hand up on the mirror with the left hook, he history punch himself up and signal off screen arrival by punching a hole through the screen of the studio Stage and then when the Host Michael Parkinson asked how many rounds you would like to go with Cooper Oliver failed to reply with the prescribed line “as many as he is willing to buy” instead he took a powerful aimless swing at the boxer. one crew member later described the incident like a hurricane that blue through but did not tell anybody.
Oliver’s and Josephine marriage surprised no one, Early in their relationship Oliver tried to get to accept a philosophy that might hold them together thorough the bad drunken times ” I’ll do something you will hate, and things that I would hate you I just want you to know that it’s not really me and that it will be alright in the morning” On the 7 September Josephine Mary Burge become the second Mrs Oliver Reed.
Castaway next to the Lion of the Desert was Oliver favourite film had fun making it. And to anyone who Oliver personally and for the good many who didn’t. Gerald Kingsland is Oliver Reed just like Oliver, they would be writer is virile, handsome, insolent and smoulderingly dangerous. to accompany Kingsland to his tropical island and play Lucy Irving on who booked the film was based the director Nicholas Roeg chose Amanda Donohoe a beautiful but relatively unknown actress. it took almost two weeks to ship the cast and crew and it’s equipment the 5000 miles to the Seychelles each day Oliver and Amanda attempted to deliver their best in extremely hot and humid conditions that dulled their enthusiasm and sharpen the tempers.
And despite Josephine’s best efforts Oliver was by now drinking copies of the local brewed beer imported spirits, added to the obstacle of the presence of Reg Prince, want the members of the film crew decided to use the Indian Ocean assignment to get married prince and Oliver arrived at the exception extremely drunk and aggressive when the actor unzipped his shorts and offered his tattooed manhood for inspection all male guess Prince was forced to step in and escort Oliver out.
In November 1986, Castaway was selected as the opening event at that year’s London film festival I started celebrating early and as the rest of the national Film Theatre audiences they were treated piercing whistle and according to One review. choice samples from Oliver Reed Lexicon of invective. 3 months later at a second Castaway promotion this time of London weekend television would go down in history as triggering the most protests from scores of viewers ever for the show.
It wasn’t the first time Michael Aspel had interviewed Oliver but nothing prepared for this appearance, Oliver was booked as the last guess on the live show Aspel & Co. Oliver had still yet to arrive at the LWT studio by the time the show was on air. And when the actor finally appeared his hair was ruffled, his shirt was half open and hanging out and carry a large jug of want both Aspel and the two other guess believed to be gin and orange. On the one hand Aspel could have taken the Mickey out of Oliver, but Oliver was incapacitated and vulnerable so Aspel did the only thing he could carry on and make great television. after slurring his way through the interview during which Oliver apparently forgot the plot of Castaway he insisted of singing a version of wild thing with the studio band.
As with his Castaway Oliver had delivered his best performance in the years, The whole thing had been a prank, He’d been able to fool a show’s entire production crew and millions of people of a primetime show. unfortunately he had also done with the very people who spent a lifetime trying to impress, producers and directors who have 2 Castaway had considered Oliver the various roles once again turn their back to him and through the Grapevine the word was out stay away from reed.
What I Think – Keep saying this, in hope that it maybe it will soon be true. Oliver is at the cross road of becoming a international flim star and man in control of his own destiny. This chapter proved second part to be true he was able fall in love and marry Josephine, and protect her from the backlash of the world. He was even able explain to her why and how he acts the way he does. but unfortunately even with the glorious acting in Castaway Oliver couldn’t help himself once again and this time even though it was all an act this type of Acting cost him quite a lot. The question is now will Oliver be able to recover from this or will it cost him another marriage. Now that’s your lot for this week and in the next blog we will be covering more of Mr Reed’s life, as always if you have done thank you for reading and whoever you are whether you be I hope you can join me next week.