Trivia/Anecdotes

Trivia, quotes and anecdotes relating to Oliver Reed.

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Oliver Reed has been celebrated in song on numerous occassions. A band called The Dentists recorded a song Just like Oliver Reed, while Gaye Bykers on Acid recorded a 12" vinyl EP entitled Everything's Groovy on which were enscribed the words "Oliver Reed's Liver".

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And speaking of music, Oliver Reed was no stranger to recording a few songs himself. These include Wild One/Lonely for a Girl (1961), Sometimes/Ecstasy (1962), Baby It's Cold Outisde (duet with Joyce Blair - sister of dancer Lionel) and Wild Thing (1992) a "duet" with snooker ace Alex Higgins. Oliver also narrates on a track named Walpurgis Nacht by heavy metal band Death SS.

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In a 2002 Channel 4 (TV) poll of the 100 Greatest Movie Stars of all time, Oliver Reed was voted 78th. His entry reads:

Legendary drinker and rabble-rouser, Oliver Reed was born in London in 1938. He first caught the public's attention in a 1961 Hammer horror film Curse Of The Werewolf, but he refused to be typecast. Reed appeared in many good films during the 1960s, including These Are The Damned, the Oscar winning Oliver! and Ken Russell's groundbreaking hit Women In Love, in which he famously wrestled nude with Alan Bates. Thereafter, he starred in The Three Musketeers and Tommy, as well as a series of more trashy films like The Brood. Reed died in 2000 during the filming of Gladiator, having turned in a wonderful, reflective performance as an ageing former star of the amphitheatre.

Channel 4 TV
URL: http://www.channel4.com/film/newsfeatures/microsites/M/moviestars/results/results_80_76.jsp
 
"Oliver Reed once walked into Gough Square to be interviewed by Douglas Cameron and he was completely naked apart from wearing a pair of Wellington boots. He was obviously worse for wear but Douglas carried on as if nothing had happened."

The Guadrian, Stars reflect on 30 years of LBC (excerpt)
URL: http://media.guardian.co.uk/radio/story/0,12636,1052897,00.html
 
Despite a public feud lasting many years, actor Richard Harris claims he only met Oliver Reed once.

"'Harris', he (Reed) said, 'the next time I see you I am going to kick the shit out of you and I am going to step on your face and I am going to break your arms'. And I said, 'Where are you'? And he said, 'El Pedrino', somewhere in LA, and I said, 'Don't move', and when I got there he was sitting with a great big bodyguard, and I said, 'Do I begin with you or do I begin with Oliver'? And we ended up by hugging each other and having a drink.

Reduced, alas, to the cutting room floor. Boris Johnson talks to Richard Harris, The Daily Telegraph, 17th May 1999
URL: http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=%2Farchive%2F1999%2F05%2F17%2Ftlbori17.html
 
Oliver Reed has been banned from every pub in town (Dorking), most notably the Bull's Head where he climbed the chimney naked shouting "Ho! Ho! Ho! I'm Santa Claus!".

The Knowhere Guide: Local Heroes in Dorking (excerpt)
URL: http://www.knowhere.co.uk/3173_heroes.html
 
When I was hosting my Celebrity TV show, I heard the late actor Oliver Reed was in town, secluded at one of the city's posh hotels. So I called him up and asked him if he'd like to be on the show. 'I don't ordinarily do press interviews,' he told me, 'but, I might be willing to make an exception. I've been out on location for what seems like an eternity and haven't had a drop of booze, much less seen the likes of a decent woman. If you can get me drunk and laid, you might have yourself a deal.' (All I can say is I asked the hotel to send some 'refreshments' to Reed's suite and arranged for him to have a 'dinner companion' that evening. Reed did the show. It was a stunner. One week later, while doing the Rona Barrett TV show, Reed got ticked off when she told him to quit smoking on the air. Instead of putting out his cigarettes in an ash tray, he put them in his mouth and dramatically swallowed them).

Don Aly's Celebrity Scene
URL: http://www.donaly.com/don_alys_column3.html
 
In the late 1960's, thanks to the generosity of that well-known film, and television actor, Oliver Reed, Rosslyn Park became the first London club to have floodlights.

Rugby7.com
URL: http://www.rugby7.com/01may03.asp
 
Finally, reader Terry Baucher says that the great English actor Oliver Reed once owned a racehorse called Gorn Myson. It only raced once under that name and afterwards the relevant authorities ordered a change of name as it was unfair to hear the racing commentators call out as the horses went down the final straight, "GO ON MY SON!"

Why the future looks so historical
URL: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/06/14/1023864350163.html
 
Oliver Reed was born and died on a Sunday (13th Feb 1938 and 2nd May 1999)

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The judges for Miss World 1975 included actors Oliver Reed and Susan George, middle-weight boxing champ John Conteh, the Prime Minister of the Seychelles, Sir James Mancham, and Kiki Haakanson. Oliver Reed became furious when he discovered that his judging fee was sent directly to the Variety Club of Great Britain (Miss World's charity of choice), which had been distributing the money raised by Miss World. He complained loudly that his fee should have gone to a less prosperous children's charity.

URL: http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/9699/mcmw75.htm
 
Oliver Reed was the first subject of The Obituary Show in Without Walls.

URL: http://offthetelly.users.btopenworld.com/features/c4/1994.htm
 
Oliver Reed's underpants

While on a tour to Twickenham many moons ago Howardian RFC were in a Hotel and Rosslyn Park RFC were also using the same hotel for their Centenary celebrations. Howardian thought that it would be a good idea to gatecrash and promply did so. Rosslyn Park didn't seem to mind and one of their patrons, being a celebrated dipsomaniac, became involved with a few of the old boys.There had been a News of the World expose the previous Sunday in which Oliver Reed had stripped naked. So our intrepid lot decided that it would be a good idea to test this. He wanted to swap something for the Welsh scarf that one David (Danno) Price was wearing. Wales had lost by a point after scoring two tries to three penalties (yes the game that Ringer was sent off) playing most of the game with fourteen men, so he wanted a trophy and decided that Danno's scarf was it. Danno was very reluctant to part with his scarf as it was something of a family heirloom.

After prolonged haggling it was decided that Danno would receive the underpants of Oliver. These being particularly special as they had been hand appliquéd with his initials (in sequins) by his future wife. Further to this he had to stand on a table and take them off then and there. Danno was so impressed with this that he decided to join Oliver and the pair of them ended up naked on a table in all their glory. The girlfriend objected to this vociferously but the deed was done and Danno was now the proud owner of a pair of purple underpants embroidered with the initials O.R.. The wife still objected as these underpants were of sentimental value to her as she had embroidered them. So she chased Danno for quite a while in an effort to retrieve them.

Howardian RFC salute the legendary, late, great Oliver Reed as a true rugby patron who fully embraced the ethos of rugby.

Old Howardians Athletic Club: Anecdotes
URL: http://www.oldhowardians.org.uk/anecdotes.htm
 
"Actor Oliver Reed gets drunk on Aspel & Company" was voted the 90th Greatest Television moment of all time for a Channel4 poll in 1999. This was ahead of both "Gareth Southgate's Euro 96 penalty miss" and "Torvill and Dean win Olympic gold, accompanied by Bolero". The winner was "The NASA moon landing in 1969".

URL: http://www.thecustard.tv/linksandlists/100moments.html
 
In the popular UK TV series "Spitting Image", where celebrities were represented as latex charactures, the voice of Oliver Reed was provided by Jon Glover.

URL: http://www.qsulis.demon.co.uk/Website_Louise_Gold/Spitting_Image.htm
 
eating out on the terraces (Aston Villa FC fansite, excerpt)

MEAT AND POTATO PIE. Basically, these pies were the works; thick, crusty pastry, loads of potato and gravy with a touch of meat. The effect they had on the bowels led to them being known as 'Ollys' after the Spitting Image Oliver Reed sketch where it was found necessary to declare an exclusion zone round Oliver in order to maintain public safety.

URL: http://freespace.virgin.net/heroes.villains1/hls/24.htm
 
QUOTATION: I do not live in the world of sobriety.
ATTRIBUTION: Oliver Reed (b. 1938), British screen actor. Quoted in Sunday Times (London, December 27, 1987).

URL: http://www.bartleby.com/66/65/46165.html
 
And You Call Yourself a Scientist! - Venom (1982) (excerpt)

Venom features an unexpectedly controlled performance from Klaus Kinski; his Jacmel his cold, deliberate and deadly - in a way that, inevitably, invites comparison with the mamba itself. Oliver Reed's Dave, on the other hand, is a sweaty, snivelling, sauced-up disaster waiting to happen. The scenes between these two legendary cinematic psychos are simply unforgettable. According to the DVD commentary by director Piers Haggard (which is good reason in itself to grab the Blue Underground release), Kinski and Reed loathed each other on sight, and all of that comes out on screen - although the screenplay gives the former all of the advantages. Their relationship, in fact, is beautifully delineated in their first meeting, when Dave opens the door of the front seat of the Rolls for Jacmel, inviting him in as a partner, and Jacmel responds by climbing into the back seat, establishing himself as Dave's superior. Their working relationship finally climaxes when - oh, how Klaus must have enjoyed this! - Jacmel loses patience and slaps the panic-ridden chauffeur stupid.

URL: http://twtd.bluemountains.net.au/Rick/venom.htm
 
A Tale of Oliver Reed

I loved Oliver Reed.
However, the guy had what I like to call, "A Drinking Problem."
This story tells of one such incident.

...So wardrobe arrives at the bar. It's lunchtime. Oliver can be heard before they round the bar, he being on his 6th bottle of Don Peringon. Somehow recognizing them, Oliver immediately demands that they sit and drink with him. His call time was 11 o'clock. Before they can coax him out of his barstool, Oliver downs one more bottle of champagne (in 15 minutes) and says he's ready to act. He tells the bar to bill production for 'lunch.' He can't stand, of course, so the two girls drag him by the arms out of the bar (him cursing all the while) and pour him into the car, where they speed to location.

...Location...
An actor walks over as the production assistants lay Oliver down on the grass. Wardrobe takes off his pants and boots while he fumbles vainly with his shirt buttons. Oliver sees the actor, brightens, and suddenly... ...whips out his unit...and starts pretending its a gun, saying 'bang, bang...!' "How do you like my 'chopper?'" Oliver says. The actor notes that there is a blue tatoo of an eagle talon on 'his chopper,' and wonders how pickled you have to be to get a tatoo on your... "I have a red tatoo on the other side, see?" Sure enough, he does. Wardrobe contines to get his clothes off. Make-up is waiting in the wings, suffering. "It looks better when it's at attention..." Fortunately, Oliver does not feel the need to prove that.

...later...
So they hand Oliver his prop pistol for his scene. Now the shot is scripted for Oliver to be on a hill, alone, while troops surround him, and two helicopters race in and hover above him. Oliver sees this, and, defeated, dramatically tosses his gun aside. They roll camera, everything proceeds smoothly, until Oliver is to toss his gun aside. Instead, scowling, Oliver hurls his gun at an extra, and pulls out...his 'chopper.' "Bang, bang, bang, bang...!" "CUT!!!"

Oliver, laughing, stumbles up to another actor, and says, "I know that I'm supposed to just drop the gun, but I think that my only way to survive is to pretend I'm crazy so they won't shoot me!" He laughs, chokes, and vomits on a production assistant. The shot in the film is of his stunt double performing what was scripted.

URL: http://sofiasideshow.com/archives/000044.html
 
Extracts From The Autobiography of Oliver Reed
The Purchase of Broome Hall

Source: Charlie McCarthy, Broome Hall 1948 - 1953

.... But after a couple more Gold Tops and more pondering, I was worried that even a field with a cottage might still be difficult to find. I crossed the road again-no No. 93 bus this time which I thought was a bit of a shame because I had become quite fond of them - and told the estate agent that I didn't mind if the empty field that now had a cottage now had a house instead.

Looking for a way of getting rid of me once and for all, the estate agent reached under his desk, brought out a book bound in morocco leather and presented me with-it. I asked why he was giving me a Bible as it wasn't a Sunday but he said it wasn't a Bible, it was a house.

I read all about Broome Hall, in the Dog and Fox, surrounded by dead Gold Top bottles, and was delighted to see that it had a field - if you can call sixty-five acres a field. It also had more bedrooms than a medium-sized hotel and eight hundred radiators. It was more than a house, it was a monastery owned by the White Fathers, an African missionary order who wanted to sell out and move up to Liverpool, all 120 of them presumably because there was more call for them there than in very White Surrey.

While I was looking at the book, the landlord of the pub came over and also mistaking it for the Bible, asked me if I was thinking of going to church. I told him it wasn't a church, it was a house and I was thinking of buying it. The landlord, a great friend of mine, picked up the book and started to read it, Then he roared with laughter. I asked him what was so funny but this only made him laugh all the more. It seemed that the idea of tearaway Oliver Reed moving up with the aristocracy was the biggest joke he'd heard for years. 'Sod you!' I said and stalked out of his pub, marched across the road - still no No. 93 bus which made me feel sure they had altered the route, probably because too many drivers had complained of the trouble they were having passing the Dog and Fox - and once again confronted the estate agent.

'Yes, Mr Reed, what can I do for you this time?' he said in a terribly bored tone.

'I'd like to buy this house,' I said, and plonked the Bible down in front of him.

He blinked at me, trying to make up his mind if I was being serious and finally deciding that I was, immediately had a minor coronary. When he had recovered, he mopped his face with his handkerchief to demonstrate what a hell of a life it was being an estate agent and said he would pick me up the following day and take me to see it.

Next morning, I was driven down to Dorking with an enormous hangover, legacy of the Gold Tops. But as soon as I set eyes on Broome Hall, I fell in love with it and decided to buy it there and then. It wasn't that my hangover clouded my judgment because I make my best decisions when I am suffering from the night before. A lot of people, including my father, tried to get me to change my mind but I wouldn't listen to them. Later, I found out that at the precise moment I was buying the place, another potential buyer was on his way across London with a fat cheque in his hand. But I had a fatter wad of crispies so I beat him to it.

I have a fascination about Victorian times, not that I think all of that era was marvellous, especially if you happened to he poor, but some of it was quite astonishing. That is why I like living in a Victorian house surrounded by Victorian furniture and Victorian wallpaper. As I have said, I've spent nine years restoring Broome Hall and replanting and landscaping its gardens. I have to work hard to keep it in the manner in which it should be accustomed.

The Spottiswoodes and the Browns, Victorian shipbuilders, built Broome Hall as it now stands. There has been a house on the site since the eleventh century but the oldest remaining part is dated 1740. Then it was added to substantially in 1880. The cellars, however, were already there and predictably, that is where I am. often to he found. I have a little dim hole down there which is really my private bar. I keep two special glasses in it. One is the Thorhill Class which holds the equivalent of a bottle of port and must be swigged in one. The other is a glass that hasn't been washed since the day I moved in and is now a mouldy green. Part of the tradition of coming to my house is to drink out of both the Thorhill Class and the Penicillin Glass.

The Thorhill Glass is a hangover, and I suppose that's the right word, from my previous house in Ellerton Road, Wimbledon, where I formed a little known Bacchanalian society, The Portley Club, with my younger brother Simon. Either Simon or myself could summon all members to a gargantuan feast at any time of the day or night. Without question they had to leave whatever they were doing, and sometimes it was very interesting, and attend the orgiastic revels. No women were allowed. The initiation ceremony was so secret that I'm not too sure that I am at liberty to tell what it was all about. Simon may not like it. I have to watch him these days. The last time we met, I had arrived home for a break in the making of Lion in the Desert with Anthony Quinn and took Simon on a roly poly around my locals. I introduced him as the baby brother I had taught to box. He immediately challenged me to knuckles - a game where you hold your clenched fist against your opponent's and see if you can manage to smash the back of his fist before he can pull his hand away. Perhaps he was trying to tell me something, because by the time I got back to the desert, I couldn't even shake hands with the director. Simon, who was my publicity agent, is now on television and the only memory of The Portley Club is the name. Every spring when the daffodils come up at the corner to the front drive, they spell 'Portley'.

The club is not Broome Hall's only link with my old stamping ground. Years before Wimbledon became the Mecca of first-class tennis, some of the best exponents of the racquet scorched many a forehand drive across Broome Hall's manicured lawns. Queen Victoria and Disraeli were among the visitors who came to applaud them. The old tennis court at Broome Hall has long disappeared. Yet not quite. For each spring, when the new grass starts to grow, and it is greener and lusher than at any other time of the year, the old tram lines appear as if by the wave of a fairy's wand, and then become invisible again until the next spring with the season's cut. It is a breathtaking glimpse of the past.

In the last war, Broome Hall was one of those hush-hush places taken over by the Canadians. The Sherwood Foresters, stationed at nearby Leith Hill, had great fun firing at its tall chimneys to make the soot fall down on our Commonwealth Cousins inside. You can still see the bullet holes in the chimneys and you can still see Cookies Wall, the parapet of the bridge that spanned the stream. It was being damaged by the large modern tractors that work the farm so I placed it beneath the flagpole as a monument. I call it Cookies Wall because the names of those long-way-away-from-home soldiers decorate it. The most prominent name is COOK, J. R. 1940. Every Poppy Day, I salute the Canadians and pour a bottle of whisky over the stone. If any of them remember the wall where they carved their initials and hearts, and maybe made love, I still salute them and ask them to share my whisky if ever they pass by.

After the war, the White Fathers bought the Hall and the last civilians to live in Broome Hall were the Piggott-Browns, the famous horse breeding family.

In the days when it took me all my time to raise a week's rent for a one-roomed flat in Earl's Court I used to visit a club in Notting Hill Gate and place bets with a bookie's runner. I once won a lot of money off him on a horse called Knuckleduster , owned and ridden by Sir William Piggott-Brown, little knowing that I would one day be the owner of his country seat and breed my own horses, which are a cross between the heavy horse and the thoroughbred. My stables are full of horses, my lake is full of fish, my estate is full of bluebell woods and wild flowers. I plant trees, train wisteria to climb walls and throw weekend parties where villains and Hooray Henries appear and throw each other into the lake.

Some villagers would prefer that I kept it all gentle and peaceful and shared a pot of fish paste with the grocer and patted babies and was nice to old ladies. But most of them get enough of that from the vicar....

URL: http://www.thepelicans.co.uk/history7.htm#ollie


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