30 Awesome Actors Who Deserve Biopics
4. Oliver Reed
The Actor: A brooding, larger than life presence on screen, Reed was famed for a string of tough performances in films like The Three Musketeers and Oliver! He also managed the not inconsiderable feat of making nude, man-on-man wrestling seem macho in Women In Love. Well played sir.
Their Amazing Life: A renowned hellraiser and womaniser, Olly Reed’s life would make for cracking entertainment, from the bar-room brawl that left him needing 63 stitches in his face, to the legendary drinking contest he had with Steve McQueen in the early ‘70s. Even his death has a certain heroism to it, with a chronically ill Reed spending his last night drinking and scrapping with a group of sailors in Malta. He died of a heart-attack the following day.
Key Scene: Whilst filming the wartime drama Hannibal Brooks, Ollie endears himself to the locals by tearing down the Austrian flag from outside the crew’s hotel and urinating upon it. As the shoot moves on to Germany, there is more of the same, as Reed enters a bar decorated with every national flag save Britain’s. Grabbing the terrified manager, Reed snarls, “I’m coming back tomorrow night. If you haven’t got a Union Jack by then I’m going to trash this place.” There is no Union Jack the following night so Reed puts a bar stool through the window.