John Rhys-Davies began acting in Shakespeare plays at the age of thirteen at Truro School in Cornwall, England. By the time he had graduated from the then new University of East Anglia, where he founded the University Dramatic Society and starred at the acclaimed Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich, he had created an impressive amateur resume. He taught for a year before spending two years at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), graduating in 1969. He then worked in repertory theatres throughout Britain and at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Rhys-Davies made his feature film debut in Don Siegel's The Black Windmill,
starring Michael Caine, where he was blown up before the title sequence. His
eighty plus film credits include Victor/Victoria, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Living Daylights
and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. For his role in The Lord of
the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Rhys-Davies and the rest of the principal
cast were nominated for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical
Motion Picture by the Screen Actors Guild. He will next be seen in Highbinders,
opposite Jackie Chan and Claire Forlani.
For television, he was nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Rodrigues in "Shogun," starred as Professor Arturo in "Sliders," and is remembered for performances in "I, Claudius" and "The Naked Civil Servant." He would like to spend more time piloting planes, playing with old cars and writing.