Robert Oliver Reed (13 February 1938 – 2 May 1999) was an English actor known for his upper-class, macho image, hellraiser lifestyle, and "tough guy" roles. His films include The Trap, Oliver!, Women in Love, Hannibal Brooks, The Devils, The Three Musketeers, Tommy, Castaway, Lion of the Desert and Gladiator. At the peak of his career, in 1971, British exhibitors voted Reed 5th most popular star at the box office.
He was born Robert Oliver Reed in Wimbledon, London, to sports journalist Peter Reed and his wife Marcia (née Napier-Andrews). He was the nephew of film director Sir Carol Reed, and grandson of the actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree by his alleged mistress May Pinney Reed. He was alleged to have been a descendant (through an illegitimate step) of Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia. Reed attended Ewell Castle School in Surrey. He claimed to have been expelled from more than a dozen schools. Oliver's brother is Simon Reed, who is a sports journalist and also works for British Eurosport.
In 1959–1960, Reed married Kate Byrne. The couple had one son, Mark, before their divorce in 1969. While filming his part of Bill Sikes in Oliver!, he met Jacquie Daryl, a classically trained dancer who was also in the film. They became lovers and subsequently had a daughter named Sarah. In 1985, he married Josephine Burge, to whom he was still married at the time of his death. In his last years, Reed and Burge lived in Churchtown, County Cork, Ireland...
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