RHYS-DAVIES, JOHN

Entry Source: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin


(May 5, 1944–     ): Respected and prolific Welsh character actor who portrayed General Pushkin of the KGB in The Living Daylights. Having gained international popularity in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)where he was delightful as Indiana Jones’s Egyptian friend Sallah—Rhys-Davies was the perfect choice for Pushkin, the new head of the KGB. He later shone as Gimli the ferocious dwarf in director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003).

A native of Ammanford, Wales, Rhys-Davies made his big-screen debut as a rugby player in director Jack Cardiff’s thriller Penny Gold (1973). After appearing in dozens of British television shows, Rhys-Davies took on one of his first international roles as Stephanos Markoulis in Franklin Schaffner’s mystery adventure Sphinx (1981), released the same year as his memorable appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark.