John Rhys-Davies

John Rhys-Davies was born May 5, 1944, in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. Raised in England, Wales and Africa, he is a graduate of the University of East Anglia and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

A character actor with a long background on the stage, television and big screen, Rhys-Davies was first noticed by American audiences in the miniseries "I, Claudius" (1976) and "Shogun" (1980). After playing Sallah in the blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Rhys-Davies became a welcome presence in Hollywood movies. He repeated the role in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, then gained a TV following as Professor Arturo in the cult series "Sliders" (1995-97).

Although he was actually taller than his fellow lead actors, camera tricks made Rhys-Davies appear smaller in his role as the dwarf warrior Gimli in the phenomenally successful Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03).