December 8, 1999
Looking for a jOLLIE Christmas
Looks like Channel 4 has again changed their schedule. To date, there is no air date for The Real Oliver Reed but they are hoping to run it in January 2000. In the meantime, you can fill your holiday spirits and stockings with Andy Black's book Oliver Reed: Ten Top Movies . Simply contact tele-order on: 0171 430 9878 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 5, 1999
Reed We You A Merry Christmas
So Andy Black's book was a bit late coming out--but it now available! Oliver Reed: Ten Top Movies includes an overview of Ollie's career, essays on 10 of his best movies, and plentiful illustrations. The book is priced at £9.95 / $14.95, and if you're looking to place it under your tree, its ISBN for ordering through bookshops is: 1-902588-06-1. A bio on Keith Moon, which relays a few Ollie tales, is also on bookshelves now. And if that's not enough to put cheer into your holiday mood, the long-awaited documentary The Real Oliver Reed has been pushed back to air on Channel 4 on Christmas eve.
November 1, 1999
What a great way to kick off the month...with news of a new book on Oliver Reed. According to Amazon UK, Andy Black's biography will be published in November 1999. Stay tuned for more information!
September 30, 1999
For those of you in Britain, mark December 4th on your calendar for that is when the highly anticipated The Real Oliver Reed documentary will be shown on Channel 4. Previously it was scheduled it for October, but TwentyTwenty Television assures fans the final product will be worth the wait!
September 13, 1999
Bill Psychs (them out)
There is a special piece about Oliver! in the October issue of Film Review that includes a good picture of Oliver (Reed not Twist) as well as insight into his off-screen persona. Apparently the only times the kids in the cast ever saw Reed was when he was in costume as the evil Bill Sikes. "A clever ploy on Reed's part no doubt; scaring the kids half to death reduced the amount of acting they had to do," the article states. "The famous hell-raiser didn't let his hair down until the end of (the) filming party when he apparently tried to ply (Jack)Wild and the other child actors with booze."
August 8, 1999
Fall for Reed
The ghost of Hammer's favorite ghoul (aka their werewolf Oliver Reed) will appear near Halloween via a one hour documentary The Real Oliver Reed in Britain on Channel 4 this October. The fall season will also bring Tim Burton's new film Sleepy Hollow starring Johnny Depp ad Christina Ricci as Hammer horror actors to the big screen. One can only wonder if it will refer to the young Reed and if the film will follow in the Ed Wood steps, and rejuvenate interest in these old horror films. Probably so, since word is the Hammer scripts are set to be remade!
June 24, 1999
The Reel Oliver Reed
Good news for those who cannot wait until next summer to see Ollie in The Gladiators. A one hour documentary called The Real Oliver Reed will be shown this autumn on Channel 4 in Britain. Currently in production, TwentyTwenty Television in London is interviewing members of Reed's family, traveling to LA, Malta, Ireland and around England, to compile an in-depth profile on Reed--including his films, his talents, his background, and his exploits. In short, their mission is to make a serious biography to praise and assess someone they define as one of England's finest actors.
Real to Reel Connection
TwentyTwenty Television is presently searching for unseen and rare footage of Ollie Reed in any of his various guises--drunkard, family man, actor, bon vivant, etc. Private collectors who have a good knowledge of and/or collection of Ollie Reed memorabilia, should contact the researchers of The Real Oliver Reed.
June 27, 1999
Suddenly next summer
Although still in production, much talk has surrounded Reed's last film The Gladiators. Due for release next year, the film is expected to be one of the biggest summer blockbusters to date. In true Hollywood style, the $120m film is big (set in ancient Rome with huge sets reconstructing the Roman Colosseum and the Roman Forum) and boasts an all-star cast including Derek Jacobi, Joaquin Phoenix, 2,000 extras, and one-time Reed rival Richard Harris, who said of Ollie's death, "I shall drink a pint or two in his honor. I am sorry for poor old Oliver, but he died the way he wanted to go."
Since Reed died during the shooting of The Gladiators in Malta on May 2, 1999, film-makers are looking at some very special special-effects to keep him alive for the final cut. According to The Malta Times newspaper, most of his scenes were "pretty much completed." However, additional scenes requiring his presence may involve superimposing existing footage of Reed's head onto a double's body. Yet, The Gladiators assures future viewers that most of what they'll see on the screen will be Reed's acting.
May 16, 1999
Party like it's 1999
Despite the absence of anticipated guests Michael Caine, Roger Moore and Steven Spielberg, Oliver Reed's funeral was an event worthy of his life's legend.The Gladiators costar Joaquin Phoenix.was among the hundreds (including Rolling Stone Ron Wood) to attend Reed's funeral in Ireland--an event that began on Saturday, May 15th and lasted until Sunday, the 16th. "The pub ran out of Guinness hours before the funeral began," The Daily Express reports, "The old hellraiser's request was simple--drinks for everybody and bacon sandwiches at dawn, and so it was yesterday as he was laid to rest in the shadow of his favorite bar...The Vicar entered into the spirit saying 'His cup runneth over'... Lorryloads of stout were brought in, and the party was still in full swing this morning...A bottle of stout and a half pint glass on a silver tray were placed into the grave before it was filled in...His elder brother David, 63 said, 'Ollie enjoyed every minute, but without a drink he was the shyest man in the world.'"
It's A Fine Life
As onlookers witnessed the burial in St James's church, close to Reed's home in the County Cork village of Churchtown, they broke out into song when the cortege approached the cemetery. "Consider Yourself at Home" from Lionel Bart's musical Oliver! in which Reed played Bill Sikes, served as a farewell to an actor considered as controversial on-screen as he was off. His wife Josephine and his two children, Mark and Sarah, from previous relationships, were at the ceremony that was adorned with hundreds of wreaths sent by well-wishers from around the world.
While in Malta for the filming of The Gladiators, Oliver Reed suffered a heart attack when he was having a drink with friends and arm wrestling sailors. Within 15 minutes, he died on the way to hospital. The Sun said Reed, 61, bought drinks for everyone at the bar and arm-wrestled sailors from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Cumberland as he shared two bottles of rum with them. "He only moved on to neat rum when the sailors arrived," the Sun quoted a bar worker as saying. "The sailors could not take the pace and left. When they'd gone Oliver drank a couple of glasses of whisky before his collapse." One of the sailors added, "I could not believe it when I heard that he had died. At least he died happy with his boots on."
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