Born 13th, Feb, 1938 - Died 2nd, May, 1999
Reed's screen career often seemed like a mere rehearsal for the more important business of hell-raising in real life. He once summarised his career as "shafting the girlies and downing the sherbie'.'
He made his television debut in a children's series, The Golden Spur. This led to a number of small film roles, most notably as a ballet dancer in The League of Gentlemen (1960).
In 1962 Reed was given his first leading role in the Hammer horror film, The Curse of the Werewolf.
Reed's big breakthrough came in 1968, when, directed by his uncle, he made a convincingly savage Bill Sikes in the film version of the musical Oliver!.
The film won six Oscars and made Reed an international star. By the late Sixties, he was Britain's highest-paid actor.
His next project was Ken Russell's adaptation of Women In Love (1970). Reed admitted to being nervous about the wrestling scene which achieved the distinction of making Reed the first actor to appear fully naked in a mainstream film.
In his second film for Russell, The Devils (1971), Reed played a licentious priest who induces hysterical behaviour in a group of nuns.
As the seventies wore on Reed seemed more interested in the quantity of his parts than the quality of his roles - one exception was in the 1974, where he played Athos in The Three Musketeers.
In the late Seventies, Reed moved to Guernsey as a tax exile, returning occasionally to promote a movie or appear on chat shows - many of them ending in alcoholic fuelled mayhem.
Occasionally, as in the 1986 film Castaway, Reed turned in a performance which reminded us of was a great actor he was.
Oliver Reed died in 1999 and is survived by his wife Josephine and two daughters.