John Rhys-Davis

Name ID 2072

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Extract Date: 1950's


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Rhys-Davies went to school in Truro, Cornwall. His father had gone out to Africa after World War II, and the rest of the family joined him a few years later. It was in Tanzania, then called Tanganyika. He grew up partly on the coast, partly by Kilimanjaro, until he was sent back to England to be educated. He did not want to grow up in England, and wanted to go back to Africa and become a district commissioner and shoot things in the bush, he said in an SFX interview. He says that he has a hunter's values.

Extract ID: 5113

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Extract Author: Andrew Leigh
Extract Date: March 05, 2004

No Sean Penn: John Rhys-Davies, without Oscar censors.

Rhys-Davies used to be a radical leftist, as a university student in the '60s. He first started to come around when he went to the local hall to hear a young local member of parliament by the name of Margaret Thatcher. "I went to heckle her," Rhys-Davies says. "She shot down the first two hecklers in such brilliant fashion that I decided I ought for once to shut up and listen."

It was the beginning of his eventual transformation into a conservative. Rhys-Davies's father was a colonial officer, but from a poor "working-class socialist" background, which Rhys-Davies absorbed into his bloodstream. He spent a large portion of his childhood in Tanzania, where his father was posted.

He says, "As a child, my father showed me a dhow in the harbor at Dar es Salaam and said, 'You see that dhow? Twice a year it comes down from Aden filled with boxes of goods. On the way back up it's got two or three black boys on it. Those boys are slaves. And the U.N. won't let me do a thing about it.'"

Rhys-Davies says that his father predicted our current state of affairs, once telling his son, "The next world war will be between Islam and the West. And it will happen in your lifetime."

Extract ID: 5112