John Rhys-Davies was born on May 5, 1944 in the town of Ammanford of Camarthenshire, Wales to Mary Margaretta Phyllis Jones, a nurse, and Rhys Davies, a mechanical engineer. His childhood was spent living in Africa as well as England, where he attended a private school. Having had early exposure to culture, John has cited that this as inspiration for choosing an acting career. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with a degree in English studies and went on to become a teacher at Watton County Secondary Modern School before he was awarded a place at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Following two years of studying his acting craft there, John took up nine years in repertory theater; sometimes performing at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
His most well known roles are as Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Sallah in two of the Indiana Jones trilogy films, The Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade. He broke onto the international movie scene as a Praetorian officer in I, Claudius. In addition to roles in Star Trek: Voyager and several adaptions of The Three Musketeers, John has starred in a number of original movies produced by Syfy. He also has acted and provided voices in computer games, including Dune 2000, the Wing Commander series, Lords of Everquest and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance