Family & Companions
Revill has his pilot's license.
A well-respected stage actor, Revill has been cast in TV and films either in comic parts, usually as a stuffy, pompous Englishman, or in villainous roles. Born and raised in New Zealand, he moved to London after graduating from college and studied at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school. Revill made his stage debut on Broadway in "Mr. Pickwick" (1952) and then returned to England to join the Ipswich Repertory Theatre from 1953-55. Between 1956 and 1958, he worked at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company at Stratford-on-Avon where he appeared in "Julius Caesar," "Measure for Measure" and "The Tempest," among others. Revill came to the attention of Broadway audiences when he recreated his London stage role in "Irma La Douce" (1960-61) and for his performance as Fagin in the hit New York production of "Oliver!" He earned Tony nominations for his work in both, but lost the film roles to Jack Lemmon and Ron Moody respectively. Revill played Sheridan Whiteside in "Sherry" (1967), the short-lived musical version of "The Man Who Came to Dinner," and later toured the USA in the 1980s in both "The Pirates of Penzance" and "Drood."
In 1957, Revill made his feature debut in Lewis Gilbert's "Reach for the Sky" and went on to appear in Otto Preminger's "Bunny Lake Is Missing" (1965), Irvin Kershner's "A Fine Madness" (1966) and Joseph Losey's "Modesty Blaise" (1966). Billy Wilder featured Revill in both "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (1970) and "Avanti!" (1972). In the latter, Revill won critical kudos for his turn as an all-knowing, highly efficient hotel manager. In the cult classic, "The Legend of Hell House" (1973), he was the pragmatic physicist who did not believe the house was haunted but nevertheless had the gadgets to destroy the ghosts, if necessary. For director David Irving, he appeared in two features based on children's fairy tales: "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "Rumpelstiltskin" (both 1987). Revill has appeared in two Mel Brooks outings as well, "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" (1993) as the fire marshal, and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (1995) as Sykes.
On TV, Revill's work has included such miniseries and movies as "The Great Houdini" (ABC, 1976), "Centennial" (NBC, 1978-79) and "Moviola: The Scarlet O'Hara War" (NBC, 1980), in which he portrayed Charlie Chaplin. In the TV remake of "The Diary of Anne Frank" (NBC, 1980), Revill was Mr. Dussel, the dentist, barely aware of his Jewish origins, who sought refuge with the Franks. Revill's first American series was the short-lived "Wizards and Warriors" (CBS, 1983) and he gave memorable support to David Alan Grier in the equally short-lived "The Preston Episodes" (Fox, 1995).
After providing the voice of the Emperor in "The Empire Strikes Back" (1979), Revill began a second career as a voice actor working on numerous animated series including, "Dragon's Lair," "Snorks," "Pound Puppies" and "Batman."
Cast (Feature Film)
Sound (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Broadway debut, "Mr. Pickwick"
Member Ipswich Repertory Theatre
London stage debut, "Listen to the Wind"
Screen debut, "Reach for the Sky"
Originated role of Bob Le-Hotu in "Irma La Douce" in London
Reprised role in "Irma La Douce" on Broadway
Created role of Fagin in "Oliver!" in NYC
Won critical acclaim for performance in Billy Wilder's "Avanti!"
Played Moriarity in "Sherlock Holmes" on Broadway
Co-starred in TV-movie "The Great Houdini" (ABC)
Provided the voice of the Emperor in "The Empire Strikes Back"
Played Mr. Dussel in TV remake of "The Diary of Anne Frank" and Charlie Chaplin in "Moviola: The Scarlet O'Hara Wars"
Cast as Evil Wizard in "Wizards and Warriors" (CBS)
Played regular role on short-lived Fox series, "The Preston Episodes"
Revill has his pilot's license.