John Rhys-Davies (born 5 May 1944) is a Welsh actor and vocal artist. He is perhaps best known for playing the charismatic Arab excavator Sallah in the Indiana Jones films and the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, in which he also voiced the ent, Treebeard. He also played Agent Michael Malone in the 1993 remake of the 1950s television series The Untouchables, Professor Maximillian Arturo in Sliders, King Richard I in Robin of Sherwood, General Leonid Pushkin in the James Bond film The Living Daylights, and Macro in I, Claudius. Additionally, he provided the voices of Cassim in Disney's Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Man Ray in SpongeBob SquarePants, and Tobias in the computer game Freelancer. He is also the narrator for the TV show Wildboyz.
Rhys-Davies was born in Ammanford, Wales, the son of Welsh parents Mary Margaretta Phyllis Jones, a nurse, and Rhys Davies, a mechanical engineer and Colonial Officer. He spent much of his childhood in his mother's home town of Ammanford, although he was also brought up in Tanganyika. He was educated at Truro School and at the University of East Anglia where he was one of the first 87 students admitted, and where he founded the Dramatic Society. After teaching at Watton County Secondary School in Norfolk he won a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Although appearing sporadically on UK television in the early 1970s (for instance, as gangster Laughing Spam Fritter opposite Adam Faith in Budgie), Rhys-Davies first gained widespread popularity for his performance as Praetorian officer Naevius Sutorius Macro in I, Claudius. He then began to appear more frequently, and not just in the UK, with roles as a Portuguese navigator Rodrigues in the 1980 television miniseries Shogun, based on the novel by James Clavell, and in the Indiana Jones movies. In 1989, Rhys-Davies also starred in another James Clavell adaption, Noble House (TV miniseries), set in Hong Kong, in which he plays Ian Dunross' corporate enemy, Quillian Gornt. He has since appeared in numerous television shows and miniseries, including Agent Michael Malone in the 1993 remake of the 1950s television series The Untouchables as well as a leading role in the television series Sliders as Professor Maximillian Arturo from 1995 to 1997. He also appeared in Reilly, Ace of Spies in 1983. He also made several appearances on Star Trek: Voyager as a holodeck version of Leonardo da Vinci. He also starred as an ally of James Bond in The Living Daylights and appeared in the movie One Night with the King. Davies has played the character Porthos in two separate projects; a two-part episode of The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne and the Hallmark Channel movie La Femme Musketeer. He has also appeared in a number of Sci Fi Channel original movies. In 2004, he starred in The Privileged Planet, a documentary that makes the case for Intelligent Design.