Steven Berkoff (Leslie Berks at HDS)

Steven Berkoff

Steven Berkoff

Steven Berkoff (born 3 August 1937) is an English actor, writer and director.

He is best known for his performance as General Orlov in the James Bond film Octopussy and he has been typically cast in villanous roles, such as Lt. Col Podovsky in Rambo: First Blood Part II, Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop, and Adolf Hitler in epic mini-series War and Remembrance.

Berkoff was born Leslie Steven Berks, in Stepney, in the East End of London on 3 August 1937, the son of Pauline (Hyman) and Alfred Berks (Berkovitch), who was a tailor. He is of Russian descent on both sides his family.

He attended Raine’s Foundation Grammar School from 1948 to 1950, Hackney Downs School and trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, in London, in 1958 and at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq, in Paris, in 1965.

In Hollywood films, Steven Berkoff has played villains such as the corrupt art dealer Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop; gangster George Cornell in The Krays; the sadistic Soviet officer Col. Podovsky in Rambo: First Blood Part II; and General Orlov in the James Bond film Octopussy. (Berkoff has stated that he takes Hollywood roles only in order to subsidise his theatre work. He regards many of the films he has appeared in as lacking artistic merit).

He also appears in the 1967 Hammer film Prehistoric Women, in the 1980 film McVicar, alongside Roger Daltrey and in the Australian biographical film on the early life of Errol Flynn entitled Flynn (1996) (entitled My Forgotten Man in some markets).

In Stanley Kubrick’s films A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Barry Lyndon (1975), Berkoff plays a police officer and a gambler nobleman (Lord Ludd), respectively. He also appears in the independent feature Naked in London (2006). He also appears in the 2010 British gangster film The Big I Am playing “The MC”. He played the role of antagonist in the movie The Tourist (2010) with Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp and Paul Bettany.

General Orlov b _Steven Berkoff

General Orlov b _Steven Berkoff

As a television actor, he had an early TV role in an episode of The Avengers. He also had an early role as a regular playing a Moonbase Interceptor pilot in the Gerry Anderson TV series UFO. His other television roles include: Hagath in the episode “Business as Usual” in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Stilgar in the 2003 miniseries Children of Dune; a gangster (Mr Wiltshire) in episode 8 of the BBC’s Hotel Babylon series; a lawyer (Freddie Eccles) in an episode of ITV’s Marple entitled By the Pricking of My Thumbs; and Adolf Hitler in the mini-series War and Remembrance, role he originally baulked at taking, primarily on moral grounds; he later relented.
The following video shows Steven Berkoff as General Orlov:-