Leslie Steven Berks (born 3 August 1937 in Stepney, London), better known as Steven Berkoff, is an English character actor, author, playwright and theatre director of Romanian and Russian Jewish descent.
A highly acclaimed actor who's famous for his intense performances on both stage and screen, he followed dramatic arts training in both Paris and London and then moved on to performing with several repertory companies, then created the London Theatre Group in 1968.
He has been appearing in in British films as far back as 1959, but he's probably best known by general audiences for portraying a string of (often Soviet/Russian) film villains in The '80s.
- Prehistoric Women (1967) as John
- A Clockwork Orange (1971) as Det. Const. Tom
- Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) as Pankratov
- Barry Lyndon (1975) as Lord Ludd
- Outland (1981) as Sagan
- Octopussy (1983) as General Orlov
- Beverly Hills Cop (1984) as Victor Maitland
- Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) as Lt. Col. Podovsky
- Revolution (1985) as Sgt. Jones
- Absolute Beginners (1986) as The Fanatic
- Under the Cherry Moon (1986) as Mr. Sharon
- Fair Game (1995) as Colonel Ilya Pavel Kazak
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1997) as Hagath
- Head in the Clouds (2004) as Charles Bessé
- Heavenly Sword (2007) as Flying Fox
- The Tourist (2010) as Reginald Shaw
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) as Dirch Frode
- Red 2 (2013) as Cobb
- The Frankenstein Chronicles (2015) as William Blake
- Vikings (2019-2020) as King Olaf the Stout
- Evil Brit: One of the go to guy's for such roles in the eighties and nineties, when they were not Soviet/Russian.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He has an impressively deep voice and played a lot of bad guys.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Just take a good look at the picture.
- Large Ham: His approach to acting and theatre is...expressive, shall we say.
- A shining recent example would be this ad/short he made for Occupy White Walls, a museography / Art sandbox MMO video game.
- It's as if he tried to make Octopussy's General Orlov into the hammiest villain in the whole James Bond film series and he very possibly succeeded.
- Not to mention his guest role in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine where he's dining on scenery throughout.
- Typecasting: It seems like he used to be the go-to guy whenever you needed a ruthless Russian villain in a movie. His background, looks and hammy tendencies helped quite a bit.
- Milking the Giant Cow: His playwrighting and directing style is highly non-naturalist, and involves the almost complete absence of props. Consequently, while his characters speak, their actions are almost always mimed.