Sunday, May 2, 1999 Published at 20:25 GMT 21:25 UK
Stars remember 'wonderful' Reed
Oliver Reed's death took stars by surprise
The film world has been remembering Oliver Reed, who has died in Malta aged 61.
Film director Michael Winner described him as a "wonderful, kind man" and a "perfect gentleman", whose real-life persona belied his portrayal by the media.
The director praised the "terrific, controlled performance" Reed gave in Winner's latest movie, Parting Shots, due to be released next week.
Winner, who met Reed in 1960 and cast him three years later in The System, said: "Oliver Reed was one of my closest friends in the world, and we knew each other for 40 years.
"To hear this news I just screamed in disbelief. It was such a shock.
"He was the most wonderful, kind, quiet, sensitive man. He's known as rowdy, but that wasn't the better side of him."
He added that word was getting round that Reed, whose rabble-rousing reputation often preceded him, was once more employable and set for a comeback.
"I spoke to him over the phone from Malta two days ago, and he was in terrific form and totally sober.''
"Once he was in front of the camera, he was all work," she said. "I am very sorry he has gone, but I think he probably went the way he would have wished."
She said: "Our paths crossed all the time, especially in the 1960s and 1970s when we were making a lot of films at Elstree, although we never made a film together. "He was a superb man.
"I know he had this hell-raising image but I found him a lovely man. He was a nice, gentle soul and he had a wonderful home life.
"As he got older, he got more attractive and more handsome."