Date of Birth : Aug 3rd 1937
Berkoff was born Leslie Steven Berks in Stepney, in the East End of London, to Pauline Hyman and Alfred Berks, a tailor. His family is Jewish, originating from Russia, with their original surname, “Berkovitch”, having been shortened by Berkoff’s father. Berkoff was educated at Hackney Downs School and trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in 1958, and in 1965, at the Ecole Jacques Le Coq in Paris.
In Hollywood he took villainous roles such as the corrupt art dealer Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop; a gangster in The Krays; and the sadistic Soviet officer Col. Podovsky in Rambo: First Blood Part II. He appeared in the James Bond film Octopussy as General Orlov and in the 1967 Hammer film Prehistoric Women. He was cast by Stanley Kubrick as a police officer in A Clockwork Orange and a gambler nobleman (Lord Ludd) in Barry Lyndon. He appears in the independent feature Naked in London (2006).
In 1990 Berkoff appeared in the Frank Howson written and directed biopic on the early life of Errol Flynn entitled Flynn (also known in some territories as My Forgotten Man. Howson and Berkoff established a great working relationship and in 2001 Howson directed a TV version of Berkoff’s hit play Shakespeare’s Villains.
As a television actor, an early TV role was in an episode of The Avengers. An early regular role was as a Moonbase Interceptor pilot in the Gerry Anderson TV series UFO. He has also appeared in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Hagath in the episode Business as Usual; in the miniseries Children of Dune as Stilgar; as a gangster (Mr Wiltshire) in episode 8 of the BBC’s Hotel Babylon series; as a lawyer (Freddie Eccles) in an episode of ITV’s Marple entitled By the Pricking of My Thumbs and as Adolf Hitler in the mini-series War and Remembrance.