Steven-Berkoff
Steven Berkoff | Biography

Quick Wiki

  • Full Name Leslie Steven Berks
  • Nickname Steven Berkoff
  • Occupation Actor, Author, Theater director
  • Nationality British
  • Birthplace Stepney, London, England, UK
  • Birth Date Aug 03, 1937
  • Age 85 Years, 1 Months
Known for his Villainous Roles in Movies like 'Octopussy,' 'Beverly Hills Cop,' and 'Rambo: First Blood Part II'

Steven Berkoff | Biography

Known for "Berkovian theatre" performance style

Besides his acting career, Berkoff is also known as a theater director and has been praised for his staging work. His work incorporates elements of physical theater, total theater, and expressionism into an elevated performance style called "Berkovian theatre." Furthermore, his work has been seen as an example of in-yer-face theater because of various plays' presentations and taboo-breaking subjects.


Steven Berkoff is an actor best known for his roles in movies like Octopussy, Beverly Hills Cop, and Rambo: First Blood Part II.

Who is Stevens Berkoff?

Leslie Steven Berks is a British author, actor, and theater director born on 3 August 1937 in Stepney, London, England, UK.

Berkoff went to Raine's Foundation Grammar School from 1948 to 1950. After that, he attended Hackney Downs School, the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in 1958, and L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in 1965.

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Berkoff got dramatic arts training from London and Paris before performing with various repertory companies until founding the London Theatre Group in 1968. He caught the attention of casting agents after his performances in Hamlet at Elsinore (1964), A Clockwork Orange (1971), and Barry Lyndon (1975).

Besides his theatre career, he rose to prominence after portraying villainous characters. During the 1980s, he appeared in many Hollywood movies like Octopussy (1983), followed by Beverly Hills Cop (1984).

Besides that, he was also featured as a sadistic Russian commando officer, Podovsky, who tortures Sylvester Stallone in the film Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985). Berkoff is also widely known for starring as Adolf Hitler in the television mini-series War and Remembrance in 1988.

Berkoff went on to play more villainous roles in the 1990s films, such as Fair Game (1995) and Legionnaire (1998). Since then, he starred in different TV series and movies like Headrush (movie 2003), Marple (TV series 2006), The Cottage (movie 2008), The Borgias (TV series 2011-2012), The Frankenstein Chronicles (TV series 2015), Fanged Up (movie 2017), The Last Faust (movie 2019), Creation Stories (movie 2021), and more.

Steven Berkoff during the Making of The Last Faust in 2018
Steven Berkoff during the Making of The Last Faust in 2018 (Photo: Instagram)

He would also appear in the 2022 movie Exorcist Vengeance as Bishop Canelo. Besides that, Berkoff also has upcoming projects such as NamelessOnce Upon a Time in Britain, Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher, The Phantom Warrior, and more.

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What is Steven Berkoff Known for?

Berkoff is best known for his portrayal of villainous characters such as General Orlov in the film Octopussy (1983), Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Lt. Col. Podovsky in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), and Adolf Hitler in the TV mini-series War and Remembrance from 1988 to 1989.

Besides his acting career, Berkoff is also known as a theater director and has been praised for his staging work. His work incorporates elements of physical theater, total theater, and expressionism into an elevated performance style called "Berkovian theatre."

Furthermore, his work has been seen as an example of in-yer-face theater because of various plays' presentations and taboo-breaking subjects.

What are Steven Berkoff's techniques?

Berkoff frequently uses physical theater techniques such as mime, exaggerated movement, and improvisation. 

He uses stylized movement from performers, including slow motion and robotic gestures, dramatic facial expressions, and vocal work. In addition, Berkoff believes that actors' bodies should tell the story rather than relying on sets. As a result, he employs a minimalistic costume and scene design approach.

Berkoff also used Shakespearean language to create complexity in his productions East and West but paired it with "low cockney slang and swearing."

Because of the complex language on which the audience must concentrate, they have to rely on actions to understand the plot. 

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