Remington Olmsted was an actor, dancer, restauranteur, football player and social figure active in Hollywood films in the early-mid 40's and in Italian and European productions from the start of the 50's into the 60's.
He was born on June 15th 1913 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He was a football star and activist at UCLA, but chose dance and acting as a career and moved to New York where he found employment in a number of Broadway shows, appearing in at least 7 productions between 1937-1946. During the same period he also appeared in at least 4 Hollywood films, mostly in roles as a featured (but uncredited) specialty dancer.
Little is known on his activities in the late 40's, though it seems he appeared in the London production of Oklahoma around this time, then reportedly moved to Rome in 1950 to study opera. There he met Diana, daughter of former ambassador and author Daniele Varè, whom he would marry. In Rome he picked up a small number of acting roles throughout the 50's. In 1959 he played the role for which he will always be remembered, even though it was uncredited, that of the soldier who refuses water to Ben-Hur, only to find himself face -to-face with Jesus.
Also in 1959 Remington launched the project for which he is best remembered, as the founder of the Da meo patacca restaurant in Trastevere in Rome. The restaurant, which specialises in traditional dishes in an authentic 18th century setting with live music, quickly became a success and an in place for local and international celebrities to be seen (there are lots of photos on the Restaurant's facebook page). 3 further restaurants would follow and the original restaurant continues to be popular today. Links to the restaurant's website and Facebook page can be found on page 2.
Remington died in Rome on April 7th 2002, aged 88.
I wouldn't be surprised if there are some further appearances by Remington to be found.
A shout out to Matt Blake's The Wild Eye blog, where his Profile of Remington was invaluable in bringing together the various strands of information. Also well worth reading are the comments below the profile, including some from Remington's relatives and reminiscences of people who knew him (and one from our own Rudy!).
- Presenting Lily Mars .... Specialty dancer (uncredited)
- Lost in a Harem .... Specialty dancer (uncredited)
- La carrozza d'oro .... Footman (uncredited)
- La mano dello straniero .... Joe (uncredited)
- Helen of Troy .... Spartan officer (uncredited)
- Ben-Hur .... Guard who faces Jesus (uncredited)
- La nipote Sabella .... The American oil prospector (credited)
- Barabba .... Guard in the sulphur mines (uncredited)
- Il giudizio universale .... Hadley (credited as "Holmsted Remington")
- I due sergenti del generale Custer .... Soldier who shoots Franco's axe (uncredited)
- Una spina nel cuore .... Professor Ziegler (credited)
There are a few additional titles for Remington, so if anybody has any of these please fill in the gaps.
- Slave Ship (1937) - IMDb as Crew member. I looked through this one with no luck, but many of the scenes featuring crew members are very dark and impossible to make identifications.
- Song of Russia (1944) - IMDb as Specialty dancer
- La vendetta del corsaro (1951) - IMDb. Unfortunately all copies currently available are very poor quality.
- I cavalieri dell'illusione (1954) ANICA
- Conrad Nagel Theater (TV series, 1955) - season 1, ep. 18: "Carmen without Roses" - IMDb as Tanner