Antonius Proximo

Portrayed by: Oliver Reed

Proximo is a freed gladiator who has become a merchant of gladiators and exotic animals himself. He purchases Maximus in North Africa and trains him to become a gladiator and to also win the crowd over through his performance. Proximo had received a wooden sword of honor from Emperor Marcus Aurelius years ago before Marcus Aurelius banned the games from the Coliseum.

Proximo is not interested in Maximus' revenge or how out of control Emperor Commodus is. He has his own interests at heart, but Maximus is able to probe beyond that and Proximo has to take stock of himself. He decides to help Senator Gracchus and Lucilla's plot against Commodus by arranging for Maximus and his other gladiators to escape. When Commodus discovers the plot, he sends soldiers to kill Proximo.

Note: Proximo originally was to make his escape and survive, but actor Oliver Reed's untimely death during filming meant that Proximo's fate was changed with the help of some computer FX.

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