( b. May 05, 1944 Aberystwyth, WALES - d. Jul 10, 2015 New York, New York, USA ) Male
Roger Rees, was a handsome Welsh-born actor and director who rose to fame as the title character in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, for which he won a Tony Award.
In the final role of a career that spanned six decades across stage, film and television, Mr. Rees played the doomed lover of Chita Rivera's character in the musical The Visit on Broadway until May.
Mr. Rees often played eccentric characters. He was best known to American television audiences as the self-assured millionaire Robin Colcord on the sitcom "Cheers," and as the British ambassador Lord John Marbury on "The West Wing."
He was a mainstay on Broadway, where he earned two other Tony nominations, one for best actor in Indiscretions, in 1995, and another, in 2012, for his work as a director of Peter and the Starcatcher. He also had a memorable turn as Gomez in The Addams Family.
Mr. Rees's own life bore much in common with that of the Nickleby character. He was forced to drop out of school to earn a living after his father died.
Rees grew up in South London. His father, William, was a police officer; his mother, Doris, was a shop clerk.
After his father died, Mr. Rees found work painting scenery at the Wimbledon Theater in south London. He became an actor there in 1965, appearing in Hindle Wakes as a mill owner's son who impregnates a mill girl resistant to efforts to make an honest woman out of her.
Mr. Rees moved to the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1967, appearing in The Comedy of Errors, Three Sisters, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Twelfth Nightand Cymbeline.
He spent over two decades with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and was the artistic director of the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts from 2004 to 2007. He was also an associate artistic director of the Bristol Old Vic in England for two years starting in 1985.
In an interview with "The Graham Show" on YouTube in 2013, Mr. Rees likened acting to being a blacksmith.
"It's hot and cold, it's fierce and pleasant, "he said. "Sometimes the most excruciating experiences in rehearsals and performances yield the most beautiful work."
Source: The New York Times obituary.
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