( b. Mar 22, 1917 Plympton, ENGLAND - d. Oct 06, 2013 London, ENGLAND ) Male
Paul Rogers was an actor who came to fame as a versatile Shakespearean in his native England and later won a Tony Award on Broadway in Harold Pinter's harrowing family drama The Homecoming.
With leading-man good looks, an uncommon diligence in preparing for a role and a fervid curiosity that led him across the breadth of the Shakespeare canon, Mr. Rogers spent his early career largely with the Old Vic company, first in Bristol and later in London, compiling a résumé of remarkable variety.
Mr. Rogers studied with Michael Chekhov, a former student of Stanislavski (and a nephew of the Russian playwright), and made his stage debut playing Charles Dickens in Bird's Eye of Valour at the Scala Theater in London.
After joining the Colchester Repertory Theater, he left to serve in the Royal Navy in World War II.
His association with the Old Vic began in 1947 in Bristol, where he played, among other roles, Polonius in Hamlet and Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler. He joined the London Old Vic company in 1949.
His roles embraced the broadly comic -- Falstaff in Henry IV (Parts 1 and 2) and The Merry Wives of Windsor and Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream -- and the grandly tragic: he played King Lear and Macbeth. He was Leontes in A Winter's Tale, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Brutus and Cassius in Julius Caesar, Iago in Othello, Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew.
In 1956, Mr. Rogers traveled with the company to Broadway, where his stamina and the power of his versatility were tested in four plays staged in repertory during a three-month sojourn. Mr. Rogers played Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, John of Gaunt in Richard II, the title role in Macbeth and Pandarus in Troilus and Cressida.
Though he had also acted in more contemporary works -- notably in two plays in verse by T. S. Eliot, The Confidential Clerk and The Elder Statesman -- Mr. Rogers branched out further during the 1960s. In 1965 he originated the role of Max, the seethingly vicious patriarch of a warped household, in the The Homecoming. He continued in the part when the production, directed by Peter Hall for the Royal Shakespeare Company, moved to New York in 1967. It won the Tony for best play and Mr. Rogers took home the best-actor award. (He reprised the role in a 1973 film directed by Mr. Hall and starring much of the Broadway cast, including Ian Holm and Vivien Merchant.)
His next foray on Broadway was as another paterfamilias in Here's Where I Belong, a musical adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel "East of Eden" that closed on opening night. In the early 1970s he appeared in Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth, about a cat-and-mouse game between a mystery writer and his wife's lover. And in his final Broadway appearance, Mr. Rogers was an aging, embittered and insecure actor in Ronald Harwood's play The Dresser, appearing opposite Tom Courtenay in a stage partnership that was widely praised by critics.
Mr. Rogers was a familiar presence on British television. His movie credits include "Beau Brummell" (1954), "Svengali" (1954), "Our Man in Havana" (1959), "Billy Budd" (1962), "The Shoes of the Fisherman" (1968) and "Three Into Two Won't Go" (1969).
Source: The New York Times obituary