Edit
Roger Rees Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (11) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 5 May 1944Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
Date of Death 10 July 2015Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA  (cancer)

Mini Bio (1)

Like a number of British actors of the same generation (John Hurt and Alan Rickman, to name two), Roger Rees was born in Aberystwyth, Wales, on May 5 1944, and originally trained for the visual arts. He acted in church and Boy Scouts stage productions while growing up in South London, but studied painting and lithography at the Slade School of Art. He had to quit his studies, however, when his father died and he had to help support the family. His first paying jobs in show business were as a scenery painter. He was painting scenery, in fact, when he was asked to sub in for a part and made his acting debut. He put away his brushes for good after this.

He turned to acting on a full-time basis in the mid-1960s and appeared on both the London and Scottish stages. After his fourth audition, the Royal Shakespeare Company finally hired him as a walk-on, sword carrier and bit player in 1968. He then worked his way up through the RSC's ranks, finally achieving stardom in the early 1980s in the 8-1/2 hour stage adaptation of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby", which had a cast of 40 actors, and for which he won both an Olivier Award and a Tony Award. Rees was also nominated for an Emmy Award for the television version of the play. By this time, he had several TV movies to his name, but he did not make his large-screen debut until Star 80 (1983).

Living in the United States since 1989, Roger made a name for himself in America when he joined the cast of the TV hit comedy Cheers (1982) as the priggish Britisher Robin Colcord and later the glib British ambassador Lord John Marbury on the series The West Wing (1999). More recently, he appeared as a frequent guest in several British and American television series and in a number of independent films.

However, Roger Rees remained primarily a man of the theatre with secondary careers as a playwright and stage director. Married to theatre collaborator Eric Elice (aka Rick Elice) since 2011, Robin was subsequently diagnosed with cancer. Performing on Broadway in the musical "The Visit" starring Chita Rivera, he was forced to quit the show in late May of 2015. The 71-year-old actor died on July 10, 2015.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: RK

Spouse (1)

Rick Elice (August 2011 - 10 July 2015) (his death)

Trade Mark (1)

Rich smooth voice

Trivia (11)

Won Broadway's 1982 Tony Award as Best Actor for playing the title role in "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," a role he recreated in the television version with the same title, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1982). He was also nominated for a Tony Award in the same category in 1995 for "Indiscretions."
Was painting scenery at the Wimbledon Theatre when approached to play a part in "Hindle Wakes" in 1965.
In November 2004, he was named artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts, only the fourth person to hold the post in its half century. He left the position in October 2007.
Became an American citizen in 1989.
Started his career with the Royal Shakespeare Company and attended the Slade School of Fine Arts.
Son of Doris Louise (née Smith), a shop clerk, and William John Rees, a police officer.
Rees's longtime romantic partner (and, as of 2011, husband) is writer/producer Eric Elice (aka "Rick" Elice), who co-wrote the musicals "Jersey Boys" and "The Addams Family". Rees and Elice have also collaborated professionally, most notably as co-playwrights of the comedic thriller, "Double Double". In March 2011, Rees took over the role of "Gomez Addams" in the "Addams Family" musical (the role had previously been played by Nathan Lane and Merwin Foard). In 2011, Rees was the co-director for the play "Peter and the Starcatcher," which was adapted for the stage by Rick Elice.
He and spouse Eric Elice (aka Rick Elice), a playwright, have been a couple since 1982 and have lived together in Manhattan since 1996. They and their duplex co-op apartment in the famous Beresford building at 81st St. and Central Park West, home to many celebrities, is featured in a 2013 NY Times article.
Is friends with Prince Michael of Greece and wife Marina.
Currently directing BD Wong in the La Jolla Playhouse's production of "Herringbone". Wong plays 11 roles in this one-man show. [August 2009]
Starring as "Vladimir", opposite Sir Ian McKellen's "Estragon", in "Waiting for Godot", at Theatre Royal Haymarket in London's West End. [January 2010]

Personal Quotes (1)

In Julius Caesar, I died early in the scene and used to fall asleep under the shield until I was waken up by applause. I didn't have any lines, other than "The Queen!" or "Ah, my Lord!" for four years. -- RR, commenting on his first few years as a bit actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page