Rees in 2004
|Died||10 July 2015 71) (aged|
New York City, U.S.
Rick Elice (m. 2011)
Roger Rees (5 May 1944 – 10 July 2015) was a Welsh actor and director, widely known for his stage work. He won an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for his performance as the lead in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby . He also received Obie Awards for his role in The End of the Day and as co-director of Peter and the Starcatcher . Rees was posthumously inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in November 2015.
The Welsh are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to, or otherwise associated with, Wales, Welsh culture, Welsh history and the Welsh language. Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living in Wales are British citizens.
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby is an 8½ hour-long adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel, performed in two parts. Part 1 was 4 hours in length with one interval of 15 minutes. Part 2 was 4½ hours in length with two intervals of 12 minutes. It was originally presented onstage over two evenings, or in its entirety from early afternoon with a dinner break. Later it was presented on television over four evenings.
He was widely known to American television audiences for playing the characters Robin Colcord in Cheers and Lord John Marbury in The West Wing .
Cheers is an American sitcom that ran on NBC from September 30, 1982, to May 20, 1993, with a total of 275 half-hour episodes for eleven seasons. The show was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Network Television. The show was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. The show is set in a bar named Cheers in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals meet to drink, relax, and socialize. The show's main theme song, co-written and performed by Gary Portnoy, lent its refrain "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" as the show's catchphrase.
The West Wing is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin that was originally broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1999, to May 14, 2006. The series is set primarily in the West Wing of the White House, where the Oval Office and offices of presidential senior staff are located, during the fictitious Democratic administration of Josiah Bartlet.
Rees was born in Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales, the son of Doris Louise (née Smith), a shop clerk, and William John Rees, a police officer.He studied art at the Camberwell College of Arts and the Slade School of Fine Art, turning to acting when he was painting backdrops at the Wimbledon Theatre and was asked to fill a part in a play.
Aberystwyth is an ancient market town, administrative centre, community, and holiday resort in Ceredigion, Wales. It is located near the confluence of the Ystwyth and the Afon Rheidol.
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.
Camberwell College of Arts is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London, and is regarded as one of the UK's foremost art and design institutions. It is located in Camberwell in South London, England, with two sites, located in Peckham Road and Wilson Road. It offers further and higher education programmes, including postgraduate and PhD awards. The College has retained single degree options within Fine Art, offering specialist Bachelor of Arts courses in painting, sculpture, photography and drawing. The College also runs graduate and postgraduate courses in art conservation and fine art as well as design courses such as Graphic Design, Illustration and 3D Design.
Rees started his career with the Royal Shakespeare Company.He played Malcolm in the acclaimed Trevor Nunn 1976 stage and 1978 television production of Macbeth . Rees created the title role in the original production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby , David Edgar's stage adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel, winning a Laurence Olivier Award for Actor of the Year in a New Play in 1980 and a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play in 1982. A recorded version of the play also earned him an Emmy nomination in 1983. He also starred in the original production of The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard at the Strand Theatre in London in 1982.
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs over 1,000 staff and produces around 20 productions a year. The RSC plays regularly in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and on tour across the UK and internationally.
Sir Trevor Robert Nunn, CBE is an English theatre director. Nunn has been the Artistic Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and, currently, the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. He has directed dramas for the stage, like Macbeth, as well as opera and musicals, such as Cats (1981) and Les Misérables (1985).
Macbeth is a tragedy by William Shakespeare; it is thought to have been first performed in 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, who was patron of Shakespeare's acting company, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with his sovereign. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book, and is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy.
Rees began to work in television during the 1970s, appearing opposite Laurence Olivier in The Ebony Tower (1984). That same year, Rees portrayed Fred Hollywell in A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott as Scrooge. From 1988 to 1991 he starred in the late 80s/early 90s British sitcom Singles , with co-star Judy Loe. From 1989 to 1991 and in 1993, he also appeared intermittently on the long-running American television series Cheers as the English tycoon Robin Colcord. His later television appearances include My So-Called Life as substitute teacher Mr. Racine, British Ambassador Lord John Marbury on The West Wing and James MacPherson on Warehouse 13 .His film career began in the 1980s. Rees played the Sheriff of Rottingham in the Mel Brooks movie, Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). Rees' later film appearances include Frida (2002), The Prestige (2006) and The Pink Panther (2006).
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also worked in films throughout his career, playing more than fifty cinema roles. Late in his career, he had considerable success in television roles.
The Ebony Tower (1974) by John Fowles is a collection of five novellas and short stories with interlacing themes, each built around a medieval myth: The Ebony Tower,Eliduc, Poor Koko, The Enigma and The Cloud.
A Christmas Carol is a 1984 British-American made-for-television film adaptation of Charles Dickens' famous 1843 novella of the same name. The film is directed by Clive Donner, who had been an editor of the 1951 film Scrooge, and stars George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. It was filmed in the historic medieval county town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire.
Continuing his work in the theatre through the 1990s, both as an actor and a director, Rees was awarded an Obie Award for his 1992 performance in the Off-Broadway play The End of the Day. In 1995 he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role in Indiscretions.He recorded many audiobooks, including Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice.
The Obie Awards or Off-Broadway Theater Awards are annual awards originally given by The Village Voice newspaper to theatre artists and groups in New York City. In September 2014, the awards were jointly presented and administered with the American Theatre Wing. As the Tony Awards cover Broadway productions, the Obie Awards cover Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions.
From November 2004 to October 2007, Rees was artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, only the fourth person to hold the post in its half-century history.He replaced Nathan Lane in the role of Gomez Addams in the Broadway musical adaptation of The Addams Family , on 22 March 2011 and remained until the end of the run on 31 December 2011.
In 2012, Rees took his one-man Shakespeare show, What You Will, to London's West End, playing a three-week engagement at the Apollo Theatre.
In 2013, Rees directed Crispin Whitell's play, The Primrose Path, at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
In 2014, Rees directed Dog and Pony, a musical written by Rick Elice and Michael Patrick Walker, which had its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.
His last role was as Anton Schell in the musical version of The Visit , opposite Chita Rivera, which opened on Broadway on 23 April 2015 and closed on 14 June 2015.Rees left the production in May 2015 due to his illness.
Rees was to have directed a new musical written by Elice and Will Van Dyke, Magnificent Climb, in the fall of 2016 at MCC Theater in New York. He was also scheduled to perform his one-man Shakespeare show, What You Will in New York in the autumn of 2015, and had hoped to return to the Royal Shakespeare Company for a stint in Don Quixote in 2016. He was inducted into the exclusive entertainment fraternity, the Grand Order of Water Rats, as a full member.
Rees had lived in the United States for more than 25 years;he became a naturalised U.S. citizen in 1989. He converted to Judaism in the 1980s. Rees married his partner of 33 years, playwright Rick Elice, in 2011. Rees and Elice also collaborated professionally, including as co-playwrights of the comedic thriller Double Double. Elice co-wrote (with Marshall Brickman) the libretto for The Addams Family musical, the cast of which Rees had joined on 22 March 2011. In 2012, Elice and Rees received Tony Award nominations for Elice's stage adaptation and Rees' co-direction (with Alex Timbers), respectively, of Peter and the Starcatcher . In October 2017, Elice wrote a memoir of his life with Rees, entitled Finding Roger: An Improbably Theatrical Love Story.
After a diagnosis of brain cancer in October 2014, Rees focused his energy on his commitment to playing opposite Chita Rivera on Broadway in The Visit , the final musical written by John Kander and Fred Ebb. While undergoing two brain surgeries, two courses of radiation and ongoing chemotherapy, Rees managed to rehearse, preview and open in The Visit on 23 April 2015. By the middle of May, it had become too difficult for him to speak, and he left the show. Rees died at age 71 at his home in New York on 10 July 2015. On Wednesday, 15 July 2015, the marquee lights at all the theatres on Broadway were dimmed in his honour.His ashes were sprinkled into the Atlantic Ocean. Two months later, there was a memorial service for him at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre.
Harvey Forbes Fierstein is an American actor, playwright, and voice actor. Fierstein has won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his own play Torch Song Trilogy and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. He also wrote the book for the musical La Cage aux Folles, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, and wrote the book for the Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.
Nathan Lane is an American actor and writer. He has played the roles of Albert in The Birdcage, Max Bialystock in the musical The Producers, Ernie Smuntz in MouseHunt, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, and Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. His voice work includes The Lion King as Timon and Stuart Little as Snowbell, and has played recurring roles on Modern Family, The Good Wife, and The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as F. Lee Bailey.
Tony Jay was an English actor, voice artist, and singer.
Andrew Lippa is an American composer, lyricist, book writer, performer, and producer. He is a resident artist at the Ars Nova Theater in New York City.
Disney Theatrical Productions Limited (DTP), also known as Disney on Broadway, is the flagship stageplay and musical production company of the Disney Theatrical Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a major business unit of The Walt Disney Company.
Terrence Vaughan Mann is an American actor, theatre director, and singer. He is best known for his appearances on the Broadway stage, which include Chester Lyman in Barnum, Rum Tum Tugger in Cats, Javert in Les Miserables, Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Chauvelin in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Charles in Pippin, Mal Beineke in The Addams Family, and The Man in the Yellow Suit in Tuck Everlasting.
Christian Dominique Borle is an American actor in theatre, television, and film. He is a two-time Tony Award winner for his roles as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher and as William Shakespeare in Something Rotten!. Borle originated the role of Emmett in Legally Blonde on Broadway, starred as Tom Levitt on the NBC musical-drama television series Smash, and starred as Marvin in the 2016 Broadway revival of Falsettos.
David Schramm is an American actor. He is best known for playing the critically acclaimed role of Roy Biggins, the portly, curmudgeonly rival airline owner in the TV series Wings.
John Newport Caird is an English stage director and writer of plays, musicals and operas. He is an honorary associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a regular director with the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and the Principal Guest Director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm (Dramaten).
Rick Elice is a writer and former stage actor.
John Edward Cariani is an American actor and playwright. Cariani is best known as the unwavering forensic expert Julian Beck in Law & Order. On stage, he earned a Tony Award nomination for his role as Motel the Tailor in the 2004 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. As a playwright, he is best known for his first play, Almost, Maine, which has become one of the most frequently produced plays in the United States. He starred on Broadway in the Tony Award winning musical Something Rotten! as Nigel Bottom and starred in the Tony Award winning Broadway musical The Band's Visit.
Heidi Blickenstaff is an actress based in New York City best known for playing a version of herself in the musical [title of show] during its Off-Broadway and Broadway runs, as well as for originating the role of Bea in the 2015 musical Something Rotten!. She co-starred with Cozi Zuehlsdorff in the Disney Channel musical version of Freaky Friday which was broadcast on August 10, 2018.
Alex Timbers is an American two-time Tony-nominated writer and director and the recipient of Golden Globe, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and London Evening Standard Awards, as well as two OBIE and Lucile Lortel Awards.
The Shakespeare Center was the home of the Riverside Shakespeare Company, an Equity professional theatre company in New York City, beginning in 1982, when the then six-year-old company established its center of theatre production and advanced actor training at the 90-year-old West-Park Presbyterian Church on Amsterdam Avenue at West 86th Street. The Shakespeare Center's facilities consisted of the main offices of the Riverside Shakespeare Company, costume and set construction and storage rooms, a main lobby, and a theatre in the balcony of the church equipped with lighting and sound amplification.
Colman Domingo is an American actor, playwright, television and stage director.
The Addams Family is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The show is based upon The Addams Family characters created by Charles Addams in his single-panel gag cartoons, which depict a ghoulish American family with an affinity for all things macabre. Although numerous film and television adaptations of Addams' cartoons exist, the musical is the first stage show based on the characters. The Addams Family is also the first show produced by Elephant Eye Theatricals.
Emily Richard is a British actress and a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Nathaniel Shaw is an American theatre director, choreographer, and actor. He began his career as a dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and later became the founding and artistic director of The Active Theater in New York. He was Associate Choreographer for the Broadway production and first national tour of Once (musical) In 2015 he became the Development Director for the Tony and Olivier Award-winning producers, Glass Half Full Productions. In July 2016, he became Artistic Director of Virginia Repertory Theatre in Richmond.
Roger Rees, the lanky Tony Award-winning Welsh-born actor and director who made his mark onstage as Nicholas Nickleby and later played English multi-millionaire Robin Colcord on the TV show "Cheers," has died. He was 71.