Social Icons

Social Connect

Roger Rees

  • Birthplace: Aberystwyth, Wales
  • Birthday: May 05
Date of passing: 
July 10, 2015

Obituary

Obituary: 

Roger Rees was a Welsh actor best known for playing the title role in the stage production and, later, the television miniseries The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. He also played the English industrialist Robin Colcord on the NBC sitcom Cheers.

Each marathon performance of Nicholas Nickleby, based on the novel by Charles Dickens, was staged over the course of eight-and-a-half hours split over two nights, or an afternoon and an evening. The play followed the story of a 19-year-old man who pursues a fortune in order to prevent his family’s dependence on a relative.

Rees played the role of Nickleby multiple times over the course of his career, beginning with the original 1980 London production, when he was 36. Staged by Trevor Nunn, the role won Rees an Olivier Award. He played the character again in 1982 for the Royal Shakespeare Company, a production that won five Tonys in all, including best play, best director (Nunn) and best actor for Rees. He also played Nickleby in that same year’s televised miniseries, which was nominated for seven Emmys, including a nomination for Rees, and a win for Outstanding Limited Series.

The actor spent more than two decades with the RSC, and appeared in a wide variety of theater productions from the West End to Broadway, including MacBeth, starring Ian McKellen; The Comedy of Errors; Hamlet (in which he played the title role); The Real Thing; Waiting for Godot; The Addams Family; and The Winslow Boy. In 2012 Rees and his husband, playwright Rick Elice, each received Tony Award nominations for their work on the Peter Pan prequel Peter and the Starcatcher, which Rees co-directed.

Roger Rees was a Welsh actor best known for playing the title role in the stage production and, later, the television miniseries The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. He also played the English industrialist Robin Colcord on the NBC sitcom Cheers.

Each marathon performance of Nicholas Nickleby, based on the novel by Charles Dickens, was staged over the course of eight-and-a-half hours split over two nights, or an afternoon and an evening. The play followed the story of a 19-year-old man who pursues a fortune in order to prevent his family’s dependence on a relative.

Rees played the role of Nickleby multiple times over the course of his career, beginning with the original 1980 London production, when he was 36. Staged by Trevor Nunn, the role won Rees an Olivier Award. He played the character again in 1982 for the Royal Shakespeare Company, a production that won five Tonys in all, including best play, best director (Nunn) and best actor for Rees. He also played Nickleby in that same year’s televised miniseries, which was nominated for seven Emmys, including a nomination for Rees, and a win for Outstanding Limited Series.

The actor spent more than two decades with the RSC, and appeared in a wide variety of theater productions from the West End to Broadway, including MacBeth, starring Ian McKellen; The Comedy of Errors; Hamlet (in which he played the title role); The Real Thing; Waiting for Godot; The Addams Family; and The Winslow Boy. In 2012 Rees and his husband, playwright Rick Elice, each received Tony Award nominations for their work on the Peter Pan prequel Peter and the Starcatcher, which Rees co-directed.

He also appeared in the films The Scorpion King, Star 80, Frida, The Treatment, The Prestige, The Pink Panther and Mel Brooks’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

In addition to Cheers, his television credits included roles on the series The Ebony Tower (opposite Laurence Olivier), My So-Called Life, Boston Common, Oz, The Education of Max Bickford, Law & Order, The West Wing, Related, Grey's Anatomy, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Warehouse 13, The Good Wife, The Middle and Elementary.

Rees died July 10, 2015, in New York City. He was 71.

Show more

Main

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

0 Wins1 Nominations