Tony-winning actor Roger Rees dies
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.
Rees died Friday night at his home in New York after a brief illness, said his representative, Rick Miramontez. Rees had abruptly left “The Visit” on Broadway in late May to undergo a medical procedure.
“The world has lost a great actor, gentleman and soul,” said Chita Rivera, Rees' co-star in “The Visit” this year. “I have lost a beautiful new friend, one I was looking forward to spending exciting valuable time with.”
Rees played the snobbish Robin Colcord on TV's “Cheers” - he was known for his condescending remarks and rivalry with Sam Malone and for dating Rebecca Howe - and the British ambassador, Lord John Marbury, in “The West Wing.” Other recent TV credits include “Elementary” and “The Good Wife.”
But he was probably best known onstage for playing the title character in the Royal Shakespeare Company's original production of Charles Dickens' “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” in England and on Broadway. He won an Olivier Award and then a Tony. When it was adapted to TV, he earned an Emmy Award nomination.
He earned two further Tony nominations in 1995 for “Indiscretions” and in 2012 for co-directing “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a Peter Pan prequel. Other Broadway roles were in “The Addams Family,” “”Uncle Vanya,“”The Rehearsal,“”The Red Shoes“and ”London Assurance.“
“Roger was that rare combination of extraordinary talent and enormous kindness and gentility,” said Todd Haimes, the artistic director of the Roundabout Theatre Company, which produced a celebrated revival of “The Winslow Boy” starring Rees in 2013. “I, and everyone I know, truly loved Roger.”
He is survived by his husband Rick Elice, the playwright, whose credits include the “Peter Pan” prequel “Peter and the Starcatcher,” which Rees co-directed.
In this May 24, 2006, photo, Roger Rees, artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Mass., introduces the 2006 season during a news conference in New York.