Tony-win­ning ac­tor Roger Rees dies

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

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