|Born||Francis Patrick Roach
19 May 1937
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
|Died||17 July 2004
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England
|Occupation||Actor, wrestler, businessman,
fitness club owner, author,
|Notable work(s)||See below|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Television||Auf Wiedersehen, Pet|
|Spouse(s)||Doreen Harris (m. 1957–2004) (his death)|
Francis Patrick "Pat" Roach (19 May 1937 – 17 July 2004) was an English actor, wrestler and author, born and brought up in Birmingham, West Midlands. His most famous role is that of West Country bricklayer Brian "Bomber" Busbridge in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. He played a memorable role as General Kael in Willow. He was the only actor besides Harrison Ford to appear in the first three films in the Indiana Jones franchise (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade); indeed, over the course of the three films, he plays four different characters.
|This section requires expansion with: Early life before career. (January 2011)|
Before Roach broke into acting, he was a well-known wrestler who attracted unwarranted abuse from the crowds who wrongly assumed him to be a typical wrestling heel in a similar mould to the likes of Mick McManus. After his acting career had taken off, he continued to wrestle under the name of "Bomber" Pat Roach, having previously been billed as "Big" Pat Roach, but now receiving affectionate cheering from the spectators. He was trained by Alf Kent and his first official wrestling match was against George Selko. Roach held both the British and European Heavyweight Wrestling Championships.
He made his acting debut as the red-bearded bouncer in the Korova Milkbar in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange in 1971. Roach and Kubrick reunited for Barry Lyndon; Pat portrayed a hand-to-hand brawler named Toole, who engages Ryan O'Neal (as the title character) in bare-knuckle combat. Roach enjoyed considerable success via being typecast as muscle-bound supporting characters; these included the non-speaking role of Hephaestus in Clash of the Titans (coincidentally, he later appeared as Atlas on "Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Greek Myths" in the story of Perseus and the Gorgon, on which Clash of the Titans was based), a SPECTRE-backed assassin in Never Say Never Again, and a bandit-warlord in the sword-and-sorcery yarn Red Sonja. (The last two films pitted him against Sean Connery and Brigitte Nielsen, respectively, in mortal combat; Roach's character was defeated in both encounters). Perhaps most notable were his roles as the skull-helmeted General Kael in Willow, and as the Celtic chieftain in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. More sympathetically, in 1985 he played Petty Officer Edgar Evans in the Central TV mini-series The Last Place on Earth about Captain Scott's expedition to the South Pole.
Roach appeared as several burly villains in the Indiana Jones series in the 1980s. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Roach played the shaven-headed German mechanic who eagerly boxes with Indiana Jones before being killed by propeller blade on the airstrip in Egypt and also, earlier in the film, the Giant Sherpa who fights Jones in the bar in Nepal – he thus had the rare opportunity to be killed twice in one film. In the next film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Roach plays the gigantic Thuggee overseer who fights with Jones before being pulled in to a rock crusher. His final appearance in the series was as a Gestapo officer in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; however, he appears only briefly, because his main fight scene with Jones was cut. The physically imposing Colonel Dovchenko in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) was a character very much in the tradition of Roach's Indiana Jones characters from the original three films.
Roach is best known to TV audiences as "Bomber" Busbridge in the ITV/BBC comedy-drama Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, the West Country bricklayer who appeared in all four series but died before the final special was completed.
Since his death Pat Roach has developed a cult following of US expatriate teachers in the South Korean city of Jinju-si.
He and his wife, Doreen, married in 1957, they had two children and one grandchild.
Later life and death
During most of the 1990s Roach had a scrapyard in Arden Road, in Saltley, Birmingham. Roach died in July 2004 after a long struggle against throat cancer. He is buried in Bromsgrove Cemetery, Worcestershire.
His film roles have included:
- A Clockwork Orange (1971)
- Barry Lyndon (1975)
- Rising Damp (1980)
- Clash of the Titans (1981)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- Never Say Never Again (1983)
- Conan the Destroyer (1984)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
- Red Sonja (1985)
- Willow (1988)
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
- The Return of the Musketeers (1989)
- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
- The Big Man (1991)
Championships and accomplishments
- Ken Joyce Trophy (1992)
- WHSmith – Search for Pat Roach
- (2003). The Stunts of Indiana Jones (DVD). Paramount Pictures.
- Obituary in The Telegraph
- BBC on Pat Roach's funeral