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John Maurice Roëves
19 March 1937
|Died||14 July 2020(aged 83)|
|Alma mater||Glasgow College of Dramatic Art|
John Maurice Roëves (//; 19 March 1937 – 14 July 2020) was a Scottish actor. He appeared in over 120 film and television roles, in both the United Kingdom and the United States. His breakthrough performance was as Stephen Dedalus in the 1967 film adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses. He was a regular fixture on BBC and BBC Scotland programmes, often portraying what The Guardian called "tough guys, steely villains or stalwart military figures with directness, authenticity and spiky energy".
Early life and education
Roëves was born in Sunderland to Rhoda (nee Laydon) and Percival Roëves. When he was six the family moved to Glasgow, where he was raised from then on. He left Hyndland Secondary School early to help his father, and undertook National Service in the Royal Scots Greys, where he was a tank mechanic. After he left the Army he studied at the College of Dramatic Art at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he won a Gold Medal for acting.
Roëves's first notable roles were in films. He played the leading role of Stephen Dedalus in the film adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses (1967) and also appeared in Oh! What a Lovely War (1969). Other films he acted in include A Day at the Beach (1970), The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Hidden Agenda (1990), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Judge Dredd (1995), The Acid House (1998) and Beautiful Creatures (2000). In 2003 he appeared in May Miles Thomas's film Solid Air. His final film role was in Justin Kurzel's Macbeth (2015), playing Menteith.
His first television role was in the series Scobie in September in 1969. He played a schoolmaster in Out of the Unknown, in the episode "Taste of Evil" in 1971. A short thriller series called The Scobie Man followed in 1972. He then went on to appear in The Sweeney (1975), Danger UXB (1979), The Nightmare Man (1981), the Doctor Who serial The Caves of Androzani (1984), Days of Our Lives (1986), North and South (1985), Tutti Frutti (1987), Rab C. Nesbitt (1990), The New Statesman (1990), Spender (1991), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993), the BBC adaptation of Vanity Fair (1998), EastEnders (2003), A Touch of Frost (2003) and Skins (2008). He played Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield in the television film Hillsborough (1996). In 2006 he appeared in the BBC docudrama Surviving Disasters, portraying Sir Matt Busby in the story of the Munich air disaster. He starred as Robert Henderson in BBC Scotland's drama River City. He appeared as a retired police superintendent in Southcliffe (episode 3, "Sorrow's Child").
Last years and death
On 15 July 2020 it was announced that Roëves had died at the age of 83, after a period of ill health.
- The Fighting Prince of Donegal (1966) - Martin
- Ulysses (1967) - Stephen Dedalus
- Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) - George Patrick Michael Smith
- A Day at the Beach (1970) - Nicholas
- When Eight Bells Toll (1971) - Lt. Williams - Helicopter Pilot
- Young Winston (1972) - Brockie
- The Eagle Has Landed (1976) - Maj. Corcoran
- Danger UXB (1979) - Sergeant James
- S.O.S. Titanic (1979, TV Movie) - Leading Stoker: Fred Barret
- Outland (1981) - First Victim (uncredited)
- Escape to Victory(1981) - Captain Pyrie
- Inside the Third Reich (1982, TV Movie) - Rudolf Hess
- Who Dares Wins (1982) - Maj. Steele
- North and South (1986, TV Mini-Series) - Shain
- Tutti Frutti (1987) - Vincent Diver
- The Play on One: Unreported Incident (1988) - Jack Lawrence
- Hidden Agenda (1990) - Harris
- The Big Man (1990) - Cam Colvin
- The Last of the Mohicans (1992) - Col. Edmund Munro
- Judge Dredd (1995) - Miller
- Guardians (1996) - Sergeant Reed
- The Acid House (1998) - God (segment "The Granton Star Cause") / Drunk (segment "A Soft Touch") / Priest (segment "The Acid House")
- Forgive and Forget (2000, TV Movie) - Michael O'Neil
- Beautiful Creatures (2000) - Ronnie McMinn
- Solid Air (2003) - Robert Houston
- The Dark (2005) - Dafydd
- Hallam Foe (2007) - Raymond
- Fast Track: No Limits (2008) - Schmitty
- The Damned United (2009) - Jimmy Gordon
- Brighton Rock (2010) - Chief Inspector
- Harrigan (2013) - Billy Davidson
- Luna (2014) - Jacob As The Doctor
- Macbeth (2015) - Menteith
- Toby Hadoke (22 July 2020). "Maurice Roëves obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
- McManus, Angels (17 November 2014). "Slow down? God forbid, says star Maurice Roeves, 77". Evening Times. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
- Cornwell, Tim (25 May 2012). "Veteran actor Maurice Roeves back at Fringe with lowdown on the Lawrences". The Scotsman. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
- McGlone, Jackie (6 August 2012). "Interview: Maurice Roëves, actor and star of Just A Gigolo". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
- "Maurice Roëves". BFI. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
- "Scots actor Maurice Roeves dies aged 83". BBC News. 15 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.