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Maurice Roëves

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Maurice Roëves
John Maurice Roëves

(1937-03-19)19 March 1937
Died14 July 2020(2020-07-14) (aged 83)
Alma materGlasgow College of Dramatic Art
Years active1966–2020
    Jan Wilson
    (m. 1965, divorced)
    Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson
    (m. 2001)

John Maurice Roëves (/ˈr.vz/; 19 March 1937 – 14 July 2020[1]) was a British actor.[1] He appeared in over 120 film and television roles, in both the United Kingdom and the United States.[2][3] 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".[1]

Early life and education[edit]

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 took to the stage at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow in the 1960s in a production of The Merchant of Venice.[4]

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).[5] In 2003 he appeared in May Miles Thomas's film Solid Air.[5] 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. Roëves 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.[citation needed] 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).[5] He played Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield in the television film Hillsborough (1996).[5] In 2006 he appeared in the BBC docudrama Surviving Disasters, portraying Sir Matt Busby in the story of the Munich air disaster.[5] He starred as Robert Henderson in BBC Scotland's drama River City. Roëves also appeared as a retired police superintendent in Southcliffe (episode 3, "Sorrow's Child").

Personal life[edit]

In 2014 he stated that he had moved to Nottinghamshire with his wife, Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson. They also spent part of each year at a condo in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States.


Roëves died on 14 July 2020 at the age of 83, after a period of ill health.[6][7]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Toby Hadoke (22 July 2020). "Maurice Roëves obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  2. ^ McManus, Angels (17 November 2014). "Slow down? God forbid, says star Maurice Roeves, 77". Evening Times. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  3. ^ Cornwell, Tim (25 May 2012). "Veteran actor Maurice Roeves back at Fringe with lowdown on the Lawrences". The Scotsman. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  4. ^ McGlone, Jackie (6 August 2012). "Interview: Maurice Roëves, actor and star of Just A Gigolo". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac "Maurice Roëves". BFI. Archived from the original on 17 October 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Obituary: Maurice Roëves, adopted Scot known to audiences worldwide". 22 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Scots actor Maurice Roeves dies aged 83". BBC News. 15 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.

External links[edit]