Francis Patrick Roach|
19 May 1937
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
17 July 2004 (aged 67)|
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England
|Cause of death||Throat cancer|
Actor, wrestler, businessman,|
fitness club owner, author,
|Notable work||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 Roach (19 May 1937 – 17 July 2004) was an English actor, professional wrestler and author. He was known for his roles as West Country bricklayer Brian "Bomber" Busbridge in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, General Kael in Willow, and his supporting roles of henchmen in the Indiana Jones films.
Roach began wrestling under the name of "Judo" Pat Roach. 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 in 1960. 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 alongside Laurence Olivier (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 as bandit-warlord Lord Brytag 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, the evil wizard Thoth-Amon and Man Ape in Conan the Destroyer and as the Celtic chieftain in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves alongside Alan Rickman. 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.
While Roach was turned down as Darth Vader in Star Wars, George Lucas went to cast him as several burly villains in the Indiana Jones series in the 1980s. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Roach played two roles. He first played the Giant Sherpa who fights Jones in the bar in Nepal, and later played the shaven-headed German mechanic who eagerly boxes with Jones before being killed by propeller blades on the airstrip in Egypt, allowing Roach to be killed twice in the same 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. There are also rumors that he played the gong striker and the Thuggee assassin in the same film, but this has yet to be confirmed. His final appearance in the series was as a Gestapo officer in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; however, he appears only briefly, as the character's fight with Jones was cut because director Steven Spielberg considered the scene "too long" and technically served as a subplot. The fourth film in the series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was produced after Roach's death, so Igor Jijikine was cast in the role of Colonel Antonin Dovchenko, a character who paid tribute to Roach's earlier roles in the series.
Roach is known to TV audiences as Brian "Bomber" Busbridge in the ITV/BBC comedy-drama Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, the West Country bricklayer who appeared in all four of the full length series, but did not appear in the final 2 part mini series, as he died prior to filming.
Later life and death
Roach married Doreen Harris in 1957; He had one son and a daughter.
Casino royale 1967
- A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Milkbar Bouncer (uncredited)
- Barry Lyndon (1975) - Toole - Soldier in Fistfight
- Unidentified Flying Oddball (1979) - Oaf
- Rising Damp (1980) - Rugby Player
- The Monster Club - Great Uncle (uncredited)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Giant Sherpa / 1st Mechanic
- Clash of the Titans (1981) - Hephaestus
- Never Say Never Again (1983) - Lippe
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - Chief Guard
- Conan the Destroyer (1984) - Man Ape / Toth-Amon
- The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984) - Little John
- Red Sonja (1985) - Brytag
- Willow (1988) - General Kael
- The Return of the Musketeers (1989) - French Executioner
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - Gestapo
- Wings of Fame (1990)
- The Big Man (1991) - Billy
- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) - Celtic Chieftain
- The Portrait of a Lady (1996) - Strongman
- Heartbeat (1996) - The Masked Marvel
- Kull the Conqueror (1997) - Zulcki
- Crust (2003) - The Bull
Championships and accomplishments
- Ken Joyce Trophy (1992)
- "WHSmith – Search for Pat Roach". Archived from the original on 8 March 2012.
- "In Remembrance: Pat Roach".
- "Pat Roach".
- "Roach Family Tree". Ancestry.com - pay to view.
- "Judo at Kyrle Hall". Sports Argus. 11 November 1967. p. 8. Retrieved 1 June 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (. ))
- Davies, Rod (28 December 1965). "Boxing". Sports Argus. p. 2. Retrieved 1 June 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (. ))
- Arnold, Charles (1970). Mick McManus, ed. The Mick McManus Wrestling Book. Pelham Books. ISBN 0720703344.
- "World-Wide Wrestling". Sports Argus. 2 January 1965. p. 2. Retrieved 1 June 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (. ))
- Purser, Philip (19 July 2004). "Obituary: Pat Roach". the Guardian.
- The Stunts of Indiana Jones (2003; DVD). Paramount Pictures.
- "Pat Roach". The Telegraph. July 19, 2004.
- "British TV British Audience". Chicago Tribune. 27 July 1986.
- "Pat Roach Biography". okieshadow. Archived from the original on April 21, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
- "find a grave: Pat Roach".