Roger Rees

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Roger Rees
Born (1944-05-05) 5 May 1944 (age 71)
Aberystwyth, Wales
Occupation Actor
Years active 1975–present

Roger Rees (born 5 May 1944) is a Welsh actor and director. He is best known to American audiences for playing the characters Robin Colcord on the American television sitcom show Cheers and Lord John Marbury on the American television drama The West Wing. He won a Tony Award for his performance as the lead in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

Early life[edit]

Rees was born in Aberystwyth, Wales, the son of Doris Louise (née Smith), a shop clerk, and William John Rees, a police officer.[1]


Rees started his career with the Royal Shakespeare Company and attended the Slade School of Fine Arts.[2] He played Malcolm in the acclaimed Trevor Nunn 1976 stage and 1978 television production of Macbeth. Rees created the title role in the original production of the play The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, winning both an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play in 1982. He also starred in the original production of The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard in London in 1984.

Rees began to work in television during the 1970s, appearing opposite Laurence Olivier in The Ebony Tower (1984). From 1988 to 1991 he starred in the late 80s/early 90s British sitcom Singles, with actress and co-star Judy Loe. From 1989 to 1991 and in 1993, he also appeared intermittently on the long-running American TV series Cheers as the English tycoon Robin Colcord. Later television appearances include My So-Called Life as substitute teacher Mr Racine, British Ambassador Lord John Marbury on The West Wing and James MacPherson on Warehouse 13.

His film career began in the 1980s. Rees played the Sheriff of Rottingham in Mel Brooks' 1993 film, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. More recent film appearances include Frida (2002) and The Prestige (2006).

Continuing his work in the theatre through the 1990s, both as an actor and a director, Rees was awarded an Obie Award for his 1992 performance in the Off-Broadway play The End of the Day. In 1995 he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role in Indiscretions.[3] That same year, he also participated as narrator for the audiobook edition of Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice. As for audiobooks, Roger has performed in a wide variety of programs.[4]

In November 2004, Rees was named artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, only the fourth person to hold the post in its half century history. He left the position in October 2007.

He replaced Nathan Lane in the role of Gomez in the Broadway musical adaptation of The Addams Family, on 22 March, 2010 and was in the rest of the run until 31 December. [5] [6]

Rees played Anton Schell in the The Visit (musical), opposite Chita Rivera which opened 23 April, 2015.

Personal life[edit]

Rees became a naturalised United States citizen in 1989.[7]

Rees married his husband, writer/producer Rick Elice, in 2011.[8][9][10] Rees and Elice have also collaborated professionally, most notably as co-playwrights of the comedic thriller Double Double. Elice is also the co-author (with Marshall Brickman) of the book of the Addams Family musical, the cast of which Rees had joined on 22 March 2011. In 2012, Elice and Rees received Tony Award nominations for Elice's stage adaptation and Rees' co-direction (with Alex Timbers), respectively, of Peter and the Starcatcher.






  1. ^ Roger Rees Film Reference biography
  2. ^ Roger Rees Biography – Yahoo! Movies
  3. ^ " Indiscretions Listing on Broadway", accessed 24 May 2015
  4. ^ "Narrator profile" at AudioFile
  5. ^ "Roger Rees to Replace Nathan Lane in The Addams Family" at Broadway World
  6. ^ "Roger Rees Extends THE ADDAMS FAMILY Run Through Closing on December 31". 19 September 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Interview with Rees
  9. ^ "Roger Rees Tests His 'Will' Shakespearean Roles Don't Define the Actor, but He's Clearly Bard-Wired" by Peter Marks The Washington Post Sunday, 25 March 2007
  10. ^ "Backstory" by Michael Schulman "The New Yorker" 4 June 2012, p. 54
  11. ^ Trowbridge, Simon (2010). "Roger Rees". A Biographical Dictionary of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Oxford, England: Editions Simon Creed. ISBN 0-9559830-2-9. 
  12. ^ "Cymbeline". RSC Performance Database. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby". RSC Database. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Sir Ian McKellen is mistaken for a tramp on a Melbourne bench between Waiting for Godot rehearsals". Alison Barclay (herald sun). 7 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 

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