Biography

With his dark eyes and small frame, the classically trained British actor Roger Rees was perfectly cast as Nicholas Nickleby in the theatrical production of Dickens' novel. He performed this lead role with the Royal Shakespeare Company, earning him a Tony award, Olivier award, and an Emmy nomination for the televised version in the early '80s. He performed with the company since 1968, when he worked as a scenery painter. Perhaps he is most recognized for his role as Robin Colcord, Kirstie Alley's wealthy jet-set boyfriend on Cheers during the 1989 season. He also had a memorable role as Melvin, the Sheriff of Rotingham in Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights in 1993. Rees continued to work mainly in theater, but he also appeared in several TV movies and sitcoms. He put his crisp British pronunciation to work as a voice actor in several cartoons and books on tape. In 2002, he returned to films with a few featured roles, including Guillermo Kahlo in Julie Taymor's biography Frida. He also landed the starring role of Virginia farmer Nat Banks in the drama Crazy Like a Fox during the same year. Rees had a recurring role on The West Wing, playing the British Ambassador, and later had recurring roles on Grey's Anatomy, Warehouse 13 and Elementary. In 2012, he was nominated for a Tony award for directing Peter and the Starcatcher, and continued to work on the stage until his death. In 2015, he appeared in the musical The Visit, opposite Chita Rivera. He withdrew from the show, for health reasons, in May 2015; he passed away two months later. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi