Roger Rees: Broadway dims lights

The Broadway community mourns the loss of Tony Award-winning actor and Tony Award-nominated director, Roger Rees who passed away on Friday at age 71. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory on Wednesday, July 15th, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.

The Welsh born actor and director was known primarily for his work on stage, but also his television credits which included popular show such as 'Cheers' and 'The West Wing'. He began his acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Malcolm in Trevor Nunn's 1976 stage and 1978 television production of 'Macbeth'.

He created the title role in the original production of 'The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby', David Edgar's stage adaptation of the Dickens novel. He went on to win both an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play in 1982.

Whilst he continued to work in the West End, Rees's New York credits earned him an Obie Award in 1992 for his performance in the Off-Broadway play 'The End of the Day' and a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Play for his role in 'Indiscretions' in 1995.

More recently he took over the role of Gomez Adams in the Broadway musical 'The Addams Family', and recently starred in the Kander and Ebb musical 'The Visit', opposite Chita Rivera, which opened on 23 April 2015 on Broadway.

As a director, he held the post of Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival from 2004 to 2007 where he developed the Tony Award-winning 'Peter and the Starcatcher' which transferred to Broadway.

His film career includes 'Star 80', Mel Brooks' film, 'Robin Hood: Men in Tights', 'Frida' and 'The Prestige'.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League said,

"We are so fortunate that Roger Rees has graced our stages through the years and inspired us with his brilliant talent. In addition to his acting and directing accomplishments, his generous heart and warm, giving spirit will be greatly missed by his family, friends and fans."

Rees is survived by his husband, the playwright Rick Elice.Roger Rees, 5 May 1944 – 10 July 2015