Monday, October 16, 2017

Roy Dotrice

Tony-winning actor -- via the Guardian. One of my personal favorites, he could do everything from Shakespeare to the broadest of broad comedy, a real pro. He lied about his age to join the RAF at 16 to fight Hitler. He began his career in a German prisoner-of-war camp -- the infamous Stalag Luft III from which "The Great Escape" was mounted. After the war, he made his name in Shakespeare, and then became known for his numerous one-man shows -- particularly his magnificent turn as John Aburey in "Brief Lives." His first major impact onscreen was in Hall and Barton's magnificent 1965 "War of the Roses" for BBC TV, in which he played Edward IV and Jack Cade. He was a definitive Dickens in the BBC miniseries "Dickens of London." American audiences might remember him as Leopold Mozart in the film version of "Amadeus," "Father" in the TV series "Beauty and the Beast," or Hallyne in "Game of Thrones." He won his Tony for his role as Phil Hogan in the 200 revival of "A Moon for the Misbegotten." One of the few actors whose work I have assiduously studied, through whatever recordings are available. His diction was perfect, timing inspired. Most of all, he had the ability to relax into a role -- to make it clear, direct, and natural. (Trivia -- daughter Karen played Jane Banks in 1964's "Mary Poppins.")