Husband Rick Elice
Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, Gower St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6BT, Regno Unito
The Beresford, 211 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
Roger Rees (5 May 1944 – 10 July 2015) was a Welsh actor and director, widely known for his stage work. He won an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for his performance as the lead in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. He also received Obie Awards for his role in The End of the Day and as co-director of Peter and the Starcatcher. Rees was posthumously inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame, 16 November 2015. He was widely known to American television audiences for playing the characters Robin Colcord in Cheers and Lord John Marbury in The West Wing.
Rees had lived in the United States for more than 25 years; he became a naturalised U.S. citizen in 2009. He converted to Judaism in the 1980s. Rees married his partner of 33 years, playwright Rick Elice, in 2011. Rees and Elice also collaborated professionally, including as co-playwrights of the comedic thriller Double Double. Elice co-wrote (with Marshall Brickman) the libretto for 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. In October 2017, his husband Rick Elice wrote a memoir of his life with Rees, entitled Finding Roger: An Improbably Theatrical Love Story, published by Kingswell, a division of Hachette. <Michael Riedel, New York Post, September 29, 2017>
The Beresford, New York City, NY
After a diagnosis of brain cancer in October 2014, Rees focused his energy on his commitment to playing opposite Chita Rivera on Broadway in The Visit, the final musical written by John Kander and Fred Ebb. While undergoing two brain surgeries, two courses of radiation and ongoing chemotherapy, Rees managed to rehearse, preview and open in The Visit on 23 April 2015. By the middle of May, it had become too difficult for him to speak, and he left the show. Rees died of brain cancer at age 71 at his home in New York on 10 July 2015. On Wednesday, 15 July 2015, the marquee lights at all the theatres on Broadway were dimmed in his honour. His ashes were sprinkled into the Atlantic Ocean. Two months later, there was a memorial service for him at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre.