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Roy Dotrice

Roy Dotrice

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: May 26, 1923 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Channel Islands, , GB Profession: Cast ... actor
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BIOGRAPHY

A distinguished British actor of the stage who has played numerous supporting parts in TV and film, Roy Dotrice has performed in everything from the classics to contemporary fare and even risen to cult status amongst fans all over the world who know and love him as Father on the American TV series "Beauty and the Beast" (CBS, 1987-90).

Born on the island of Guernsey, Dotrice served as an air gunner in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He was shot down, captured and spent three and a half years in a German POW camp, where he began acting in make-shift plays to amuse his fellow prisoners. Repatriated after the war, Dotrice studied acting at RADA and then began more than 15 years of repertory work in Liverpool, Manchester, and finally, in London with the forerunner of the Royal Shakespeare Company. During this period, he also directed more than 300 plays. Dotrice had a great success with the one-person show "Brief Lives", drawn from the Elizabethan diaries of John Aubrey, which he played for over 400 performances in London. For some time, this set a record for a solo performance and was listed in the "Guinness Book of World Records". He continued to make stage appearances, starring on Broadway in "Mister Lincoln" (1980), "A Life" (1981), which earned him a Tony Award nomination, and a revival of Noel Coward's "Hay Fever" (1985-86), opposite Rosemary Harris.

Dotrice made his feature film debut in 1964's "Heroes of Telemark" and has made only sporadic appearances since. Among his credits are the musical comedy "Lock Up Your Daughters" (1969), the biopic "Nicholas and Alexandra" (1971) and Milos Forman's Oscar-winning "Amadeus" (1984), in which he was Mozart's domineering father. His feature work picked up some in the 90s with a turn as the demanding skating coach in Paul M. Glaser's "The Cutting Edge" (1992) and supporting roles in "Swimming With Sharks" (1994) and the box office disaster "The Scarlet Letter" (1995).

Dotrice is perhaps best-known to audiences for his work on the small screen. In 1965, he starred in a British TV version of Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker" and later reprised his one-man show, "Brief Lives". In the USA, Dotrice co-starred with Bette Davis in "Family Reunion" (NBC, 1981) and played British monarch King George IV in the syndicated miniseries "Shaka Zulu" (1986). Dotrice has lent his plummy voice and commanding screen presence to several small screen roles, including the CBS drama "Beauty and the Beast", as Jacob Wells, the urbane surrogate father to the Beast and nominal leader of a group of people who lived underground. As Dr Henry Croft on the short-lived ABC drama "Going to Extremes" (1992-93), he was the wealthy eccentric who founded a Caribbean island medical school. Dotrice was well-cast in the recurring role of Father Barrett, a Catholic priest and confidante of Judge Henry Bone (Ray Walston), on the acclaimed CBS drama "Picket Fences" (1993-95) and then appeared as Mr. Big in the short-lived spy comedy-drama "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (CBS, 1996).

Fresh from his Tony-nominated turn as Phil Hogan in the revival of Eugene O'Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten", Dotrice returned to the small screen in the fall of 2000 as co-star of "Madigan Men". The ABC sitcom, about the romantic adventures of three generations living under one roof, reteamed the actor with his "Misbegotten" co-star Gabriel Byrne, but failed to impress audiences and was an early casualty of ratings.

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