Family & Companions
A compact, lanky, blond who is able to seem controlled and fraught, as well as off-balance, Robert Joy is an actor who has worked in leading and supporting roles on stage and screen. Born and raised in Canada, he spent three years with the Newfoundland Company CODCO as an actor, writer and composer. Joy was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford before landing in NYC to pursue an acting career. His first Off-Broadway work was as Peter Van Daan in "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1978-79). His subsequent appearances include John Guare's "Lydie Breeze" (1982), the 1983 world premiere of Roger Miller's musical "Big River" (in which he originated the role of Huck Finn at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts) and the Broadway productions of Noel Coward's "Hay Fever" (1985-86), opposite Rosemary Harris and Campbell Scott, and "The Nerd" (1987). He originated the role of Julian Hyde, an actor with a secret during the Golden Age of Motion Pictures in "Hyde in Hollywood" (1989), a role he recreated for PBS' "American Playhouse" in 1991.
Joy made his feature debut in Louis Malle's "Atlantic City" (1981). It was his character that sets the film's story in motion. He portrayed Dave, husband of Sally (Susan Sarandon), a small-time hood who steals a cache of drugs and uses a retired criminal (Burt Lancaster) as an errand boy. He is murdered and his death brings Lancaster and Sarandon together. In Milos Foreman's "Ragtime" (also 1981), Joy was Harry K. Thaw, the mentally-disturbed assassin in love with stage star Evelyn Nesbit (Elizabeth McGovern). Among his many other screen appearances are memorable turns as Madonna's musician boyfriend in Susan Seidelman's "Desperately Seeking Susan" (1985), Dianne Wiest's suitor who turns out to be homosexual in Woody Allen's "Radio Days" (1987), an agitated AIDS patient in Norman Rene's "Longtime Companion" and Sherman the Robot in "Millennium" (both 1989). He reteamed with Allen for a small role in "Shadows and Fog" (1991), and played supporting roles in James L Brooks' "I'll Do Anything" (1994), "Pharoah's Army" (as a Union soldier) and "Waterworld" (both 1995).
Joy's TV work has been a bit more sporadic. He was in the CBS movie "Escape From Iran: The Canadian Caper" (1981), the story of a rescue mission devised by Ross Perot, and played an Israeli agent in "Sword of Gideon" (HBO, 1986). Joy has also appeared with Tracey Ullman and as Lorenzo Tapping in three "American Playhouse" (PBS) productions based on Owen Johnson's "The Lawrenceville Stories": "The Prodigious Hickey" (1987), "The Return of Hickey" (1988), and "The Beginning of the Firm" (1989).
Adept with music, Joy was film composer, music director, associate producer and star of "The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood" (1986), an independent film he worked on after studying at the Sundance Film Institute.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Off-Broadway debut, "The Diary of Anne Frank" as Peter Van Daan
Film debut, Dave in "Atlantic City"
Co-starred, "Desperately Seeking Susan"
Starred in, wrote music score for and was associate producer for "The Adventures of Faustus Bidgood"
Appeared as Lorenzo Tapping in "The Prodigious Hickey" on PBS' "American Playhouse"
Played Tapping again in "The Return of Hickey" for PBS' "American Playhouse"
Reprised Tapping in the third installment, "The Beginning of the Firm" ("American Playhouse", PBS)
Starred as Julian Hyde in "Hyde in Hollywood" at American Place Theatre
Reprised role in "Hyde in Hollywood" for PBS' "American Playhouse"
Co-starred in busted NBC pilot of "The Nerd" based on Broadway play
Co-starred in a remake of the Wes Craven thriller, "The Hills Have Eyes"