Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Britain says "Happy Birthday" to an old thespian called Roy Dotrice and remember him playing the old John Aubrey

Roy Dotrice was 85 years old yesterday on the left his photo at the age of 42 in 1967 and with his make up on for John Aubrey at about the same time.
He recently said about the plays revival :
" In those days I had a two and a half hour make up job to make myself look old enough. Now I have a three and a half hour make up job to make myself look young enough".

Things you probably didn't know about Roy :

* born in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands.

* served in the Royal Air Force from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War and was shot down at the age of 17.

* was in a German prisoner of war camp from 1942 to 1945 where he started acting in theatricals playing female parts because he was so young and hadn't started shaving.

* was the father-in-law to the late Edward Woodward, a contemporary of his and husband to his daughter Michele.

* earned a place in the 'Guinness Book of Records' for the greatest number of solo performances at 1,782 , for his portrayal of the 17th century antiquarian, John Aubrey in his stage production 'Brief Lives'

* The play premiered and travelled in the late 1960's.

I saw it at one of the London theatres at that time.

Things you probably did know :

* 'Brief Lives', was a one-man 'tour de force' where he was on stage for more than two and a half hours, including the interval when he pretended to sleep.

Here is is 1979 introduction to 'Brief Lives' :

And an excerpt from the original show :

* is best known to American audiences for his role of 'Father' in the 1980s hit TV series, 'Beauty and the Beast'

* played Leopold Mozart in the 1984 film 'Amadeus'.

* is known to fans of 'the Buffyverse' in the role of Roger Wyndam-Pryce.

* played Commissioner Simmons in 'Space: 1999'.

* played Father Gary Barrett in the TV series 'Picket Fences' in the 1990's.

* appeared as Zeus cult television show 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'.

* was made 'Officer of the Order of the British Empire' (OBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.

* was on tour in February 2008 at the age of 84 in a revival of 'Brief Lives'.

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