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Reno Roop, Veteran Stage and Television Actor, Dies at 80

Roop starred alongside Rex Harrison, Ellen Burstyn, and many more on Broadway.

Stage and TV actor Reno Roop has died at age 80.
(photo provided by Jane Ayer Public Relations)

Reno Roop, prolific actor of stage and television, died from Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia on Friday, August 31, at his home in New York. He was 80.

Born in Narva, Estonia, in 1937, Roop endured a difficult childhood both in his war-torn homeland and in a displaced person's camp in Germany before moving to the US at age 15, where he attended and graduated from the Goodman Theater School in Chicago, and served in the US Army.

He made his Broadway debut in a 1973 production of Luigi Pirandello's Emperor Henry IV, playing Berthold opposite Rex Harrison as the title character. Other Broadway credits include performing alongside Ellen Burstyn in Diane Shaffer's Sacrilege (1995); starring in a 1998-9 revival of The Sound of Music first with Rebecca Luker and Michael Siberry, then with Laura Benanti and Richard Chamberlain; and playing Werner Lammpe in Judgment of Nuremberg (2001) with Maximilian Schell, George Grizzard, and Joseph Wiseman. Roop was also active off-Broadway, and performed in many regional productions and on several national tours.

On television, Roop most famously played James Madison in Sally Hemings: An American Love Story (2000) alongside Sam Neill, Carmen Ejogo, Mare Winningham, and Mario Van Peebles.

Roop is survived by his wife, Marjorie (Murray) Roop; his sister, Marika Nurk; his brother, Jim Doster; and his sister, Inna Laikre.


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