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Roy Dotrice, Master of the One-Man Historical Drama, Has Died at 94

Dotrice won a Tony in 2000 for A Moon for the Misbegotten.

Roy Dotrice, who won a Tony for his performance in a 2000 revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten, has died at 94.
(© Michelle & Roy Dotrice)

Roy Dotrice, the British actor most known for playing historical figures in one-man stage shows, died in London on Monday. He was 94.

Dotrice won a Tony Award in 2000 for his performance as Phil Hogan in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten, which also starred Cherry Jones and Gabriel Byrne. Dotrice's biggest claims to fame, however, were his historical solo shows, like Patrick Garland's two-and-a-half-hour Brief Lives, in which Dotrice played 17th-century writer John Aubrey, and which he performed in a record-breaking 1,782 nonconsecutive performances in London and throughout the United States. He also played Abraham Lincoln in another one-man show, Herbert Mitgang's Mister Lincoln, which he performed at Ford's Theatre before it moved to Broadway and later hit televisions around the United States, thanks to PBS.

Dotrice is also known for acting in films such as Amadeus and The Cutting Edge and television series and miniseries like Shaka Zulu and Picket Fences. Most recently, he played the role of Hallyne in two episodes of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. In addition, he was a popular narrator, recording audiobooks for, among other works, each installment of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series (the basis of Game of Thrones).

Born in Guernsey in 1923, Dotrice fled with his mother to Britain in 1940, where he served in the Royal Air Force during World War II and was a German prisoner of war from 1942-45, during which time he began to perform. He eventually joined the company that would become the Royal Shakespeare Company, with which he would go on to play the likes of Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and Falstaff for nine years.

Dotrice is survived by his daughters Michele, Yvette, and Karen, as well as seven grandchildren and a great-grandson, according to the Associated Press.


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