British Actor Norman Rodway, of the RSC, Is Dead at 72

News   British Actor Norman Rodway, of the RSC, Is Dead at 72 Norman Rodway, a longtime actor with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, died March 13 in Oxfordshire, following a stroke, according to British newspapers.

Norman Rodway, a longtime actor with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, died March 13 in Oxfordshire, following a stroke, according to British newspapers.

Mr. Rodway was 72 and was a veteran of British stage and screen. He recent starred as an imprisoned Adolf Hitler in the 1999 film, "The Empty Mirror," about Hitler surviving after World War II. In Orson Welles' "Chimes at Midnight," he played Hotspur, one of many Shakespeare roles he would essay throughout his career.

Mr. Rodway performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company since 1966, with starring roles ranging from the title role in Richard III (directed by Terry Hands) to Love Labour's Lost in the United States. He appeared in recent years in the National Theatre productions of The Seagull and Hedda Gabler. He played opposite Judi Dench in a Trevor Nunn staging of Juno and the Paycock. John Neville cast him in plays at the Nottingham Playhouse.

On TV, he starred in roles in "Danton's Death," "A Month In The Country," "The Critic," "Out" and the 18-part British series, "The Bretts."

He starred in a London staging of Gorky's Summerfolk that traveled to Brooklyn Academy of Music. Mr. Rodway was also described as "one of the great radio actors of his generation" by The Independent On Sunday, and has made over 300 broadcasts for BBC Radio. He was named Best Radio Actor in 1980 for his performance in "The Faith Healer." Mr. Rodway was the son of a middle-class Englishman and was raised since infancy in Dublin, Ireland, where his father was posted for work. The Guardian reported that Mr. Rodway made his theatrical debut, in high school, in Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe, singing soprano. He played a busty girl the following year in G&S's The Gondoliers. He won an honors degree at Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied classics.

He acted briefly in Dublin and in 1953 acted in the first staging production by the new Globe Theatre Company. He operated the troupe with partners for eight years before it went bust. In 1963, he appeared in the London Royal Court Theatre staging of Sean O'Casey's Cock-A-Doodle Dandy and stayed in London for good.

Survivors include wife Jane and daughter Bianca.

— By Kenneth Jones