Roy Dotrice, a distinguished British stage, film, and TV actor who won the 2000 Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in A Moon for the Misbegotten, died October 16 in London at age 94. Slim and aristocratic, he was known for his sharp intelligence and his precise pronunciation.
Dotrice (pronounced doh-TREESE) began acting as a captive in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. He spent much of his early career in the U.K., originally part of a Shakespearean repertory company that evolved into the Royal Shakespeare Company. His eight Broadway appearances show his range: he appeared in light comedies, including Noël Coward’s Hay Fever (1985), and dramas, including Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming (1991). He toured for years as English biographer John Aubrey in the solo show Brief Lives, which he brought to Broadway twice, in 1967 and again in 1974. Among other Broadway appearances, he played President Abraham Lincoln in the 1980 solo show Mister Lincoln, (opening the show at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., where Lincoln was shot) and played Pope Pius VII in the 1981 drama Kingdoms.
He won his Tony for his performance as the wily Phil Hogan, father of Josie Hogan (Cherry Jones), a poor tenant farmer who schemes to marry his daughter to the wealthy landlord, played in that production by Gabriel Byrne. He was also nominated for a 1981 Tony Award for his performance in Hugh Leonard’s A Life, as Drumm, a man trying to come to terms with the world after learning he has a terminal illness.
Among his many films, Dotrice was featured in the Oscar-winning Amadeus, playing the title character’s father, Leopold Mozart. In the long-running U.S. TV series Touched by an Angel, he played the angel Micah.
Dotrice was recently seen as Wisdom Hallyne, the alchemist inventor of the deadly Green Fire, in the HBO series Game of Thrones. Fans of the Songs of Fire and Ice audiobooks will recognize Dotrice as the reader for the George R.R. Martin’s novels, a feat that earned him mention in Guinness World Records for the greatest number of characters voiced by a single actor (224 for the first book alone).
A month before his death, Dotrice posted a message to fans of the American TV series Beauty and the Beast, in which he played the father, saying, "I love you all and hope we meet again someday.”
Among his survivors is his daughter, actor Karen Dotrice, who played young Jane Banks in the Disney film musical Mary Poppins.