Dotrice in 2014
26 May 1923|
Guernsey, Channel Islands
16 October 2017 (aged 94)|
A Moon for the Misbegotten
|Spouse(s)||Kay Newman (m. 1947; d. 2007)|
|Children||3, including Michele and Karen|
1 Tony Award|
1 Drama Desk Award
1 British Academy Television Award
Roy Dotrice OBE (26 May 1923 – 16 October 2017) was a British actor known for his Tony Award-winning performance in the 2000 Broadway revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten. He appeared in Amadeus (1984) as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's father, Leopold. He also narrated the first five books in George R. R. Martin's fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.
Dotrice was born in Guernsey on 26 May 1923, to Neva (née Wilton; 1897–1984) and Louis Dotrice (1896–1991). He served as a wireless operator/air gunner with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, and was imprisoned in a German prisoner of war camp from 1942 to 1945.
Dotrice was the voice of "Permanent Under-Secretary Sir Gregory Pitkin" in the early episodes of BBC Radio's long-running comedy The Men from the Ministry. He was succeeded by Ronald Baddiley in the role.
Dotrice played the part of John Aubrey in the play devised and written by Patrick Garland of Brief Lives, a one-man show that saw Dotrice on stage for more than two-and-a-half hours (including the interval [intermission], during which he would feign sleep). Premiering in 1967 at the Hampstead Theatre in London, the play had two tours on Broadway. In 1968, it moved to the Criterion Theatre in the West End, where it would run for 400 performances before transferring to the Mayfair Theatre. He revived the role in 2008, again under Patrick Garland's direction.
These runs, combined with extensive international touring, earned Dotrice a place in the Guinness World Records for the greatest number of solo performances (1,782). In 1984, he starred opposite Rosemary Harris in a production of Noël Coward's Hay Fever. He appeared in the stage production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas at The Lowry theatre in Salford from November 2009 to January 2010.
In the 1970s, Dotrice played the title role in the television mini-series Dickens of London. He also appeared as Albert Haddock in the BBC television adaptation of A. P. Herbert's Misleading Cases in 1971. In 1972 he played the Curé Ponosse in the BBC2 TV adaptation of Clochemerle (1972).
He was known to North American audiences as Father in the 1980s American TV series Beauty and the Beast and Father Gary Barrett, a Catholic priest, in the 1990s series Picket Fences, although his acting career dates from 1945 in a revue called Back Home, performed by ex-POWs in aid of the Red Cross. In an episode of Angel (1999), part of the Buffyverse, he played as Roger Wyndam-Pryce, the overbearing father of the character Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. An earlier science-fiction role was Commissioner Simmonds in two episodes of the 1970s series Space: 1999. In 1998, Dotrice appeared in three episodes of the series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as Zeus.
In June 2010, it was announced that Dotrice would be playing the role of Grand Maester Pycelle in the HBO television series Game of Thrones, an adaptation of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books. Dotrice later withdrew from the part for medical reasons and Julian Glover was cast in his place.
Shortly after filming for the second season commenced, it was confirmed that Dotrice would be returning to play "Wisdom Hallyne the Pyromancer", who is featured in the installments "The Ghost of Harrenhal" and "Blackwater".
In 1982, BBC Radio 4 broadcast Dotrice's reading of fellow Guernseyman G.B. Edwards' classic novel The Book of Ebenezer Le Page in twenty-eight 15-minute parts on its Woman's Hour segment. The producer subsequently wrote that the serialisation was "without question the most popular serial I have ever done in the 500 or so I have produced in the last 21 years ...".
He subsequently performed "The Islander", a stage version of The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, to critical success at the Theatre Royal Lincoln. In 2012, AudioGO produced a complete and unabridged recording of Ebenezer Le Page, which is available on Audible.
Dotrice was married to Kay Newman (1929–2007), a television and stage actress, from 1947 until her death in 2007. They had three daughters—Michele, Yvette and Karen—all of whom have acted at various times in their lives. He was the father-in-law of actors Edward Woodward (Michele) and Alex Hyde-White (Karen).