Tony Award winner Roy Dotrice dies at 94

Roy Dotrice’s Tony-winning performance as an irascible pig farmer in Eugene O’Neill’s Moon for the Misbegotten, in New York, on March 9, 2000. Dotrice died at his home in London, on Oct 16, 2017.
Roy Dotrice’s Tony-winning performance as an irascible pig farmer in Eugene O’Neill’s Moon for the Misbegotten, in New York, on March 9, 2000. Dotrice died at his home in London, on Oct 16, 2017.PHOTO: NYTIMES

LONDON (NYTimes) - Roy Dotrice, a British stage, film and television actor, began performing as a prisoner of war in Germany. He worked in Britain and America for six decades, notably in one-man shows portraying Abe Lincoln and other historical figures.

On Monday, he died at his home in London. He was 94.

Hailed by critics for suffusing his character with fine-tuned blarney, malevolent passions and brooding gloom, Dotrice won the Tony Award for best featured actor in 2000 for his portrait of the conniving Irish father and pig farmer in a Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon For The Misbegotten.

Dotrice appeared in more than 50 plays in London, New York and other cities, not counting some 300 more as a young British repertory stalwart.

He performed for nine years with the troupe that became the Royal Shakespeare Company and took scores of roles in television and Hollywood films.

With a nimble voice that evoked creatures from realms of fantasy, Dotrice was a popular storyteller on albums and audiobooks.

He narrated the epic tales of The Lion King, the adventures of Richard Adams' rabbits in Watership Down and the myriad characters of A Song Of Ice And Fire, the fantasy books by George R.R. Martin that were adapted for the hit HBO series Game Of Thrones.

He also had a small role in Game Of Thrones as Hallyne the Pyromancer, the head alchemist in the city of King's Landing.

Dotrice was born on the island of Guernsey in 1923. In 1940, when Nazi troops occupied Guernsey, he and his mother escaped to Britain, where he joined the Royal Air Force and became a radio operator and gunner in a bomber.

In 1942, his plane was shot down over the Baltic. He and a few other survivors were captured. To keep captive spirits up, the prisoners staged makeshift plays.

After the war, he plunged into acting. For 12 years, he performed in, and sometimes directed, hundreds of plays in repertory companies.

In 1947, he married Katherine Newman, an actress. They had three daughters who all became actresses. His wife died in 2007. His daughters survive him, as do grandchildren.