Like a number of British actors of the same generation, ROGER REES was originally trained for the visual arts. He acted in church and Boy Scout stage productions while growing up in London, but studied painting and lithography at the Slade School of Art, and his first paying jobs in show business were as a scenery painter.
He turned to acting on a full-time basis in the mid-1960s. After his fourth audition, the Royal Shakespeare Company finally hired him as a bit player in 1968. He then worked his way up through the RSC's ranks, finally achieving stardom in the early 1980s in its production of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby", for which he won both an Olivier Award and a Tony Award. He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for the television version of the play. By this time, he had several television movies to his name, but he did not make his large-screen debut until Star 80 (1983). More recently, he has acted in several British and American television series and in a number of independent films.
Roger Rees received Olivier and Tony Awards for his performance inThe Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby and a Tony nomination forIndiscretions. His stage credits also include Broadway productions ofUncle Vanya, The Rehearsal, The Red Shoes, London Assurance andThe Addams Family. Off-Broadway he starred in A Man of No Importance and received an Obie Award for The End of the Day. He is well known for his work on TV'sCheers and The West Wing.