Burbank, CA -- Tony Award winner Roy Dotrice drove 5 hours specially to meet with fans of the Beauty and the Beast TV series from the United States and Europe who recently met here for their Eleventh Annual International Convention.
Dotrice played Father in the 1987-1990 series on CBS. The modernized romantic story concerned Catherine (Linda Hamilton), the 'Beauty,' a socialite crime-fighting lawyer in New York City, and the noble Shakespeare-quoting 'Beast,' Vincent (Ron Perlman), who lived in a tunnel community below the city streets. The critically acclaimed series garnered eight Emmys and quickly developed an international fandom rivaling Star Trek's.
Earlier this year, the British actor achieved a grand slam on
Broadway for his role as Phil Hogan, the drunken pig-farmer father in
Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten. The Drama Desk Awards,
the Outer Critics' Circle, and the American Theater Wing's Tony Awards
voted him the Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.
Between Beauty and the Beast and his Broadway triumph, Dotrice
has starred in the series Going to Extremes, and had a recurring
role in Picket Fences, and significant roles in The Cutting
Edge and The Scarlet Letter. He also narrated the audiotape of
Disney's version of Beauty and the Beast and the video The Prince and the Pauper. This fall, he will co-star as the Irish father of his'Misbegotten' co-star Gabriel Byrne in ABC's comedy The Madigan Men.
Roy Dotrice has attended several of the International Beauty
and the Beast conventions. "At the one in Austin," Pat Jackson of La Marque, Texas recalled,"many of us gathered around him in the hotel lounge as he read poetry, both Shakespearean and that composed by fans. He got teary-voiced when he read one concerning Father."
Dotrice and co-star Ron Perlman had not been expected at the Burbank convention, but surprised the attendees by stepping in unannounced during a banquet. Fans eagerly made extra donations to the San Diego Area Chapter of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society to have their pictures taken with each actor. Beauty and the Beast fans have raised well over $100,000 for charities such as pediatric AIDS, women's shelters, and the MS Society.
"The show underlined that Helpers aided those less fortunate," said
Jackson. "We've carried that over into our lives, both at our conventions,
and in our communities."
Other guests at the Burbank convention included Edward Albert (Elliott
Burch), David Greenlee (Mouse), Jay Acovone (Joe Maxwell), Lee Holdridge
(composer), and Margaret Beserra (makeup artist who made Perlman over into
his man/beast character). The next convention will take place in New York City in July, 2001.Reruns of the series air on the Odyssey cable channel
at 12 Midnight CDT weekdays, 10 P.M. Sundays.
Roy Dotrice began his acting career in a German prisoner-of-war
camp in 1942, having been shot down after flying with the Royal Air
Force Bomber Command. He was born in Guernsey and was a school boy
when the Germans occupied the island in 1940. He escaped to England,
"advancing" his age to enlist in the R.A.F. After his release in 1945,
he went into repertory where he met and married his leading lady,
Kay Newman. After 53 years of marriage they produced an acting dynasty
as all three of their daughters became actresses. In 1957 Roy joined
the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing leading roles with them for
nine years. During this period he performed in all of Shakespeare's
plays and worked with the world 's greatest actors and directors.
Roy considers his greatest achievement was to introduce baseball into
what had been a cricket stronghold, and in 1959 he pitched for his
team that included at first base, Paul Robeson (Othello); second base,
Sam Wanamaker (lago); third base, Laurence Olivier (Coriolanus), short
stop, Peter O'Toole (Shylock); Charles Laughton (Lear) was plate umpire
and Albert Finney was his catcher. He has appeared in ten Broadway
productions, including three one-man shows: Brief Lives (Golden 1968),
Mister Lincoln (Morosco 1980), Brief Lives (Booth 1974). He received
a Tony nomination for A Life and won a Tony for his recent work in
the play A Moon for the Misbegotten
(which also starred Gabriel Byrne). On television
he was a regular in four television series: "Beauty
and the Beast," "Going to Extremes," "Picket Fences," and
"Mr. and Mrs. Smith." As well as the BBC-produced "Dickens
of London" guest starring in dozens of series, including
a recurring role in "Murder She Wrote." Some of his films
Scarlet Letter, The
Cutting Edge, Amadeus
with Sharks. He has homes in Hollywood and London's Covent Garden.