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Roger Rees dead: Cheers, West Wing actor was 71

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Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Roger Rees, the Tony Award-winning actor also known to television audiences for his roles on Cheers and The West Wing, has died, his representative confirmed to EW. He was 71.

Rees died Friday at his home in New York after a brief illness, according to the Associated Press.

The Welsh-born actor earned an Olivier and a then Tony for playing the title character in the stage production of Charles Dickens’ The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby in London and on Broadway. When it was adapted for TV in 1982, he also received an Emmy nomination for his performance.

Rees also played the snobbish Robin Colcord on Cheers, British Ambassador Lord John Marbury on The West Wing, and had made appearances in recent years on shows like The Good Wife and Elementary. His film credits include playing Sheriff of Rottingham in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights and roles in The Scorpion King and 2008’s The Pink Panther.

Rees appeared on Broadway this year alongside Chita Rivera in The Visit, but abruptly left the production in May to undergo a medical procedure, the AP reports.

He is survived by his husband, the playwright Rick Elice.