Sunday, June 15, 2008

What a baseball game!

I love the IMDB database. If you're not familiar with it, it is a marvelous resource for information on movies, TV shows, and actors. I use it all the time while watching TV. Today I looked up Roy Dotrice, whom I know most for playing Father on the late 80s TV show Beauty and the Beast. I was reminded of him by seeing him on an episode of Babylon 5 (I'm rewatching my DVDs of that wonderful series).

Turns out Dotrice has had a pretty fascinating life. Born in 1923 as an Englishman, he was a prisoner of war in Germany for 3 years and became interested in acting while performing in prison plays. Later he spent many years in the troupe that became the Royal Shakespeare Company. He was the father of three daughters, all of whom acted on and off, including Karen, well-known for her child acting roles in Disney films, most notably the little girl in Mary Poppins.

Anyway, the IMDB bio of Dotrice mentions this really fascinating piece of history:

"Considers one of his greatest achievements as introducing baseball to the Royal Shakespeare Company into what had been a cricket stronghold. In 1959 the actor pitched for his classically-trained team that included at first base, Paul Robeson (Othello); second base, Sam Wanamaker (Iago); third base, Laurence Olivier (Coriolanus), short stop, Peter O'Toole (Shylock); Charles Laughton (Lear) plate umpire and Albert Finney his catcher."

Wow! I'm not much of a sports fan, but I'd have paid to see that game, and paid more to see the plays...what casting!

Dotrice is now 85, and is in a movie now in post production. That speaks of a life well lived in a profession well loved.

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