Roger Rees 1944-2015
“It’s supposed to hurt – that’s how you know it meant something.”
― Peter and the Starcatcher
Ladies and gents,
We are, collectively, in mourning, and yet, through the sorrow, I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude. How lucky we are to have been in Roger’s presence for so many (though not nearly enough) years. Roger’s talents as an artist were devastatingly apparent to all who experienced his work. He built his remarkable career on creating and inhabiting worlds of make-believe, but to those who counted him as a friend his greatest talents existed in how he approached the real world. There was no one who encountered Roger on a personal level who didn’t fall madly in love with him. Every room, every conversation, every day he was a part of was made richer by his presence. It is our sad burden to adjust to these rooms, conversations, and days in a world without him.
Perhaps Roger’s greatest legacy is the love he shared with his husband, Rick Elice. Theirs was a romance for the ages, and served as a shining example to everyone lucky enough to be in their orbit. If there remains any lingering doubt that, in this lifetime, nothing matters more than love, I leave you with Rick’s own words about Roger’s passing:
My sweet, wonderful, beautiful, patient, brilliant, loving boy – who gave me this life, taught me how to live it, and even taught me how to leave it. I love him so. I miss him so.
As do we all.
I’m going to spend a good chunk of this weekend watching Roger in the role that made him a star and secured his place as a theatrical legend. I encourage you to do the same. The entirety of Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Nicholas Nickleby is available for viewing online, and it still mesmerizes.
Roger, thank you for sharing your gifts, your warmth, and your brilliance with us. How lucky we are, indeed.
Hugs and kisses,