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Broadway to go dark Wednesday night to honor actor and director Roger Rees

Roger Rees plays the father obsessed with defending

Roger Rees plays the father obsessed with defending his young son's honor after a minor crime in this sterling revival of Terence Rattigan's 1946 "The Winslow Boy." Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, as his wife, and Charlotte Parry, their daughter, get caught up in the drama. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Great White Way will go dark for one minute at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday night to honor Roger Rees, the dapper Welsh actor famed for originating the title role in "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," on Broadway and who delighted the television audience of "Cheers" as the cocky moneybags Robin Colcord. .

Rees died at age 71 on Friday at his Manhattan home after being diagnosed with cancer. Wednesday will be the second time this year the theater district will go dark for a star, following the death of actor-director Gene Saks in March. (Last year, the lights were dimmed 13 times.)

Rees most recently appeared on Broadway when he opened "The Visit" with co-star Chita Rivera in April, before illness forced him to leave the production the following month.

The Shakespearean-trained Rees won a Best Actor Tony and an Olivier Award for his role in Nickleby in 1982, succeeded Nathan Lane in "The Addams Family" on Broadway, and received a Best Director Tony nomination for "Peter and the Star Catcher," which he developed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival before bringing the show to Broadway, where it snared five Tonys. He was played Lord John Marbury in television's "The West Wing."

Rees's survivors include his husband, the playwright Rick Elice.

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