Roger Rees, Former Cheers and West Wing Star, Dies at 71

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Roger Rees, a veteran actor best known to television fans for long-running roles on Cheers and The West Wing, died at his home in New York City on Friday night.

He was 71 years old.

Roger Rees pic

Rees portrayed Robin, Kirstie Alley's love interest on Cheers, for five seasons; along with British Ambassador Lord John Marbury on The West Wing for six years.

But his true passion was the theater, having won a Tony Award many years ago for his role as Nicholas Nickleby (and later an Emmy when this production was adapted for TV).

He was on stage as recently as May, leaving a production of The Visit for some kind of medical procedure.

According to a representative for the actor, Rees died after a brief battle with an unannounced illness.

Tweeted Patrick Stewart upon learning this sad news:

"Brilliant actor, dear friend and colleague, witty, kind, private man, Roger Rees died this morning. A space is left that cannot be filled."

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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