Rees studied art in London and was "discovered" while working as a scene painter at Wimbledon. Within three years, he had joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and appeared in numerous productions there before winning international stardom as "Nicholas Nickleby." Post-"Nickleby" roles include the lead in Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" (1983), "Hamlet" (1984) and Stoppard's "Hapgood." In addition to acting, he has written and directed for the stage.Rees has had a sporadic film career. He made his debut in Stephen Frears' "Saigon - Year of the Cat" (1983), adapted from David Hare's play. In Bob Fosse's "Star 80" (also 1983), he portrayed a film director loosely based on Peter Bogdanovich. Rees was sculptor Edgar Papworth in Bob Rafelson's biopic of explorers Sir Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke, "Mountains of the Moon" (1990). He turned villainous in both "If Looks Could Kill" (1991) and "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot" (1992). For Mel Brooks' "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" (1993), Rees offered a spirited spoof of Alan Rickman's portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991). He next appeared in Adrienne Shelley's feature directorial debut "Sudden Manhattan" and the film version of Jon Robin Baitz's "The Substance of Fire" (both 1996). After a supporting role in the university-set situation comedy "Boston Common" (NBC 1996-97), Rees co-starred as Thomas Paine in the miniseries "Liberty! The American Revolution" (PBS 1997). A supporting role in Brad Anderson's indie romantic comedy hit "Next Stop Wonderland" (1998) was followed by a turn as Peter Quince in Michael Hoffman's film adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1999), starring Kevin Kline. A co-starring role in the action thriller "BlackMale" (2000) and a supporting part in the adventure tale "The Scorpion King" (2002) were followed by Julie Taymor's critically-acclaimed "Frida" (2002), a lavish biopic of troubled painter Frida Kahlo. During this period, Rees also had a recurring role on "The West Wing" (NBC 1999-2006) as the British ambassador and appeared in Peter Greenaway's immense multimedia project "The Tulse Luper Suitcases." Rees continued to move easily between highbrow and lowbrow credits, appearing in Terrence Malick's "The New World" (2005) and Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" (2006), as well as Steve Martin's "The Pink Panther" (2006) and "Garfield 2: A Tale of Two Kitties" (2006). Rees appeared in a recurring role in the cul favorite science fiction series "Warehouse 13" (Syfy 2009-2014) and two episodes of the modern day Sherlock Holmes adaptation "Elementary" (CBS 2012-). His final screen role came in John McTeigue's action thriller "Survivor" (2015). Roger Rees died of cancer in New York on July 10, 2015 at the age of 71.