Roy Brocksmith Roy Brocksmith

September 15, 1945 to December 16, 2001


Born and raised in Quincy, Illinois, Roy Brocksmith has been performing for as long as he can remember. “I wouldn’t call my mother a stage mother, but she was extremely supportive. She always encouraged me to get out and perform. Despite the fact that I came from a working class background she always believed I should be a performer. ” On the road touring in the Oberammergau version of the Passion Play before he even went to college, Brocksmith’s original love was the theater. After Graduating from Quincy University in 1970, Brocksmith married his childhood sweetheart Adele, and moved to New York to do experimental theater. For 16 years he worked as an actor and director in numerous stage productions under Joseph Papp, and he considers the high point appearing on Broadway in ,Three Penny Opera. “My biggest thrill of all-time was singing ‘Mack the Knife’ on Broadway. It’s every performer’s dream.” While serving as a visiting director at the Alaska Repertory a friend suggested he try Hollywood. “When the season was over they gave me a one-way ticket to wherever I wanted to go, so I figured I’d take a look.” That look turned into a career turn, and at age 40 Brocksmith moved to L.A. and never looked back. Noted for his appearance in Total Recall Brocksmith’s other films include The Road to Wellvilleand The Hudsucker Proxy.

Kull the Conqueror
The Road to Wellville
It Runs in the Family
The Hudsucker Proxy
Lightning Jack
Almost Dead
Nickel & Dime
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Total Recall
Martians Go Home
Tango & Cash
The War of the Roses
Big Business
Who's That Girl
Tales of Ordinary Madness
Rent Control
Stardust Memories
Killer Fish
King of the Gypsies
The Squeeze

A Walton Wedding
White Dwarf
Picket Fences
Steel Justice
Killer Instinct
It's Garry Shandling's Show
Jacobo Timerman: Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number

TV Guest Appearances
Babylon 5
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Tales from the Crypt
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Night Court
The Wizard

IMDB Mini Biography By: James L. Mason

Date of Birth
15 September 1945, Quincy, Illinois, USA
Date of Death
16 December 2001, Burbank, California, USA (kidney failure from diabetes)

Roy Brocksmith began his career on the bar at Hap Kuhl's Tavern in his native Quincy, Illinois, at the age of three. As a boy soprano, he performed in churches, schools, and appeared regularly on local radio and television programs. At 16, he taught at the local children's theater. Two years later he married his high-school girlfriend.

He left Quincy, touring the US for two years in the Oberammergau Passion Play of Richmond, Virginia. He returned and attended Hannibal LaGrange Junior College, Culver-Stockton College, and graduated from Quincy University in 1970. During this time, he directed for the community theater, Pragressive Playhouse, and founded the Great River Theater Workshop. As a director, he was taken to New York by a Ukrainian anesthesiologist in 1969, where he was joined by his wife and son, Blake (born 8/5/66).

For one year he was a librarian at the Lilliam Morgan Hetrick Medical Library at Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital in Manhattan and was on the board of the American Association of Midwives. This regular job ended when he received his AEA union card-playing opposite John Carradine in "The Stingiest Man in Town," a musical based on Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" and narrated by then-Mayor John Lindsay at New York's Town Hall.

On the legit stage, he made his Broadway debut--and the cover of the New York Times Magazine (11/9/75)--in "The Leaf People for Joseph Papp. He also appeared in Herr Tartüff with Mildred Dunnock in "Stages" with Jack Warden and sang "Mack the Knife" in Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht's award-winning "Threepenny Opera" as the Ballad Singer in Papp's Lincoln Center revival (Original cast album and "Broadway Magic of the Seventies" CDs, both on Columbia/CBS Records), and as the King of France in "The Three Musketeers." Off-Broadway shows included "Polly," "The Beggar's Opera," "Dr. Salavy's Magic Theater," and "In the Jungle of Cities" with Al Pacino. He starred in the Broadway-bound "Swing" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. At the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he appeared in "Arms and the Man (as Petkoff), William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (as Touchstone), Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" (as Professor Willard), and Molière's "Don Juan" (as Sganarelle). This last garnered him the Kudos Award from the Minneapolis critics and the production was brought to the Delacourt Theater in New York by Joseph Papp, and he received international praise. His work with Papp and directors Richard Foreman Liviu Cuilei, Stuart Ostrow, Tom O'Horgan, Andrei Serban, Alan Schneider, and John Cassavetes, to name just a few, made Brocksmith a solid part of America's most innovative and provocative theater.

He was first to direct Foreman and Silverman's "Africanis Instructus" for Lyn Austin's Lennox Arts Center, and his adaptation of Feydeau's "A Flea in Her Ear" was presented under his direction at Baltimore's Center Stage. His unusual staging of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" gave the Alaska Repertory Theater a major box-office and critical hit and was chosen out of 100 entries to be presented at the Joyce Theater in New York that season. He also appeared as Thurio in the national tour of John Guare's musical version of "Two Gentelmen of Verona," and he made his California debut starring opposite Gena Rowlands.

In 1987 he formed the California Cottage Theater with partner Michael Liscio, joining a long and formidable list of American actor-managers. As Producing Director he presented only new works: "A Cold Day in Hell" by January Quackenbush, Brocksmith's own "Box Prelude OPUS #1," "Matinee" by Hal Corley, "The One Less Traveled" by Cary Pepper, "A Necessary End" by Joe Rubinoff, "Ripe Conditions" by Claudia Allen, and "Letters from Queens" by Brocksmith. The Cottage was unique because it was the only professional theater heater in the country under AEA jurisdiction for presentations in a private home. By its closing on February 17, 1996, over 8,000 people had attended performances. It was hailed as "Suburbia's Rialto" (Wall Street Journal), "The epicenter of quirky folk" (L.A. Weekly), "Pick of the Week" (L.A.Times), and "Critic's Choice" (Drama Logue). Calling himself a theater craftsman, it was Brocksmith's belief that "good theater is not a matter of money and place as it is a matter of imagination, craft and guts." The concept of the California Cottage Theater, a professional theater for free, was, to him, theater in its most essential form.

Brocksmith also appeared on several episodes of "3-2-1 Contact" (1980) in its "Bloodhound Gang" segment and on an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987). Sadly, he died of kidney failure on December 16, 2001.

Spouse: Adele Albright (25 December 1963 - 16 December 2001) (his death)
1 child, Blake
  • Founded the California Cottage Theatre in the late 1980s.
  • Operated with his wife of what is believed to have been the United State's only Equity-waiver theater in a private residence.

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