Norman Rodway (born London 7 February 1929 died Banbury, Oxfordshire 13 March 2001.)
London-born actor who was brought up in Dublin. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he took a First in Classics.
With his leonine head, burly frame and commanding eyes, Norman Rodway - like other Celtic actors - excelled in Slavic roles. His career was punctuated by landmark performances in Chekhov and Gorky, particularly in a series of the latter's plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
His career began, after a series of false starts as accountant, schoolteacher and (briefly) university lecturer, in his native Ireland at the Opera House, Cork as Mannion in The Seventh Step (1953) and he worked regularly in Ireland in the 1950s.
His first London appearance was as The Messenger in O'Casey's rumbustious allegory Cock-a-Doodle Dandy (Royal Court, 1959).
He joined the fledgling RSC in 1966, remaining with the company, giving many memorable performances, until 1980.
A more peripatetic later theatrical life still produced top-flight performances, he worked for Sam Mendes in Brian Friel's Translations (Donmar, 1992) and for Howard Davies in Hedda Gabler (RNT, 1994).
His numerous film roles included Hotspur in Orson Welles's Chimes at Midnight (1966), and The Empty Mirror (1999), where he played a Hitler who had survived the war.
His memorable voice was in considerable demand on radio. He made more than 150 drama broadcasts in the years when the BBC still took radio drama genuinely seriously, most telling in Friel's trio of monologues, Faith Healer, which won him the 1980 Pye Radio Award for Best Actor.
- An excellent summation of Norman Rodway's contribution to radio drama is Jack Adrian's article in The Independant following Rodway's death in 2001. Read it here.