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Pat Roach
Born Francis Patrick Roach
19 May 1937(1937-05-19)
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Died 17 July 2004 (aged 67)
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England
Other name(s) Bomber
Occupation Actor, Wrestler
Years active 1971–2004
Spouse(s) Doreen Harris (1957–2004)

Francis Patrick "Pat" Roach (19 May 1937 – 17 July 2004) was an English actor and wrestler from Birmingham. His most famous role is that of West Country bricklayer Brian "Bomber" Busbridge in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. He also played a memorable role as General Kael in "Willow". He was the only actor besides Harrison Ford to appear in all of the first three films in the Indiana Jones franchise (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).

Contents

Wrestling career

Before Roach broke into acting, he was a well known wrestler who attracted unwarranted abuse from the crowds who wrongly assumed him to be a typical wrestling heel in a similar mould to the likes of Mick McManus.[citation needed] After his acting career had taken off he continued to wrestle under the name of "Bomber" Pat Roach, having previously been billed as "Big" Pat Roach, but now receiving affectionate cheering from the spectators. He was trained by Alf Kent and his first official wrestling match was against George Selko. Roach held both the British and European Heavyweight Wrestling Championships.[citation needed]

Acting career

He made his acting debut as the red-bearded bouncer in the Korova Milkbar in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange in 1971. Roach and Kubrick reunited for Barry Lyndon; Pat portrayed a hand-to-hand brawler named Toole, who engages Ryan O'Neal (as the title character) in bare-knuckle combat and loses, of course. Roach enjoyed considerable success via being typecast as muscle-bound supporting characters; these included the non-speaking role of Hephaestus in Clash of the Titans (coincidently, he later appeared as Atlas on Jim Henson's The Storyteller:Greek Myths in the story of Perseus and the Gorgon, which Clash of the Titans was based upon), a SPECTRE-backed assassin in Never Say Never Again, and a bandit-warlord in the sword-and-sorcery yarn Red Sonja. (The latter two pitted him against Sean Connery and Brigitte Nielsen, respectively, in mortal combat; Roach lost on both counts.) Perhaps most notable were his roles as the skull-helmeted General Kael in Willow, and the Celtic chieftain in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

In the Indiana Jones series Roach appeared as several characters. In Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Roach played a burly Sherpa who fights Jones in a bar in Nepal, and a brutal German mechanic who meets his demise via propeller blade on the airstrip in Egypt. He thus had the rare opportunity to be killed twice in one film. In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Roach played a cruel Thuggee overseer, as well as the assassin at Pankot Palace and the person who rings the gong in the Club Obi Wan at the beginning of the film. Roach appeared only briefly in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) as a Gestapo officer who runs alongside Colonel Vogel towards the zeppelin. A scene where he fights Jones in this film was cut.[1] The role of Colonel Dovchenko in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a stand-in for Roach, who died in 2004.

Roach is best known to British audiences as Bomber — in the ITV/BBC comedy-drama Auf Wiedersehen, Pet — a bricklayer who joined the main cast in Düsseldorf and appeared in all four series, but died before the final special was completed.

Personal life and death

Roach was born in Birmingham, West Midlands on 19 May 1937. He and his wife Doreen had one child and one grandchild. During most of the 90s Pat Roach had a scrapyard on Arden Road, Saltley, Birmingham.

Roach died in July 2004 after a long fight against throat cancer. He is buried in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.[2]

Film roles

His film roles have included:

Championships and accomplishments

  • Premier Wrestling Federation
  • Ken Joyce Trophy (1992)

References

  1. ^ (2003). The Stunts of Indiana Jones (DVD). Paramount Pictures.
  2. ^ BBC on Pat Roach's funeral

External links

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