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Robert Joy

Robert Joy grew up in Newfoundland, attending all-boys Catholic schools and, eventually, Memorial University of Newfoundland. His first professional acting job was with The Newfoundland Travelling Theatre Company, playing British farce in the evenings and The Wizard of Oz in the afternoons. He was the Cowardly Lion. The wizard gave him his courage in a beer bottle.

A few months later he won the Rhodes Scholarship, so he spent part of 1973 and 1974 in Oxford, hitting the books.

In the spring of 1974, Joy joined CODCO, the Newfoundland comedy group which had just earned rave reviews in Toronto and St. John's for its first show, Cod on a Stick. His next four years with CODCO, as writer/actor/composer/musician, were seminal years, sort of a comedy college.

In 1978 came a big break. Bob landed the role of Peter in a Toronto production of The Diary of Anne Frank, with Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson and their daughter Roberta (who played Anne) and earned enthusiastic reviews. Nine months later, when the production was remounted in New York, Bob was invited. Good reviews kept coming, he was named one of the New Faces of the Theater Season by The New York Times and his New York career was off and running.

Film roles followed, his first three (in Atlantic City, Ragtime and Ticket to Heaven) being so different from each other that, all of a sudden, he was hailed as a character actor and included in photo spreads in Esquire and The New York Times. His performance in Atlantic City earned him a Canadian Genie award nomination.

Since then, he's played a wide variety of roles on stage, screen and television. He won a Dramalogue award for his Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet at the La Jolla Playhouse; he played Huck Finn in the world premiere of the musical Big River and the title role in the Broadway comedy The Nerd (with Mark Hamill and Peter Riegert). Later film roles include Madonna's boyfriend in Desperately Seeking Susan, Harriet's dad in Harriet the Spy and Denzel Washington's antagonist in Fallen.

More recently he has been seen as a nice dad with a big secret in The Divine Ryans (with Pete Postlethwaite) and a man who tries to throw a baby off a building in Resurrection (with Christopher Lambert). He played a Nazi interrogator in Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace (a CTV/PBS film) and a concentration camp survivor in Nuremberg (a TNT film, with Alec Baldwin). He was one of the leads in the HBO comedy series The High Life and in the ABC series MD's and has guest-starred on many television shows, including Everybody Loves Raymond, Boston Legal, Medium, E-Ring, Two Guys and a Girl, Without a Trace, The Agency, Wings, Gideon's Crossing, Star Trek: Voyager, Law & Order, New York Undercover and Becker.

Robert Joy lives in Sherman Oaks, California, where he plays basketball twice a week, hikes in the nearby canyons and occasionally helps his 17-year-old daughter Ruby with her homework.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Robert Joy Facts

BirthdayAugust 17, 1951 (71)
BirthplaceMontreal, Quebec, Canada

Selected Filmography

Runaway Bride
Tyler Perry's Madea Goes To Jail
The Ultimate Gift
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Till The Clouds Roll By
Cool Hand Luke
Destination Tokyo
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