11/07/2015 04:51 BST | Updated 11/07/2015 07:59 BST

Roger Rees Dead: 'Cheers' And 'The West Wing' Actor Dies, Aged 71

British actor Roger Rees has died, at the age of 71.

The Tony award-winning star, best known for his roles in TV shows ‘Cheers’ and ‘The West Wing’, died at home, following a short spell of illness, it has been confirmed.

Roger Rees performing in 'The Visit', back in April

Scott Heller, a reporter for the New York Times, confirmed the news on his Twitter page, on Friday night, revealing a statement from Roger’s PR representative, which read: “Sad news… Roger Rees, Tony award-winning actor, passed away tonight at home, after brief illness.”

Earlier this year, Roger had taken on the leading role in the Broadway play, ‘The Visit’, but had to pull out due to his undisclosed illness.

He famously played Robin Colcord in ‘Cheers’ and Lord John Marbury on ‘The West Wing’, but cinema fans will also recognise him from the film ‘Robin Hood: Men In Tights’, where he starred as the Sheriff of Rottingham.

His work also includes roles in ‘Titanic’ and the film version of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

In the early 1980s, Roger bagged himself a Tony Award, thanks to his appearance in ‘The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby’, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous novel.

Over a two-year period, between 1980 and 1982, he played the title role in the play, treading the boards on both Broadway and London’s West End.

His final role was in the spy thriller ‘Survivor’, where he appeared alongside Pierce Brosnan, James D’Arcy and Milla Jovovich, as Dr. Emil Balan, which was released in UK cinemas just last month.

Roger is survived by his husband, the playwright Rick Elice.

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