While at the University of Toronto in 1972 Robert Joy won the prestigious Rhodes scholarship and attended Oxford University to study English literature. His love of performing proved too strong, however, and before he completed his degree, and over the objections of his parents, he joined Cathy Jones, Mary Walsh, Greg Malone and Tommy Sexton, who were already members of the CODCO comedy troupe. In 1977 the troupe disbanded and Joy co-wrote and performed The Bard of Prescott Street for the Mummers Troupe. He then played Peter Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank at Toronto's Young People's Theatre. The play was a success and, after working back in Newfoundland on the feature film The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood in 1978, Joy returned to New York City for the play's remount.
His impressive list of New York successes includes The Nerd and Hay Fever. In films, Robert Joy had supporting roles in the Oscar-nominated Atlantic City (1980) alongside Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon, receiving a GENIE AWARD nomination for best supporting actor as a sleazy dope dealer on the run from the mob; in Ralph Thomas's award-winning Ticket to Heaven (1981) as a loony Moonie; in Milos Forman's Ragtime (1981) as the insane murderer Harry Thaw, who, in 1906, shot the architect Stanford White (played by Norman Mailer); and in the cult hit Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Madonna's first film.
The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood finally received a theatrical release in 1986, and Joy shared a Genie Award nomination with Andy Jones for the film's best original song. Other films and made-for-television movies include Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper (1981), Threshold (1981), Joshua Then and Now (1985), Woody Allen's Radio Days (1987) and Shadows and Fog (1991), The Prodigious Hickey (1987), for which Joy was nominated for a GEMINI AWARD for best supporting actor, Longtime Companion (1990), Grand Larceny (1991), for which he was nominated for a best supporting actor Gemini, Dieppe (1993), Henry and Verlin (1994), Waterworld (1995), the miniseries Nuremberg (2000), Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace (2000), for which he was nominated for a Gemini for best supporting actor, Sweet November (2001), The Shipping News (2001), Between Strangers (2002), George Romero's Land of the Dead (2005), Amnon Buchbinder's Whole New Thing (2005), for which Joy received a Genie nomination for best supporting actor, The Hills Have Eyes (2006), Superhero Movie (2008), where he played Dr. Stephen Hawking, and Down to the Dirt (2008).
On television Robert Joy appears in numerous series, among them Miami Vice, Moonlighting, Maniac Mansion, Scales of Justice, Boston Legal, Law and Order, Medium, CSI: NY in a recurring role as Dr. Sid Hammerback, and Republic of Doyle.
Author PAUL TOWNEND
Links to Other Sites
Autopsies not exactly his cup of tea
In this interview, Robert Joy discusses his role in the television show CSI. From INQUIRER.net.
Watch an interview with Robert Joy talking about his varied stage and screen acting career. From vimeo.com.
A brief profile of actor Robert Joy from filmbug.com.
Land of the Dead Interview
An interview with actor Robert Joy about his role in the horror film "Land of the Dead." Click on "Next" at the bottom of the page for the rest of the interview. From madeinatlantis.com.
The IMDb page for the movie "Atlantic City" which featured many Canadians on screen and behind the scenes.