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Roger Radcliffe (or Roger Dearly in the original book, live-action version and TV series) is a character from Disney's 1961 film One Hundred and One Dalmatians and its 2003 sequel. He is the husband of Anita and owner, best friend, and "pet" to Pongo.

He was voiced by the late Ben Wright, who also voiced Rama and Grimsby, in the first film, Jeff Bennett in the series, and Tim Bentinck in the sequel and portrayed by Jeff Daniels in the live-action film.

Biography

At the start of the film, Roger and Pongo lived in a bachelor flat; however, Roger was married to his work, writing songs on love (something, according to Pongo, he knows absolutely nothing about). He's quite intelligent, but Pongo feels if finding a mate was left up to his owner, they be bachelors forever.

When Roger takes Pongo for a walk in the park, he inadvertently gets tangled up with Anita and her dog Perdita. When they fall in the pond, the two develop a bond after Roger (unknowingly) offers a wet handkerchief to Anita, since her own one is wet too.

The two soon wed, along with their Dalmatians and they move into a flat near the park. He creates a melody and when Anita's old school friend Cruella de Vil arrives, he thinks up of the lyrics, turning the melody into the song; "Cruella de Vil", which he teases Anita with.

When the puppies are born, Roger is just as nervous as Pongo is, easily getting startled in the wait. He is the first to congratulate Pongo on his puppies. However Nanny presents them with a still-born pup, at first Roger is upset over this, but then thinks of massaging the pup, which brings it back to life. When Cruella arrives to buy the puppies her pen doesn't work, but after shaking it about, ink splats in Roger's face giving him a Dalmatian appearance too. He then stands up to Cruella, with a stutter and states that they're not selling the puppies.

When the Puppies are abducted, Roger puts Cruella as his #1 Suspect, when Cruella calls up, Roger assumes she's calling to confess before demanding down to the phone she tell them where the puppies are.

Trivia

  • In the novel, the surname of the Dalmatians' humans is "Dearly", but was changed to Radcliffe for the animated film; most likely because Disney has a number of families in previous films with similar names, such as the Darlings from Peter Pan and Jim Dear from Lady and the Tramp. Their surnames return to being Dearly in the live-action films and 101 Dalmatians: The Series.
  • In the first animated film, Roger shares the same speaking voice actor with Grimsby in The Little Mermaid, known as Ben Wright, but his singing voice is done by Bill Lee of the Mellomen.
  • Both of Roger's original voice actors participated in the movie version of The Sound of Music with Wright portraying Herr Zeller (meaning "Mr. Zeller" in German) and Lee dubbing over Christopher Plummer's singing as Captain Von Trapp.
  • Hugh Grant was considered to play Roger for the live-action remake of the film before Jeff Daniels was cast as Roger instead.
  • In the animated films, Roger is a habitual smoker, regularly seen smoking a pipe in addition to his home at the start of the film being littered with used cigarettes. This trait was removed in the live film and animated series due to censorship, though Lucky and Anita do mention that Roger did smoke a pipe in the animated series.
  • For some unknown reason Roger isn't seen nor mentioned in 102 Dalmatians.

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