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            Tim Choate


            Dallas-born Tim Choate thought of himself as a better theatrical performer than a screen actor. The University of Texas graduate had a good background in stagecraft, having performed on Broadway (including 3oo performances in the Pulitzer prize-winning 'Crimes of the Heart') and the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, where starred in 'The Philanthropist'. He also appeared alongside Stacy Keach in Peter Sellars's 1986 New York production of Robert E. Sherwood's 'Idiot's Delight', as a French communist (according to the New York magazine reviewer, sporting an impenetrable 'nouvelle' accent!).

            On screen, Tim Choate had a long association with Merchant/Ivory films, making his debut in The Europeans (1979). However, it was in a TV production, where Tim was to have a singularly popular impact. In an interview, he explained, that he felt comfortable in heavy make-up and using diverse accents, citing actors Paul Muni and Robert De Niro as among his role models. He added, that by becoming chameleon-like, it became easier to 'take risks' with his performances. Thus developed his character of Zathras in "Babylon 5" (1994), a pivotal recurring role (with full prosthetic make-up) which did much to illuminate the complex story arc of the series between seasons one and three. According to Choate, he 'channelled' the accent of Zathras within minutes of the audition, while waiting in a parking lot. Zathras was also played with a wonderful sense of humour, which endeared this character to audiences worldwide. Sadly, Tim Choate died aged just 49 as a result of a motorcycle accident while on his way to rehearsals for the play 'Macbett' at the Globe Playhouse.