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Once and always an actor

Created date

September 21st, 2010

Aside from the years Woody Doyle spent stationed in the military in Nuremburg, Germany, he has chosen to live his life in Colorado. He was born in Denver, and since then, the Mile-High City has been his home. Today, he and his wife Royalene, a professional ghostwriter, live at Wind Crest, an Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, and he couldn t be happier about their choice.

Doyle has made many choices in his life, and they ve all been made from a place of integrity. Though he chose to be a postal worker professionally at the National Park Service, Historic Preservation Branch, Rocky Mountain Region, his true passion lies in performing for others, specifically through acting and singing. He came to acting later in life, at 34, and pursued it as a hobby as he raised his three daughters. Acting came naturally for Doyle. He was good at it really good. He was so good, in fact, that he could have made it his profession, but being a single parent he chose to do the responsible thing he only took roles where his girls could accompany him to rehearsals; he only took roles that would honor his girls, ones that would never have a negative impact on them; and he only took roles that allowed him to stay in Denver.

Where it all started

Doyle's first role was in Finian s Rainbow at the Bonfils Theatre in Denver, currently the Denver Center for Performing Arts. He studied at the University of Denver and was trained in voice, so the transition to stage seemed like a natural one, even though he didn t have any formal acting training. My acting career started with a musical and led me to more dramatic productions, Doyle says. He prefers acting to singing because it s more enjoyable and less stressful for him. He s performed in over 50 local plays in the Denver area, 14 of them at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and he still actively looks for roles that are a good fit for him. Doyle was the first African-American actor to perform a lead at the Center for the Performing Arts that wasn t written specifically for an African-American character. He s also played the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz, Murray the cop in The Odd Couple, and the original black knight in Camelot. Naturally, the roles transitioned to the big screen as well. Still carrying an active Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card, Doyle has been in six movies and seven TV commercials.

The role with the most impact

Doyle's most recent role was at Littleton Town Center when he played Hoke Colburn in Driving Miss Daisy. My wife and I still watch the video of the stage production, and the last scene always brings me to tears, he says. The role was a challenge for him for several reasons. There was no car, yet a lot of the scenes took place in a car, so he had to remember when to turn and shift, to keep his hands active on the invisible wheel. Doyle says he always learned something from the roles he took, and playing Hoke taught him that there is still bigotry in the world, not just toward African-Americans but toward all races. Perhaps the most important lesson his role as Hoke Colburn taught him Strength of character is probably the most important quality a person can have in life to help him along, Doyle says. Even now, he and his wife attend the theater as much as they can, and when they go to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, they can t help being critics she critiques the writing and he critiques the acting. He has a different experience as an audience member than he does as a performer, and each has its merits. Doyle is looking forward to passing along his knowledge to the folks atWind Crestand is interested in starting a drama club. The man of integrity believes that being a performer has helped shape who he is. I m an achiever, and I like to do things where people say I can t because I m African-American or my looks don t fit the leading role, Doyle says. He wants to achieve as much as he can in his lifetime and, in doing so, debunk some misconceptions along the way.