Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to include credit to the Tweet that inspired this post.
Few films have been dissected as thoroughly as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, based on the novel by Stephen King. Over the past 4 decades, the film has been the subject of books, college courses, and even a documentary film called Room 237 (trailer and synopsis below). Now Ted Geoghegan, one of the Trivia Masters at Final Exam Trivia on Twitter points out something incredible.
Absolutely no one knows who played Roger the Dog Man in THE SHINING, and I find that kinda spooky. pic.twitter.com/7KfCQqxk3A— Ted Geoghegan (@tedgeoghegan) June 16, 2021
Related Article: YouTuber Now Re-Imagines THE SHINING as a 1990s Era Sitcom [Video]
Filmmaker Rodney Ascher analyses Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel, The Shining.
While the major secrets presented in The Shining have been thoroughly plumbed, one of the film’s most enduring mysteries has been relegated to the dust-bin of minor trivia. I’m talking about “Roger the Dog Man” (also referred to as “The Man in the Bear Suit”), the mysterious specter seemingly caught by Wendy Torrance (played by Shelley Duvall) in the middle of a sex act. This scene is widely regarded as one of the biggest WTF moments in horror history.
Those familiar with the novel by Stephen King know more about this mysterious fellow. Fandom explains: “In 1945, the [Overlook] hotel’s new owner, Horace Derwent, threw a lavish masquerade ball in honor of the hotel’s re-opening. Roger attended the ball dressed in a dog costume. At some point, Roger must have died in the hotel, for his ghost remained behind, occupying one of the rooms.”
The site further explains that Roger drowned in a bathtub after taking several pills. He was despondent after falling in love with another man, the previously-mentioned Horace Derwent. While this explains “who” the man in the costume is in Kubrick’s film, to this day, no one knows who played Roger in the film. The role was never credited and the actor has never been identified.
While someone MUST know who played Roger, no one has ever revealed the actor’s identity. Some fans hypothesize that it could have been Jack Nicholson (who stars in Kubrick’s The Shining as Jack Torrance) but this seems unlikely.
Will we ever know who’s inside that terrifying fur suit? Time will tell!
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.
Are you a fan of Kubrick’s The Shining? Did you realize the identity of “Roger the Dog Man” is a 41-year-old mystery? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican. Dread Central is now on Google News!