Dobie was born in Wombwell, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, to George Russell and Sarah Kate (née Charlesworth) Dobie. His father was a mining engineer and his mother's family were farmers. Dobie trained at the London Old Vic Theatre School and has performed in more than 117 productions during his 50+ year acting career.
Dobie made his stage debut when he played the Page to Paris, in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the Old Vic Theatre, London, in 1952. In 1963 he played both God and Jesus in the open air, mainly amateur-cast York Mystery Plays, produced at that point triennially in the Yorkshire Museum Gardens. He made his Broadway debut as Corporal Hill in Chips with Everything, at the Plymouth Theatre in 1963.
His stage roles in London's West End include: No Concern of Mine, Rosmersholm, The Complaisant Lover, The Tiger and the Horse, The Affair, Curtmantle, The Devils, Inadmissible Evidence, The Hallelujah Boy, The Wild Duck, Dancing at Lughnasa, Rough Justice, Hamlet and Waiting for Godot. At the Old Vic Theatre he performed in Romeo and Juliet, Italian Straw, Julius Caesar, Murder in the Cathedral, Henry VIII, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Love's Labours Lost, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Richard II, Henry IV parts 1, & 2, Major Barbara, The Lonely Road, Waste and King Lear. At the Royal Court Theatre Dobie starred in Look Back in Anger, Live Like Pigs, Major Barbara, Sergeant Musgrave's Dance, One Leg Over the Wrong Wall, Chips with Everything, The London Cuckolds and Famine. In 1963 he played the role of Jesus Christ in the famous York Cycle of Mystery Plays. Dobie has directed The Merry Wives of Windsor, Season's Greetings and Wedding in White.
Dobie has an extensive list of television roles to his credit, including major parts in War and Peace (1972) for the BBC, Kessler (1981), The Troubleshooters and Hard Times (1977), among many others. In 1964–65 he was David Corbett, antagonist to hard-nosed business director John Wilder (played by Patrick Wymark) in the board-room drama The Plane Makers. In Cribb (1980–81), Dobie starred in the title role as a Victorian Detective Sergeant. Debuting as a television play for Granada Television in 1979, the series Cribb developed from it ran for 14 episodes. In (1986) Dobie took a leading role in Channel 4's The Disputation, playing Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman, with Christopher Lee as King James I of Aragon, based on a true story.
He was married to actress Rachel Roberts from 1955–61, then married Maureen Scott in 1963. He appeared with his daughter Natasha, in the TVTimes Star Challenge show, made by ITV Central in 1984.Captured (1959)
Seven Keys (1961) - Russell
Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow (1963) - Mr. Frank Fragg - Prosecutor
The Comedy Man (1964) - Jack Lavery
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) - Riding Master Mogg
The Long Day's Dying (1968) - Helmut
The Chairman (1969) - Benson
Alfred the Great (1969) - Ethelred
Danton (1970) - Robespierre
Madame Sin (1972) - White
Hard Times (1977, TV) - Stephen Blackpool
Hedda Gabler (1981, TV) - Judge Brack
Master of the Game (1984, TV)
White Mischief (1987) - Harragin