Gordon Pinsent, Canadian acting icon, has died aged 92
Gordon Pinsent, one of Canada’s most prolific and well-known actors, has died. He was 92.
“Gordon Pinsent’s daughters, Leah and Beverly, and his son, Barry, wish to announce the death of their father peacefully today as he sleeps, with his family by his side,” read a note written by his son on behalf of Pinsent’s family, released late Saturday -in-law, actor Peter Keleghan.
“Gordon was passionate about this country and its people, its purpose and its culture, to the point of his last breath.”
Born in Grand Falls, NL and well known in Canada, the name had a storied acting career that spanned six decades with dozens of film and television projects including Due south, The Red Green Show, Babar and the Adventures of Badou, The Great Seduction And The Shipping Messages.
Focusing only on CBC programming, one might add the foresters, Quentin Durgens, MP, the original street legal And Republic of Doyleamong other.
In the USA, where he lived in Los Angeles for six years, it was such TV series and movies as It takes a thief, silence of the north, Young prosecutors, Banacekand the feature film The Thomas Crown Affair.
“My entire career has depended on how happy I was when I was asked to do something,” Pinsent said in a 2010 interview with Toronto Life. “Stop and say ‘yes’. I do that often.”
Fellow Newfoundland comedian and actor Mark Critch said he will miss Pinsent as a mentor, friend, hero and “huge behemoth of Canadian entertainment.”
Actors in Canada are walking “a path that [Pinsent] cutting through a forest,” Critch said.
Pinsent was born on July 12, 1930, the youngest of six children to Stephen Pinsent, a paper mill worker and shoemaker, and his wife Flossie.
Pinsent said he was a shy, awkward child who once suffered from rickets but found freedom in acting beginning in the 1940s at age 17.
In the early 1950s, Pinsent took a break from acting and enlisted in the Canadian Army, where he served about four years. But acting was his true love.
More than 150 roles
Pinsent took part in roles at the Stratford Festival in 1962 Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, The storm And Cyrano of Bergeracand he returned to Stratford as a leading player in the mid-’70s.
He has had more than 150 TV and film acting credits to his name, with his resume ranging from a 1957 TV movie to a 2021 cartoon voice in the Internet Movie Database.
A Fellow of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Pinsent has also received the Governor-General’s Performing Arts Award, the Earle Gray Award for Lifetime Achievement in Television, and a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
He has won all of the country’s major acting awards, including the Genie for Best Actor in 2001 The Shipping Messagesbased on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Annie Proulx.
Five years later, Pinsent won Best Actor Genie and ACTRA awards for his internationally acclaimed work in Sarah Polley’s. away from her
In the 2016 documentary about his life, The river of my dreams a film in which a thoughtful, sometimes mischievous Pinsent speaks in eloquent paragraphs steeped in his Newfoundland accent — He says his wife, actress Charmion King, suggested he take the role, which turned out to be the high point of his career.
Canadian Director Norman Jewison said in the same document that Pinsent’s appearance in away from her For a man to lose his wife (Julie Christie) to Alzheimer’s was “extraordinary.”
“It was so simple and yet so powerful and so moving,” Jewison said of Pinsent. “And I think a lot of it was because you believed him.”
That kind of kudos tickled the humble pinsent.
“Now you see, I don’t talk about myself like that, so I was happy – it was just great,” he said of similar praise from English actor Daniel Day-Lewis at the time.
CLOCK | Gordon Pinsent talks about away from her 16 years ago:
Amid the praise, Pinsent faced tragedy in his personal life when the film was released: King, his wife of 45, died in January 2007 after a long battle with emphysema.
“It was something I didn’t necessarily draw on, other than in a general sense of how someone must feel at a certain stage in their life after spending so many years with a partner,” an emotional pinsent said at the time.
“It’s almost impossible to comprehend… how do you prepare? where does love go Where are you going, the rest?”
King and Pinsent had one child together, actress Leah Pinsent. He also had two children from a previous marriage, Barry and Beverly.
A renaissance man
Pinsent was also a painter, writer, playwright and director. Two of his novels set in Newfoundland, The rowdy man And john and the woman were made into feature films. Pinsent starred in the former and both directed and acted in the latter.
his memories, By the waywere released in 1994.
Despite struggling with chronic pain in his later years, Pinsent remained productive with around 20 acting credits throughout the 2010s.
At the age of 80, he went viral on CBCs This hour has 22 minutes reading the memoirs of 16-year-old Justin Bieber with mock seriousness.
Pinsent reads Justin Bieber’s memoirs:
And at 81, he released an album of his own poetry, set to rock music by Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor and The Sadies’ Travis Good.
In 2016 he released a short film that he wrote and financed himself Martin’s Haggeabout a middle-aged writer burdened by a personified version of anxiety and depression.
He said he keeps working because each new project feels like getting away with something he didn’t quite deserve.
“I was running fast before they could catch me and be like, ‘No, no, acting is for stupid people!'” he told CBC News in 2010.
CLOCK | George Stroumboulopoulos speaking to Pinsent in 2011:
Canadian actor RH Thomson, who was almost as prolific as Pinsent, said in the 2016 documentary that artists play an enormous role in how a country’s “fabric” is woven.
“And artists like Gordon… [have] pulled this thread back and forth as Canada’s loom made this cloth of who we are and where we’ve been and where we’re going,” he said.
“And that Gordon Pinsent color that runs through and through the tapestry is now, for me, inevitably part of every Canada story.”