Martha Henry, RIP, 1938-2021

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Mendalla

Agnostic pan(en)theist gorilla
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Martha Henry was a legend on the Canadian stage as an actor and director. She made her first appearance at the Stratford Festival three years before I was even born and her last just two weeks ago, ironically playing a dying woman in Edward Albee's Three Tall Women. In total, she appeared in 47 seasons of the festival over her 60ish year career.

She was also an important figure in the London arts scene, spending seven years as artistic director of the Grand Theatre, during which she started its program of Canadian theater in its McManus Stage and introduced some challenging modern works. The current artistic director talks in the article below about how he got his start in theater by approaching her during her time at the Grand.


And she also appeared outside this region, performing in pretty much every major theater in Canada at some point. Her honours include the Order of Canada, the Governor-General's Award for the Performing Arts, and the Queen's Gold and Diamond Jubilee medals.

She married three times and, interestingly, all were significant Canadian actors themselves: Donnelly Rhodes, Douglas Rain, and Rod Beattie. I do recall her and Beattie working together at Stratford and, IIRC, the Grand.
 
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