from Hollywood to Broadway to... Uxbridge?
I have put interviewing people on hold for a few weeks, while we work through this difficult time. Consequently I have dug into my vault of articles on interesting people, and was intrigued by one, which brought back a few memories of an interesting encounter.
There are many notable individuals residing in Uxbridge and yes, we even have one who has won a Genie and a handful of Gemini awards. Of course it is none other than Kenneth Welsh; one of Canada’s most well known actors. His forty years of experience stretches from Stratford and Broadway to Canadian films, television and Hollywood blockbusters. He has appeared in more than 233 movies and television shows and has an extremely recognizable face.
Born in Edmonton, Ken got the acting bug through sheer coincidence. He took drama in high school, because it was an easy credit. His teacher arranged for some unique plays, which Ken sunk his teeth into. He enjoyed it so much that he attended the National Theatre School in Alberta. “My instructor, Gordon Peacock, told me that I would be a natural, as I possessed charm, ability and sex appeal.” He laughed loudly as he spoke. “I hope I still have it,” he added.
Ken left Alberta and headed for Stratford, where at 26, he played Hamlet for seven seasons. From Stratford he made his way to Broadway, where he enjoyed success and lived for 12 years. In 1982 he was lured to Montreal for a short time to star in the miniseries, Empire, Inc.
He won his third Gemini for his performance as Colin Thatcher in Love and Hate, the first Canadian film to top the Nielsen ratings. Ken played opposite Kathy Bates in the 1987 film, Frankie and Johnny. His numerous film credits include, The Day After Tomorrow, The Aviator and Legends of the Fall. In 2004 Ken added another award to his vast collection; he was made a member of the prestigious Order of Canada.
I asked Ken what his favourite role has been, and he immediately said that of Angus MacNeil in Margaret’s Museum, a role for which he won a Genie as Best Supporting Actor. “I truly enjoyed working with Helena Bonham Carter [in the role of Margaret MacNeil].” Ken said.