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Gordon Pinsent

Gordon Edward Pinsent, CC, FRSC, LL.D (born July 12, 1930) is a Canadian television, theatre and film actor.


Early life

Gordon Edward Pinsent, the youngest of six children, was born in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador to Flossie Cooper and Stephen Arthur Pinsent, a papermill worker and cobbler. His mother was "quiet spoken" and a religious Anglican; the family was descended from immigrants from Kent and Devon in England. He was an "awkward child" who suffered from rickets.

Pinsent began acting on stage in the 1940s at the age of 17. He soon took on roles in radio drama on the CBC, and later moved into television and film as well. In the early 1950s, he took a break from acting and joined the Canadian Army, serving for approximately four years as a Private in The Royal Canadian Regiment.


During the early years of his career he appeared in Scarlett Hill but was best known for co-starring in the CBC children's series The Forest Rangers in the early 1960s. Later television roles have included the series Quentin Durgens, M.P., A Gift to Last (which he created), The Red Green Show, Due South, Wind at My Back and Power Play. The pilot episode of A Gift to Last was adapted for the stage by Walter Learning and Alden Nowlan and has become a perennial Canadian Christmas favourite in regional theatres across the country.

Pinsent's movie roles have included Lydia, The Rowdyman, Who Has Seen the Wind, John and the Missus, The Shipping News and Away from Her. He wrote the screenplays for The Rowdyman and John and the Missus. Perhaps his best known early film role was that of the President of the United States in the 1970 science fiction cult classic Colossus: The Forbin Project. He starred in a role called Horse Latitudes based upon Donald Crowhurst, now featured in Deep Water

In 1979 he was made an officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1998. In 2006, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. On March 6 2007, it was announced that Pinsent would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.

On March 8 2007, it was publicly announced in Toronto, Canada, that Pinsent had accepted the appointment of Honorary Chairman of the "Building for the Future" fundraising campaign for The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum.

During the 2008 summer period of CBC Radio One, Pinsent presented a radio documentary series called the The Late Show about the lives of notable deceased Canadians whom the producers believed deserved attention.

Personal life

Pinsent married actress Charmion King in 1962, and they were married until her death on January 6, 2007 from emphysema; their daughter, Leah Pinsent, is an actress. Pinsent also has two children from an earlier marriage.

His autobiography, By the Way, was published in 1992. He has also written a number of stage plays and television screenplays. In 1997 he won the Earl Grey Award.


On the evening of September 11 2006, at the Toronto International Film Festival, Pinsent collapsed while attending an after party, celebrating the opening of Away from Her, at Harry Rosen's on Bloor Street. He was conscious as he was transferred into an ambulance. He was diagnosed as dehydrated and stayed in the hospital overnight before returning home to rest.


Gordon Pinsent received an LL.D from the University of Prince Edward Island in 1975, and Honorary doctorates from Queen's University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Lakehead University (2008).


Television series

Television specials and movies



External links

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