Stratford veteran Peter Donaldson dies at 57

Stratford veteran Peter Donaldson dies at 57

The versatile and prolific screen and stage actor Peter Donaldson died this weekend at the age of 57 after a two-year battle with lung cancer. Though the acclaimed actor performed in films, on television and on stages across the country, he will be best remembered for his 25 years with the Stratford Festival. Donaldson debuted there in a 1977 production of Romeo and Juliet, and was still at the festival as recently as 2008, as Rufio to Christopher Plummer’s Caesar in Caesar and Cleopatra. In Toronto, Donaldson appeared in Soulpepper’s production of Glengarry, Glen Ross last year.

Onscreen, Donaldson was awarded a Genie in 1996 for his work in the film Long Day’s Journey Into Night. He also appeared in Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter and on the television series Emily of New Moon.

And though he was versatile, Donaldson was particularly apt at interpreting the work of the Bard. CBC arts writer Martin Marrow summed up his lasting appeal:

Peter Donaldson was one of Canada’s acting treasures, a consummate classical actor with a gorgeous voice just made for speaking Shakespeare. He was so at ease on Stratford’s Festival stage, you felt like he was in his living room.

Donaldson is survived by his wife of 25 years, actor Sheila McCarthy, and their two daughters.

Veteran Stratford actor Peter Donaldson dead [National Post]
Longtime Stratford veteran Peter Donaldson dies at age 58 [Toronto Star]
• Peter Donaldson was ‘finest actor’s actor’ [CBC]