Stage Door News

Toronto: Mirvish Productions to dim Royal Alex marquee lights to honour Paul Soles

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Paul Soles, a legendary and pioneering actor whose long and multi-faceted career including two starring roles for Mirvish Productions, died at the age of 90 on May 26th, 2021.

As is the custom, the marquee lights of the Royal Alexandra Theatre will be dimmed at the traditional showtime, 8 PM, on Tuesday, June 1st.

Soles starred as Nat in Herb Gardner's I’m Not Rappaport at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in 1987. He played the title character in Adam Pettle’s Zadie’s Shoes, presented by Mirvish Productions at the Winter Garden Theatre in 2002.

He began his career 70 years ago on radio at stations CHLO and CKEY in Toronto and CFPL in London, ON. He then moved to television in 1953, when it was first broadcast in Canada. Over the years he hosted five CBC Radio and TV series, including Take 30, This is the Law and the late-night sketch comedy series Charlie Had One.

On stage he was a member of the Stratford Festival for four seasons, including playing the title role in the festival's 2001 production of The Merchant of Venice, the first Jewish-Canadian to play the role. He originated roles in many world premiere productions, including Zadie’s Shoes and Trying. He toured in productions across Canada and the US and played both off and on Broadway.

Perhaps his most famous roles were as Hermey, the wannabe dentist in the original 1964 Christmas stop-motion animated television special Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer; and Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the original animated ABC TV series Spider-Man from 1967 to 1970.

His film work included Ticket to Heaven (1981), Just the Way You Are (1984), The Gunrunner (1989) opposite Kevin Costner, and The Incredible Hulk (2008).

Soles won a 2006 Gemini Award for the television series Terminal City, and a 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Digital Production for My 90-Year-Old Roommate, broadcast on

He was fond of saying "He who laughs, lasts”. And he did indeed enjoy a long and happy life full of laughter for 90 years. 

Photo: Paul Soles.