Stage Door News

Toronto: Renowned actor Kenneth Welsh has died at age 80

Friday, May 6, 2022

Prolific Canadian actor Kenneth Welsh has died after a decades-long career on stage, television and the big screen. He was 80.

Pam Winter, a partner at Toronto's Gary Goddard Agency, said Welsh "passed peacefully last evening surrounded by those closest to him."

ACTRA Toronto called the Edmonton-born Welsh "one of Canada's all-time great performers, with hundreds of memorable roles spanning decades."

The actors' union added: "He will be greatly missed. Our condolences to his loved ones."

In 1988, Welsh dropped by CBC's Midday and talked about the varied work he'd done in his career and his ability to play any friend or foe in a script.

"I go back and forth between playing cops and robbers," Welsh told Midday, summing up the range of roles he stepped into at times.

On TV, Welsh appeared on series as varied as Twin Peaks, Mr. D, The X-Files and Star Trek: Discovery.

His big-screen credits included roles in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, a Crocodile Dundee sequel, and Roland Emmerich's big-budget sci-fi disaster flick, The Day After Tomorrow.

In 2000 he played the title character on the first staged reading of Edward III in Canada shortly after it was credited to Shakespeare. For Soulpepper in Toronto he appeared in David French’s Of the Fields, Lately in 2009 and Leaving Home in 2007, The Sunshine Boys in 2012 and performed Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood in 2008 as a solo show. 

In 2003, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Photo: Kenneth Welsh.