Stage Door News

Stratford: Beloved actor Patricia Hamilton has died at age 86

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Beloved actor Patricia Hamilton has died at age 86. Patricia Ruth Hamilton (27 April 1937 - 30 April 2023) was a Canadian actress, perhaps best known for playing Rachel Lynde in the television mini-series Anne of Green Gables, its sequels: Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, and several Anne of Green Gables related films (such as Road to Avonlea).

She also provided the voice of the character for PBS' animated series Anne of Green Gables. She was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series three times, winning in 1996.

A stage actress for more than 4 decades, Patricia Hamilton worked in theatres across Canada, and at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Conn, the National American Shakespeare Festival in San Diego, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and the Old Vic in London, England.

Hamilton attended Pittsburgh's Carnegie Tech and was part of Tarragon Theatre's inaugural season in 1971 in See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Forever Yours, Marie-Lou

In Toronto she played in CanStage’s Homechild in 2006, Soulpepper’s Uncle Vanya in 2008, Harold Green Jewish Theatre’s Kindertransport in 2008, Nightwood’s The Penelopiad in 2012 and 2013 and Soulpepper’s True West in 2013. She was a much-loved member of the company at the Shaw Festival from 1997 to 2009. Highlights there include Easy Virtue in 1999 and 2000, Heartbreak House in 1999, The Return of the Prodigal in 2001 and 2002 (starring her son Ben Carlson as the “prodigal”), The House of Bernard Alba in 2002, The Royal Family in 2003, Pygmalion in 2004, The Constant Wife and The Autumn Garden in 2005, The Magic Fire and Rosmersholm in 2006, A Month in the Country in 2007 and Albertine in Five Times in 2009. In 1988 she won a Dora Award for her performance in I Am Yours at the Tarragon Theatre. In 1995 she was given the Silver Ticket Award for lifetime achievement by Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.

She was pre-deceased Pat was predeceased by five siblings, brothers Douglas (Korean War 1952), Peter (pilot on Air Canada crash 1970), Stuart Hamilton (a pianist, vocal coach and radio host) and her sister Dorothy Marshall. Patricia Hamilton was married to actor Leslie "Les" Carlson in 1967 and is survived by their son Ben Carlson, a noted Canadian stage actor who has performed major roles at both the Shaw and Stratford Festivals and three daughters. Hamilton died on 30 April 2023, three days after her 86th birthday. She was an actor whose kindness and strength of personality both on and off stage will be greatly missed.

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Photo: Patricia Hamilton © David Cooper.