Gordon Pinsent

Gordon Pinsent
Gordon Pinsent
Born July 12, 1930 (1930-07-12) (age 81)
Grand Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador
Years active 1962-present
Spouse Charmion King (1962-2007 - her death)
Awards Genie Award for Best Supporting Actor
1980 Klondike Fever
Genie Award for Best Actor
1987 John and the Missus
2007 Away from Her

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



Early life

Pinsent, the youngest of six children, was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, the son of Flossie (born Cooper); originally from Clifton, Newfoundland,[1] and Stephen Arthur Pinsent, a papermill worker and cobbler; originally from Dildo, Newfoundland.[2] His mother was "quiet spoken" and a religious Anglican; the family was descended from immigrants from Kent and Devon in England.[3] He was a self-described "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.[4] 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, Ontario, Canada, that Pinsent had accepted the appointment of Honorary Chairman of the "Building for the Future"[5] fundraising campaign for The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum.[6]

During the 2008, 2010 and 2011 summer periods of CBC Radio One, Pinsent presented a radio documentary series called The Late Show featuring extended obituaries of notable Canadians whom the producers believed deserved attention.

Most recently he had a guest starring role as Maurice Becker on the February 3, 2010 episode of Canadian television series Republic of Doyle.

He became something of a viral sensation when a comedic segment of him reading dramatically from Justin Bieber's autobiography on This Hour Has 22 Minutes went viral on October 20, 2010.

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.


Pinsent is a Companion of The Order of Canada and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada.

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).

It was on July 12, 2005, in his hometown of Grand Falls-Windsor, and in honour of his 75th birthday, that the Arts & Culture Centre was renamed The Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts.

On September 25, 2008 at a “Newfoundland and Labrador Inspired Evening” at The Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto, the Company Theatre presented Mr. Pinsent with the inaugural Gordon Pinsent Award of Excellence.


Television series

Television specials and movies

  • 1969: Quarantined (TV movie)
  • 1972: Incident on a Dark Street
  • 1979: The Suicide's Wife
  • 1981: Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper
  • 1982: The Life and Times of Edwin Alonzo Boyd
  • 1984: A Case of Libel
  • 1988: Two Men
  • 1993: Bonds of Love
  • 1993: In the Eyes of the Stranger
  • 1995: A Vow to Kill
  • 1996: A Holiday for Love
  • 1999: Win, Again!
  • 2000: Jewel On The Hill (narrator)
  • 2001: Blind Terror
  • 2002: The New Beachcombers
  • 2003: Fallen Angel (TV movie)
  • 2003: Hemingway vs Callaghan
  • 2004: H20: The Last Prime Minister
  • 2006: Yours, Al
  • 2010: The Pillars of the Earth



External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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