Richard McMillan, Canadian Stage and Screen Veteran, Dies at 66

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Richard McMillan

His film credits included Darren Aronofsky's 'The Fountain,' Roland Emmerich's 'The Day After Tomorrow' and David Cronenberg's 'M Butterfly.'

Richard McMillan, veteran of the Canadian stage and who stood out in such films as Shadow Builder, The Day After Tomorrow and The Fountain, has died. He was 66.

Richard Rose, artistic director of Toronto's Tarragon Theater and a close personal friend, on Tuesday announced McMillan died Sunday in Toronto after a long struggle with thyroid cancer.

"As an actor he understood the absurd and the contradictory. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone quite that sad on the stage, and for that the audiences just loved him. You couldn’t take your eyes off him," Rose added in a statement on his company's website.

McMillan, who was born on March 20, 1951, in Beaverton, Ontario, was best known for a stage career that took him across North America and the U.K. He was the first Scar in the Canadian production of The Lion King and played villains like Saruman in the Lord of the Rings stage adaptation and Uncle Arthur in War Horse, all at the Princess of Wales Theater in Toronto.

McMillan also performed at the prestigious Stratford Festival for 11 seasons, with roles in Gilbert and Sullivan light operas, including as Pooh Bah in The Mikado, which took him to Broadway and London’s Old Vic Theater. His Stratford roles also included appearances in King Lear, The Government Inspector, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar and As You Like It.

His screen credits included film appearances in Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow, David Cronenberg's M Butterfly and Ernie Barbarash's Cube Zero. He also performed in a slew of Canadian-made TV series including Murdoch Mysteries, Lost Girl, Blue Murder and Queer as Folk.

McMillan is survived by his wife, Anne Louise Bannon, and a daughter, Maggie.

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