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Brent Carver, the Tony Award-winning Canadian stage and screen star, has died. He was 68.
Carver’s family in a statement confirmed Carver’s death in his hometown of Cranbrook, British Columbia, on Tuesday. No cause of death was specified.
“Our family is sharing news of Brent Carver’s passing on Aug. 4 at home in Cranbrook, B.C., his birthplace and favourite place on Earth. Blessed with many talents and a natural love of theatre, Brent was always known as a first-class performer, unique in the presentation of his craft, delighting audiences through film, TV, stage and concert performances,” the family said on Facebook.
On Broadway, Carver won a Tony Award for his performance as Molina in the Kiss of the Spider Woman musical in 1993, and he nabbed a Tony nomination for Parade in 1999. He also appeared in My Life With Albertine in 2003, and a year later in a production of King Lear at Lincoln Center in New York, performing opposite Christopher Plummer.
Carver was born on Nov. 17, 1951, in Cranbrook, on Canada’s West Coast. He studied theater at the University of British Columbia and cut his teeth on stage in Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at the Vancouver Arts Club in 1972.
In 1978, Carver jumped to TV and performed opposite fellow Canadian Michael J. Fox, then only 15, in the short-lived CBC comedy Leo and Me. Back on stage, he worked at the prestigious Stratford Festival in Ontario for nine seasons, starting with a role in Long Day’s Journey Into Night alongside William Hurt and Jessica Tandy in 1980.
“We are devastated to learn of the death of Brent Carver. He was the best of us and represented the best in us. He was singular: an original in every sense. And yet his heart was so big it encompassed us all and made us one. Our thoughts are with his family and all who loved him,” the Stratford festival said on its Twitter account.
Other Stratford appearances included roles in Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Elizabeth Rex and As You Like It. Carver’s musical stage credits at Stratford included The Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof, Jesus Christ Superstar and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, the musical that launched his career in Vancouver.
In June 2018, Carver withdrew from the Stratford season that year “for personal reasons,” after being set to play the role of Ariel in The Tempest, the festival said at the time. Fellow Canadian actors paid tribute to Carver on news of his death.
“Just gutted to hear this. Every show I did with Brent, every time I saw him perform, I learned something. Laughter or sadness, he’d leave you in tears one way or the other. A breathtaking talent and a beautiful soul,” Will and Grace star Eric McCormack said on his Twitter account.
Carver’s TV credits included playing Scott Farrow in Street Legal, the 1990s CBC legal drama, Due South, The Twilight Zone, This is Wonderland and Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story.
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