'Princes of Exiles' Director Giles Walker Dies at 74

Princes In Exile - Publicity Still - H 2020
National Film Board of Canada

He also helmed the Oscar-nominated short 'Bravery in the Field' and Ryan Reynolds in the 1993 drama 'Ordinary Magic.'

Giles Walker, a Canadian director who directed documentaries and feature dramas over a 40-year career, has died. He was 74.

The National Film Board of Canada, Canada's public filmmaker, on Tuesday said Walker died March 23 in Toronto following a 10-year battle with cancer. His wife, veteran film editor Hannele Halm, was at his side.

Born in Scotland, Walker started out making short films for the NFB, including 1974's Freshwater World. After turning to dramatic films, Walker in 1979 received an Oscar nomination in the best live-action short film category for Bravery in the Field, which starred Les Rubie and Matt Craven.

Other feature dramas for the NFB followed, including the 1985 pic 90 Days, about two modern men searching for romantic bliss, and Princes of Exile (1990), about young people with cancer and starring Zachary Ansley, Nicholas Shields and Stacie Mistysyn.

Away from the NFB, Walker directed Ryan Reynolds in his first film role, with the actor playing a 15-year-old orphan starting a new life with his aunt in Canada in the 1993 drama Ordinary Magic. Walker also had TV directing credits for Emily of New Moon and the miniseries Rene Levesque.

Fellow Canadian filmmaker Paul Cowan on Thursday paid tribute to Walker on his Facebook page: “I had the privilege of seeing a lot of Giles during nine of the last ten years. He was very sick. Through it all he fought hard and endured much. But he never changed.... Good on you Giles. Have a fine shoot my friend."