Tuesday, September 22, 2015

RIP John Dunn-Hill



RIP John Dunn-Hill

Montreal Gazette
September 22, 2015

Born in Glasgow, John left home at fifteen to study culinary arts, and spent his early years working as a chef on naval and cruise ships. But he had a passion for theatre, and soon left the kitchen for the stage. He trained in Paris at the École Charles Dullin, where he studied with such masters as Marcel Marceau, Jean Vilar, and Alain Cuny. In his professional life he worked with Lindsay Anderson, Donald McWhinnie, and Samuel Beckett, among others, and he founded two companies, the Group Theatre and The King's Head Theatre. About him, Anderson said "I was impressed by the intelligence and breadth of his feeling for drama, not just as an actor but as a shrewd and creative judge and assessor."

John came to Canada in the mid-seventies and continued to act. Locally, he was known for playing Marco D'Ascola in the Radio-Canada series Omertà, and he appeared in dozens more movies and television shows, where his gift for bringing a vast array of characters to life with sensitivity and verve made itself deeply felt.

In his later life John enjoyed painting, writing, telling stories, and spending time with his dog Blanco. He was a fixture in his neighborhood of Petite Patrie, and will be deeply missed by his friends and neighbors.

John passed away in peace at the Montreal General Hospital. He is survived by his daughters Nadia Dunn-Hill and Tansy Troy.


DUNN-HILL, John
Born: 1936, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
Died: 9/?/2015, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

John Dunn-Hill’s western – actor:
Legends of the North (TV) – 1995 (O’Malley)
Grey Owl - 1999 (Slim Hancock)

1 comment:

  1. I was a friend of John's, as were my brothers and other sailors who met him when he came to Toronto, we were also fresh over from Glasgow and Johnny was a breath of fresh air. He invited me to see him in the Picwick papers, in which he played several roles and then to the after party.
    He knew I was rough cut but loved art and music, he tried to grow that interest and I realized and really appreciated that he would do that.
    He was very polite and well mannered and so, a good example to the rest of us Sailors from Glasgow living in Canada.
    He was writing plays and I think also a book when he lived in the Roncesvalles village in Toronto and also teaching drama classes at the University of Toronto at the same time.
    I remember being on a Dutch Dredger in the Beaufort Sea in the 1980's and I received a letter which was addressed to Peter Kerr, on a ship somewhere on the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic and I actually received that from him. I laughed at that.
    Johnny had written to tell me that he had some property in England and if I wanted to I could go there when I got off my ship for the Winter.
    he knew I was going off on my own more and more and not returning to Toronto when I came off the ship, the crowds began to make me claustrophobic after months at sea. Johnny was very generous and thoughtful and kind.
    I always got a thrill when I'd be watching a movie and would suddenly recognize Johnny in it. I think the last time that happened was when I watched the movie the 300 about the spartans at Thermopylae....suddenly there in front of me was Johnny in a toga shouting "don't march" at the same time I was pointing at the t.v. shouting Johnny!

    this was sad news for me to read that he had passed and I will pass this along to my family and friends who were his friends also. R.I.P. Johnny my friend. Peter Kerr

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