Written by Emily Weiss, CNN
David Fox, an actor who also served as president of the Great Canadian Theatre Company and operated an independent theater in Saint John, New Brunswick, has died. He was 66.
The news was announced by the Grand Theatre in Saint John, where Fox ran the business of the Charles H. Prefontaine Company, a theatre specializing in the performing arts. The theater was one of the oldest in the country.
The Grand’s artistic director Marie-Helene Durocher and general manager Brett Brownell said in a joint statement that Fox’s dedication “to the arts community at large and local artists and audiences” will be sorely missed.
“His work, his network of friends and colleagues, his stage productions, his lively personality, his generosity, his love for the theatre, and his deep passion for Saint John is immeasurable,” they said.
Born in Ontario, Canada, Fox was a longtime member of the Toronto company Cirque du Soleil. In 2015, he retired from that role to devote more time to his theater business, according to a post on the theater’s website.
After graduating from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, he performed in several plays and musicals in the U.S.
“He was a powerhouse with an amazing gift for making art happen,” wrote British theater critic Michael Billington in the Guardian. “The theatre community has been pummeled by the financial failings of many a small enterprise, but it has never before been weakened by the loss of someone who epitomized everything that was good about it.”
‘Good.’ Television actor David Fox has died at age 66 https://t.co/jVgEqZXzC8 #CBCNews pic.twitter.com/Zsu6zYsK4M — CBC News (@CBCNews) June 23, 2018
An obituary on the Grand Theatre website said that as a young man Fox, dressed in costume for his final role as Matron April, had entertained senior citizens at a dining room by blaring the theme music from her 1930s film “Mr. President” for half an hour.
He was a “talented, dedicated and caring director,” who cast dozens of actors in a “sea of production values,” according to a biography on the Grand’s website.
While Fox’s professional history spanned from the theater stage to television and film, he will be most remembered for a role that proved to be prophetic. In 2014, “The Great Blue Heron,” an award-winning documentary about the endangered bird, was released. In one scene, Fox walks on stage in all his theatrical glory.
“He embodied the performance of greatness that could be produced to say something lasting about the plight of the disappearing blue heron,” said filmmaker Darren Denham, who made the film.