All Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z Welcome Home
Local Folders.. A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
-1 +1

"ASH" 2003 Obituary


ASHCROFT  ASHLEY  ASHTON 

ASHCROFT o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-16 published
Father figure to the Canadian stage
British-trained Stratford character actor never craved starring roles
By Allison LAWLOR, Special to The Globe and Mail, Thursday, October 16, 2003 - Page R11
For Mervyn " Butch" BLAKE, entering a theatre was a magical experience, something he never tired of during an acting career that spanned close to three-quarters of a century. Mr. BLAKE, one of the most loved members of the Stratford Festival Company, died on October 9 at a Toronto nursing home after a long illness. He was 95.
"Theatre seems to give me life," Mr. BLAKE said in 1994. "I just feel marvellous when I enter the theatre... it's one of the things which keeps me going."
Over his long stage life that included 42 consecutive seasons with the Stratford Festival of Canada, Mr. BLAKE "had the distinction of playing in every single play of Shakespeare's," said Richard MONETTE, Stratford's artistic director.
"He had a great life in the theatre," Mr. MONETTE said.
Adored by both audiences and fellow actors, the veteran actor was known across Canada for his enormous talent and generosity of spirit. When he wasn't working at Stratford, he acted on the country's major stages and in television and film.
For seven seasons, he toured with the Canadian Players, bringing professional theatre to smaller towns. And in 1987, he won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for best performance in a featured role in a production of Saturday, Sunday, Monday at what was then called CentreStage (now CanStage).
"Everyone loved Butch without exception," said John NEVILLE, a former Stratford's artistic director.
Mervyn BLAKE was born on November 30, 1907, in Dehra Dun, India, where his father was a railway executive.
His father wanted him to become an engineer but after falling in love with the theatre, Mr. BLAKE was able to persuade his father to allow him to study at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In 1932, he graduated and soon made his professional stage debut at the Embassy Theatre in London
During the Second World War, he served in the British Army as a driver. It was during the war years that he is said to have got his nickname Butch. A witness to the horrors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Mr. BLAKE was present at the liberation of the camp by British troops. It was an experience that haunted him for the rest of his life.
At the war's end, he returned to England and to the stage. He married actress Christine BENNETT and spent the years between 1952 and 1955 at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. There he worked with many of the great British actors such as Sir Laurence OLIVIER, Sir Michael REDGRAVE and Dame Peggy ASHCROFT.
Despite his success on the British stage, he decided to join the Stratford Festival of Canada, then in its fifth season. With his family in tow, Mr. BLAKE moved to Canada and in 1957 appeared in a production of Hamlet with Christopher PLUMMER in the title role.
"He wasn't a leading actor," said actor and director Douglas CAMPBELL. "He was a supporting player. As a supporting player you couldn't get better."
Mr. BLAKE always saw himself as a character actor who never cared that much about starring roles, said Audrey ASHLEY, a former Ottawa Citizen theatre critic and author of Mr. BLAKE's 1999 biography With Love from Butch.
"He was one of those actors you never had to worry about," Ms. ASHLEY said. "You knew Butch was always going to do a good job."
Known for his unfailing good nature and even temper, he enjoyed re-telling gaffes he had made on stage. Mr. MONETTE remembers one performance where Mr. BLAKE appeared on stage as the Sea Captain in Twelfth Night. The character Viola asks him, "What country, Friends, is this?" And instead of responding "This is Illyria, lady." Out of his mouth popped, "This is Orillia."
To the younger actors at Stratford, Mr. BLAKE was a father figure. "He was very fond of the young actors and would take them under his wing," Ms. ASHLEY said.
Stephen RUSSELL remembers arriving at Stratford for his first season in the mid-1970s. He was placed in the same dressing room as Mr. BLAKE, an experience he still holds close to his heart.
"He was one of the most generous human beings," Mr. RUSSELL said.
One of the areas Mr. BLAKE was most helpful in was teaching fellow actors how to apply stage makeup. He loved makeup and on his dressing-room table he had an old rabbit's foot that he would use to apply his face powder, Mr. RUSSELL said.
Aging didn't stop him from applying his own elaborate makeup. Playing the role of old Adam in As You Like It required him to go through the same makeup ritual when he was 70 years old as it did when he performed the role years earlier as a much younger man.
Aside from the stage, one of Mr. BLAKE's passions was cricket. During his first season in Stratford, he played on the festival's team and was responsible for starting a friendly, annual cricket match against the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Each season, members of the two acting companies would come together for a civilized afternoon of cricket and tea. The Stratford team still goes by the name of Blake's Blokes.
In honour of his talent and dedication to the theatre, Mr. BLAKE was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in May, 1995.
"When he entered, the stage just lit up," Mr. RUSSELL said.
Mr. BLAKE leaves his wife Christine BENNETT; children Andrew and Bridget; and stepson Tim DAVISSON.
Details of a memorial service to be held in Stratford, Ontario, have yet to be announced.

  A... Names     AS... Names     ASH... Names     Welcome Home

ASHCROFT - All Categories in OGSPI

ASHLEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-16 published
Father figure to the Canadian stage
British-trained Stratford character actor never craved starring roles
By Allison LAWLOR, Special to The Globe and Mail, Thursday, October 16, 2003 - Page R11
For Mervyn " Butch" BLAKE, entering a theatre was a magical experience, something he never tired of during an acting career that spanned close to three-quarters of a century. Mr. BLAKE, one of the most loved members of the Stratford Festival Company, died on October 9 at a Toronto nursing home after a long illness. He was 95.
"Theatre seems to give me life," Mr. BLAKE said in 1994. "I just feel marvellous when I enter the theatre... it's one of the things which keeps me going."
Over his long stage life that included 42 consecutive seasons with the Stratford Festival of Canada, Mr. BLAKE "had the distinction of playing in every single play of Shakespeare's," said Richard MONETTE, Stratford's artistic director.
"He had a great life in the theatre," Mr. MONETTE said.
Adored by both audiences and fellow actors, the veteran actor was known across Canada for his enormous talent and generosity of spirit. When he wasn't working at Stratford, he acted on the country's major stages and in television and film.
For seven seasons, he toured with the Canadian Players, bringing professional theatre to smaller towns. And in 1987, he won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for best performance in a featured role in a production of Saturday, Sunday, Monday at what was then called CentreStage (now CanStage).
"Everyone loved Butch without exception," said John NEVILLE, a former Stratford's artistic director.
Mervyn BLAKE was born on November 30, 1907, in Dehra Dun, India, where his father was a railway executive.
His father wanted him to become an engineer but after falling in love with the theatre, Mr. BLAKE was able to persuade his father to allow him to study at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In 1932, he graduated and soon made his professional stage debut at the Embassy Theatre in London
During the Second World War, he served in the British Army as a driver. It was during the war years that he is said to have got his nickname Butch. A witness to the horrors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Mr. BLAKE was present at the liberation of the camp by British troops. It was an experience that haunted him for the rest of his life.
At the war's end, he returned to England and to the stage. He married actress Christine BENNETT and spent the years between 1952 and 1955 at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. There he worked with many of the great British actors such as Sir Laurence OLIVIER, Sir Michael REDGRAVE and Dame Peggy ASHCROFT.
Despite his success on the British stage, he decided to join the Stratford Festival of Canada, then in its fifth season. With his family in tow, Mr. BLAKE moved to Canada and in 1957 appeared in a production of Hamlet with Christopher PLUMMER in the title role.
"He wasn't a leading actor," said actor and director Douglas CAMPBELL. "He was a supporting player. As a supporting player you couldn't get better."
Mr. BLAKE always saw himself as a character actor who never cared that much about starring roles, said Audrey ASHLEY, a former Ottawa Citizen theatre critic and author of Mr. BLAKE's 1999 biography With Love from Butch.
"He was one of those actors you never had to worry about," Ms. ASHLEY said. "You knew Butch was always going to do a good job."
Known for his unfailing good nature and even temper, he enjoyed re-telling gaffes he had made on stage. Mr. MONETTE remembers one performance where Mr. BLAKE appeared on stage as the Sea Captain in Twelfth Night. The character Viola asks him, "What country, Friends, is this?" And instead of responding "This is Illyria, lady." Out of his mouth popped, "This is Orillia."
To the younger actors at Stratford, Mr. BLAKE was a father figure. "He was very fond of the young actors and would take them under his wing," Ms. ASHLEY said.
Stephen RUSSELL remembers arriving at Stratford for his first season in the mid-1970s. He was placed in the same dressing room as Mr. BLAKE, an experience he still holds close to his heart.
"He was one of the most generous human beings," Mr. RUSSELL said.
One of the areas Mr. BLAKE was most helpful in was teaching fellow actors how to apply stage makeup. He loved makeup and on his dressing-room table he had an old rabbit's foot that he would use to apply his face powder, Mr. RUSSELL said.
Aging didn't stop him from applying his own elaborate makeup. Playing the role of old Adam in As You Like It required him to go through the same makeup ritual when he was 70 years old as it did when he performed the role years earlier as a much younger man.
Aside from the stage, one of Mr. BLAKE's passions was cricket. During his first season in Stratford, he played on the festival's team and was responsible for starting a friendly, annual cricket match against the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Each season, members of the two acting companies would come together for a civilized afternoon of cricket and tea. The Stratford team still goes by the name of Blake's Blokes.
In honour of his talent and dedication to the theatre, Mr. BLAKE was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in May, 1995.
"When he entered, the stage just lit up," Mr. RUSSELL said.
Mr. BLAKE leaves his wife Christine BENNETT; children Andrew and Bridget; and stepson Tim DAVISSON.
Details of a memorial service to be held in Stratford, Ontario, have yet to be announced.

  A... Names     AS... Names     ASH... Names     Welcome Home

ASHLEY - All Categories in OGSPI

ASHTON o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-09-10 published
Elizabeth TIMMERMANS
In loving memory of a dear wife, mother and grandmother, Elizabeth TIMMERMANS, September 9, 1921 to September 5, 2003. A resident of Little Current passed away at Manitoulin Health Centre at the age of 81.
She was born in Wakefield Yorkshire, England to Walter and Edith ASHTON. Predeceased by parents and brother Walter, all of England. Elizabeth met Gerald while he was stationed in England with the Air Force during WW2.
They married May 10, 1945 in Bramley Leeds, Yorkshire, England. They moved to Blind River in 1946 and then to Little Current in 1952.
Elizabeth leaves to mourn, her beloved husband Gerry, sons Bob and his wife Anca of California, Craig of Little Current and her daughter Catherine and her husband David ANDREWS of Port Elgin. She will be missed by her three grand_sons Todd and Brett ANDREWS and Carson TIMMERMANS. Funeral Service was held on Monday, September 8, 2003 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church Little Current, Ont. Cremation. Island Funeral Home.

  A... Names     AS... Names     ASH... Names     Welcome Home

ASHTON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-18 published
PASHLEY, Kitty
Died peacefully on February 15, 2003, at 92. She was predeceased by Stanley PASHLEY, her husband of 63 years, and by her great-granddaughter Alexandra. She was the mother of Susan Delaware FACENDIS, John (Lorraine PARISI,) and Nicholas (Anne,) grandmother of Richard (Carmen), Louisa, and Teresa, and great-grandmother of Patrick, Joshua, Samantha, and Daniella. She was born in Devon and emigrated with her family to Canada in 1953. An enthusiastic artist, she taught painting until she was 89. Kitty PASHLEY lived a full and convivial life, loved and admired by her family and many Friends. She will be greatly missed. Our thanks to all who visited her in her later years, especially to Bonnie ASHTON and Lorette LUZAJIC, and to the staff of Leisureworld, St. George Street. A memorial service will be held at St. Philip's Anglican Church, 31 St. Phillips Road, Etobicoke, on Monday, February 24 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Toronto Humane Society or your favourite charity.

  A... Names     AS... Names     ASH... Names     Welcome Home

ASHTON - All Categories in OGSPI