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"EVE" 2003 Obituary


EVERA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-10 published
The castle lights are growing dim
Canadian television icon made his mark as star of The Hilarious House of Frightenstein
By John McKAY Canadian Press Friday, January 10, 2003, Page R11
Billy VAN, the diminutive, manic comic actor who starred in Canadian Broadcasting Corporation-Television's Nightcap in the 1960s and The Hilarious House of Frightenstein in the seventies, died Wednesday. He was 68.
Mr. VAN, who had been battling cancer for about a year and had a triple heart bypass in 1998, died at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital, said his former wife, Claudia CONVERSE.
While a familiar fixture on Canadian television for decades, he also worked in the United States on variety shows such as The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, The Ray Stevens Show and The Bobby Vinton Show.
Mr. VAN even gained fame for the Colt .45 beer commercials he made for 15 years and for which he won a Clio Award.
But he invariably returned to Toronto in shows like The Party Game, Bizarre with John Byner, The Hudson Brothers Razzle DAzzle Show and Bits and Bytes.
His wife, Susan, said that while he had opportunities in the U.S., Mr. VAN had no regrets about staying in Canada.
"He was quite happy when he came back," she said. "He had the taste of the life down there and [said] 'Okay, that's fine, I'd rather be at home.' "
Ms. CONVERSE agreed that Mr. VAN had been happy with his career and had worked non-stop until his heart bypass.
"I don't know of many Canadians that stay in Canada who get their full recognition," she said. "When he went to the States, definitely. But there isn't a star system in Canada so it's kind of difficult."
Mr. VAN -- then Billy VAN EVERA -- went into show business at the age of 12 and back in the 1950s, he and his four musically inclined brothers formed a singing group that toured Canada and Europe. Most also went on to adult careers in show business.
After his heart surgery, Mr. VAN was semi-retired but continued to do voiceover work for commercials and animated programs. His last major on-screen role was as Les the trainer in the television hockey movie Net Worth in 1995.
Mr. VAN and long-time colleagues Dave BROADFOOT and Jack DUFFY made appearances in recent years to support the fledgling Canadian Comedy Awards.
"I'm all for that enthusiasm," Mr. VAN said about the awards launch in 2000.
"Billy was one of my closest Friends," said Mr. DUFFY, who added that he called Mr. VAN several times a week after he became ill.
"We were sort of buddies under the skin. We got to know each other really well at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and then we worked on Party Game together for a number of years. He was a close friend and I will miss him very much."
Mr. DUFFY said a lot of doors opened for Mr. VAN when he did The Sonny and Cher Show,but he was happy to come home to his native Toronto, where he was born in 1934.
"He came back and we were glad to have him back."
Entertainer Dinah CHRISTIE, with whom Mr. VAN worked on The Party Game for a decade, called him a brave and glorious person.
"He would take on anything and was . . . a totally gracious guy," she said. "I'm just going to miss him like we all are going to miss him. He soldiered through this bloody cancer thing so wonderfully. I knew he was just trying to get through Christmas."
Ms. CHRISTIE said Mr. VAN had some hideous experiences in the U.S. He had seen a man shot to death next to him in a New York hotel, and had his Los Angeles home broken into twice.
"He never felt safe there. And he was such a Canadian that he always felt safe here."
Mr. VAN's picture is on the Canadian Comedy Wall of Fame at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcast Centre in Toronto, along with those of Al WAXMAN, Wayne and Shuster and Don HARRON.
The Hilarious House of Frightenstein starred Vincent PRICE, with Mr. VAN as host and a variety of characters, including The Count, a vampire who preferred pizza to blood and who wore tennis shoes as well as a cape. The hour-long episodes were taped at Hamilton's CHCH-Television and are still seen in syndication around the world.
Nightcap was a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation satirical show that predated Saturday Night Live by a dozen years. Its cast included Al HAMEL and Guido BASSO and his orchestra.
Mr. VAN leaves his wife, Susan, and two daughters from previous marriages, Tracy and Robyn.
A private funeral will be held in Toronto on Monday.
Billy VAN, actor and entertainer; born in Toronto in 1934; died in Toronto on January 8, 2003.

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EVERY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-19 published
SCOTT, Lewis Clayton - August 16, 1909 - September 17, 2003
Died peacefully at Southlake Village Nursing Home, age 94, after a full and distinguished life as a sportsman. In an era when shooting, fishing, hunting and riding were the epitome of sportsmanship, Scott excelled at all.
Born on August 16, 1909 in Vermillion, South Dakota, Lew came to Toronto at an early age with his family. One of his first employers was the Toronto Carpet Company (where he met his future wife Alice PARKER.) He then moved on to the brokerage business with Barrett Sye and Co. as well as in the Toronto Grain Exchange. He established L.C. Scott Construction Company in the 1940's which operated in Canada, the United States and England. After World War 2, the company built a large number of schools and hospitals in Southern Ontario as well as some of the post war homes that were built in New Toronto and North York.
Lew had a lifelong passion for horses. During a family stint in California when he was a youngster, he first galloped racehorses at Hollywood Park and when he grew too big, switched to exercising polo ponies. After his business career was established, he acquired property in Markham - Wyndstone Farm - from which he bred and raised thoroughbred racehorses, steeplechasers and sport horses as well as bird dogs and prize- winning Shorthorn cattle.
Lew was an equestrian sportsman of international stature. He competed in steeplechasing and timber racing in Canada and the United States winning a number of prestigious trophies including the Prince of Wales trophy three times. He played polo in Canada, the United States, England and Barbados and competed at horse shows across Ontario. He was a keen foxhunter and served as the whipper-in for the Toronto and North York Hunt for 20 years prior to becoming a Master of Foxhounds in 1972, a position he held until 1990.
He raised bird dogs and competed with them all over North America in the 40's and the 50's. He was a top fly fisherman and enjoyed duck and pheasant hunting. Both he and his wife Alice were crack shots and long time members of the Toronto Gun Club. As a young man, he was a member of the Argonaut Rowing Club.
At one time, a member or director of the Toronto and North York Hunt, the Canadian Hunter Society, the Canadian Equestrian Team, the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, the Toronto Polo Club and several U.S. polo clubs, the Cowdray Polo Club, United Kingdom Canadian director of the Master of Foxhounds Association of America, the Goodwood Club and the Argonaut Rowing Club. He was also an accomplished pilot who loved flying and had owned several planes.
In 1989, after 54 years of marriage, he lost his beloved wife Alice whose charm, hospitality and hard work was the foundation of the family and the basis which allowed Lew's energetic pursuit of his interests.
Predeceased also by his only son Lewis Christian (Skipper). Leaves daughters Alice FERRIER (Glen) and Susan Jane ANSTEY (Michael VAN EVERY,) granddaughters Jennifer ANSTEY, Elizabeth TRACEY, Janet Louise GAYFORD, Mary FRALEIGH and Margaret Ann SPROULE. Great grandchildren Owen TRACEY, Will FRALEIGH, Jamie FRALEIGH and Tom FRALEIGH.
He will be remembered for his enthusiasm, toughness, loyalty and keen interest in the people and things around him.
If desired, donations in his memory may be made to Think First Canada (for injury prevention in sports and recreation), Med-West Medical Centre, Suite 2-227, 750 Dundas St. West, Toronto, Ontario M6J 3S3 or to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Endowment Fund.
A Private family service was held. Arrangements entrusted to the Thompson Funeral Home, 29 Victoria Street, Aurora (905-727-5421).

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EVES o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-18 published
Former Member of Provincial Parliament, journalist Frank DREA dead at 69
By Jonathan FOWLIE Saturday, January 18, 2003, Page A25
Frank DREA, Progressive Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament of 14 years and a journalist best known for his consumer advocacy column in the Telegram, died Wednesday.
He was 69.
"He accomplished a great deal and was very tenacious," his wife Jeanne said last night.
"He used to say, 'What's the use of having power if you don't use it to help people?' He did, and I think that's how he'd like to be remembered."
First elected to office in 1971 as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough Centre, Mr. DREA was known as a crusader who often fought for the underdog.
In 1977, Mr. DREA was appointed to the cabinet of then premier Bill DAVIS, where he served as Minister of Correctional Services, of Consumer and Commercial Relations and of Community and Social Services.
During his time in politics, he worked to reform Ontario's prison system, introduced legislation to protect workers and tradespeople and helped to modernize the insurance industry.
Mr. DREA opted to leave politics in 1985 after Frank MILLER took over as premier and shuffled him out of the cabinet.
An avid horse-racing fan, Mr. DREA was named chairman of the Ontario Racing Commission later that year.
"Frank was tough, but he was fair," Premier Ernie EVES said in a statement yesterday.
"He will be missed by colleagues from both sides of the house," added Mr. EVES, who worked with Mr. DREA for a number of years during the early 1980s.
Toronto Sun columnist Peter WORTHINGTON, who worked with Mr. DREA at the Telegram before it folded, remembered Mr. DREA last night as an aggressive and driven reporter.
"He was certainly one of the Telegram's strongest street reporters," Mr. WORTHINGTON said.

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