Acclaimed Canadian theatre star Richard McMillan dies
Celebrated Canadian theatre actor Richard McMillan has died at the age of 65.
McMillan died on Sunday in Toronto after a long struggle with thyroid cancer.
Born on March 20, 1951, the actor from the town of Beaverton, Ont., had a lengthy stage career on both sides of the Atlantic and was able to put his stamp on iconic characters.
McMillan was the first actor to portray the villainous Scar in the Canadian production of Disney’s “The Lion King’’ staged at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.
He also created the role of the wizard Saruman in the world premiere of the stage adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings,’’ and starred as Uncle Arthur in the Canadian premiere of “War Horse.’’ Both were also staged at the Princess of Wales.
McMillan also appeared as Father O’Donnell in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Boys in the Photograph’’ at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre.
The actor was perhaps best known for his work in Brian Macdonald’s productions of Gilbert and Sullivan light operas at the Stratford Festival, which were filmed for the CBC.
His portrayal of Poo Bah in “The Mikado’’ took the actor to Broadway as well as the Old Vic Theatre in London.
McMillan spent 11 seasons at Stratford, which included roles in “King Lear,’’ “The Government Inspector,’’ “Twelfth Night,’’ “Julius Caesar’’ and “As You Like It.’’
McMillan also performed at the Shaw Festival, and in recent years appeared in productions at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, including “An Enemy of the People’’ and “Moliere.’’