The many roles of Gordon Pinsent’s long and varied acting career


Gordon Pinsent has worked as an MP and as a Mountie, as well as a wizard and fisherman — all on the screen or stage, of course, though his off-screen resume is just as colourful.

His long career has seen Pinsent, who turns 90 on Sunday, July 12, 2020, take on many roles during the six-plus decades he’s worked as an actor.

That has included a number of roles in productions and programs that have aired on CBC, such as The Forest Rangers, Quentin Durgens, M.P., the original Street Legal, Republic of Doyle and more.

In 1968, CBC’s Telescope visited Pinsent in his hometown of Grand Falls, N.L., as part of a profile of the actor who was, by then, a homegrown star.

Telescope viewers were provided a sketch of an origin story of the man who left his hometown at the age of 18 and ended up taking on a lot of roles that didn’t involve acting.

‘Finally … an actor’

Gordon Pinsent, seen here in a 1999 photo, has been a familiar face in Canadian drama for more than six decades. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

“Once upon the mainland, back in 1948, Gordon’s fortunes included pouring cement, selling soap, insulating attics and three years in the army as a paratrooper,” Telescope host Fletcher Markle told viewers.

“After his discharge, he went to work as a commercial artist, an Arthur Murray dance instructor and finally as an actor.”

The move into acting proved fruitful and permanent for Pinsent. The rest, as they say, is history.

Gordon Pinsent turns 90 on July 12, 2020. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

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