Jean Gascon

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Jean Gascon
Radio. Radio Carabin BAnQ P48S1P23116 cropped.jpg
Radio Carabin, 1945
Born(1920-12-21)December 21, 1920
DiedApril 13, 1988(1988-04-13) (aged 67)
Resting place Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery

Jean Gascon CC (December 21, 1920 April 13, 1988) was a Canadian opera director,[ citation needed ] actor, and administrator.


Originally bent on a career in medicine, Gascon abandoned it for the stage after considerable work with amateur groups in Montreal. A scholarship in 1946 from the Government of France enabled him to study dramatic art in Paris. He studied with Ludmilla Pitoëff. [1]

After returning to Canada in 1951, he co-founded Montreal's Theatre du Nouveau Monde and became its first Artistic Director. During this time, he also started a long association with the newly established Stratford Festival in 1956, playing the Constable of France in Henry V and directing three farces by Moliere. [2] [1] He returned to Stratford to direct Le malade imaginaire in 1958 and Othello in 1959.

Between 1960 and 1963, he was founding Administrative Director of the National Theatre School of Canada [1] and was awarded the Canadian Drama Award, the Prix Victor Dore.

In 1963 he returned to Stratford to direct The Comedy of Errors , and then Le Bourgeois gentilhomme and The Marriage of Figaro the following season. He was awarded the Molson Prize in 1967. Then between 1968 and 1974, he was artistic director of Stratford Festival of Canada. [3] [4] [5] In 1977 he became theatre director of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. [1]

Gascon's career in the Canadian theatre as a bilingual actor and director achieved an impressive reputation. He gained honorary degrees from McGill and Bishop's Universities. He was also awarded the Order of Canada (in 1975), the Prix du Québec and the Royal Bank Award. [1]

Gascon's tombstone in the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery. Jean Gascon Pierre tombale.JPG
Gascon's tombstone in the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery.

As an actor in both English and French languages, his credits include such noteworthy portrayals as Richard in Richard II, and the Captain in Dance of Death. [6]

He was the French/Indian Batise in the 1970 movie A Man Called Horse and was in a film in 1988 called À corps perdu (Straight for the Heart). [1]

Personal life

He was the brother of actor Gabriel Gascon and filmmaker Gilles Gascon.

Gascon died of a heart attack in 1988 in Stratford, Ontario [1] and was entombed at the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery in Montreal. [7]


1970 A Man Called Horse Batise
1976 The Absence (L'Absence)Paul
1980 Cordélia Juge Wurtele
1980 The Lucky Star The Priest
1988 Straight for the Heart (À corps perdu)(final film role)


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Jean Gascon". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  2. "Jean Gascon acting & directing credits". Stratford Festival Archives. Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  3. "Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia - Gascon, Jean". Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  4. Ap (1988-04-23). "Jean Gascon, Director, 67 (Published 1988)". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  5. Gascon, Jean in The Canadian Encyclopedia
  6. Canning, Stratford, first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe (1786–1880). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 2017-11-28.
  7. Répertoire des personnages inhumés au cimetière ayant marqué l'histoire de notre société (in French). Montreal: Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery.