Jonathan Crombie

Last updated
Jonathan Crombie
Born(1966-10-12)October 12, 1966
DiedApril 15, 2015(2015-04-15) (aged 48)
New York City, New York, United States
Nationality Canadian
Parent(s) David Crombie and Shirley Crombie

Jonathan Crombie (October 12, 1966 April 15, 2015) was a Canadian actor and voice over artist, best known for playing Gilbert Blythe in CBC Television's 1985 telefilm Anne of Green Gables and its two sequels.

Gilbert Blythe

Gilbert Blythe is a fictional character in Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series of novels.

CBC Television Canadian television network

CBC Television is a Canadian English language broadcast television network that is owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national public broadcaster. The network began operations on September 6, 1952. Its French-language counterpart is Ici Radio-Canada Télé.

<i>Anne of Green Gables</i> (1985 film) 1985 television miniseries directed by Kevin Sullivan

Anne of Green Gables is a 1985 Canadian television miniseries drama film based on the novel of the same name by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, and is the first in a series of four films. The film starred Megan Follows and was produced and directed by Kevin Sullivan for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It was released theatrically in Iran, Israel, Europe, and Japan.


Early life

Crombie was born in Toronto on October 12, 1966. His father, David Crombie, was the mayor of Toronto from 1972 to 1978 and a Canadian federal Cabinet Minister in the 1980s. [1] Crombie attended Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, where he was spotted by casting agent Diane Polley performing in a production of The Wizard of Oz. [2] [3]

David Crombie Canadian politician

David Edward Crombie is a Canadian politician, professor and consultant. Crombie served as mayor of Toronto from 1972 to 1978. In federal politics, he served as a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament from 1978 to 1988 serving in several cabinet positions.

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.



Crombie had no previous acting experience and used a photo he took at a kiosk in Union Station when he auditioned for the role of Gilbert Blythe in the 1985 TV miniseries Anne of Green Gables. [4] He reprised the role in the 1987 TV movie Anne of Avonlea , the 2000 TV movie Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and an episode of Road to Avonlea in 1992. His role was so popular that he answered to the nickname "Gil". [4]

<i>Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story</i> 2000 film

Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story was a 2000 miniseries television film, and the third installment in a series of four films. The film was highly anticipated among fans of Anne of Green Gables. It borrowed characters from the Anne of Green Gables novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery. It served as a sequel to two mini-series produced by CBC Television in the 1980s. It was the most controversial and heavily criticized of the three film adaptations written and produced by Kevin Sullivan.

Road to Avonlea is a Canadian television series first broadcast in Canada between January 7, 1990, and March 31, 1996, and in the United States starting on March 5, 1990. The program was created by Kevin Sullivan and produced by Sullivan Films in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the Disney Channel, with additional funding from Telefilm Canada. The Disney Channel began airing the series in the United States on March 5, 1990, and continued airing it in January 1997.

Crombie was also a comedian and in 1998 performed on the Canadian TV series Comedy Now! as part of a sketch comedy group. [2] His other television credits included a guest appearance on an episode of the Vancouver filmed TV series 21 Jump Street in 1991, voicing the title character in the animated series The Secret World of Benjamin Bear (2004–2010), and appearing in the second season of Slings & Arrows (2005), as playwright Lionel Train. [4] In 2015, he had a guest role on The Good Wife and Haven .

Comedy Now! is a Canadian comedy television series which debuted in 1997 and ended in 2014 featuring the newest in Canadian comedic talent. The show has won numerous Gemini Awards as well as many international awards. It is broadcast in Canada on The Comedy Network and CTV. In the United States, the program airs on Comedy Central.

<i>21 Jump Street</i> American TV crime series from 1987 to 1991

21 Jump Street is an American police procedural television series that aired on the Fox network and in first run syndication from April 12, 1987, to April 27, 1991, with a total of 103 episodes. The series focuses on a squad of youthful-looking undercover police officers investigating crimes in high schools, colleges, and other teenage venues. It was originally going to be titled Jump Street Chapel, after the deconsecrated church building in which the unit has its headquarters, but was changed at Fox's request so as not to mislead viewers into thinking it was a religious program.

The Secret World of Benjamin Bear is a Canadian/UK animated television series produced by Red Kite Animation; PorchLight Entertainment and Amberwood Entertainment. It originally aired on Family Channel from 2003-2009 and aired reruns until 2015. Reruns on the show air on the French language channel TFO, but it is unknown if it will return to the air in English again.

In 2014, Crombie and John Mitchell wrote, produced and directed a documentary titled Waiting for Ishtar about the 1987 film Ishtar . [5] The documentary was financed by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. It premiered in at Cinecycle in Toronto on December 14, 2017. It was dedicated to the memory of Jonathan Crombie. [6]

<i>Ishtar</i> (film) 1987 film by Elaine May

Ishtar is a 1987 American action-adventure-comedy film written and directed by Elaine May and produced by Warren Beatty, who co-starred opposite Dustin Hoffman. The story revolves around a duo of incredibly untalented American songwriters who travel to a booking in Morocco and stumble into a four-party Cold War standoff.

Indiegogo crowdfunding website

Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding website founded in 2008 by Danae Ringelmann, Slava Rubin, and Eric Schell. Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California. The site is one of the first sites to offer crowd funding. Indiegogo allows people to solicit funds for an idea, charity, or start-up business. Indiegogo charges a 5% fee on contributions. This charge is in addition to Stripe credit card processing charges of 3% + $0.30 per transaction. Fifteen million people visit the site each month.

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and alternative finance. In 2015, over US$34 billion was raised worldwide by crowdfunding.


Crombie appeared on stage in The Dishwashers by Morris Panych (Tarragon Theatre, 2005) and The Oxford Roof Climbers Rebellion by Stephen Massicotte (Tarragon Theatre/Great Canadian Stage Company, 2006). He spent four seasons at Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival appearing in A Comedy Of Errors, Hamlet, As You Like It, Taming Of The Shrew, and as Romeo in Diana Leblanc's Romeo and Juliet. He was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his role in the Canadian Stage Company's 1997 production of Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia . [4]

Morris Stephen Panych is a Canadian playwright, director and actor.

The Dora Mavor Moore Award is an award presented annually by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts which honours theatre, dance and opera productions in Toronto. Named after Dora Mavor Moore, who helped establish Canadian professional theatre, the award was established on December 13, 1978. Each winner receives a bronze statue made from the original by John Romano.

Canadian Stage is a not-for-profit contemporary performing arts company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Crombie debuted on Broadway in the Canadian musical The Drowsy Chaperone as "Man in Chair", from March to April 2007. [7] [8] He returned to the production beginning August 21, and performed the role during the show's tour through the United States. [9]

In 2013, Crombie performed at Centerstage, Baltimore, in Clybourne Park and Benetha's Place for the Rasin Cycle featured on PBS. [10] His final appearance on stage was playing two roles in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company's 2015 world premiere of Benediction, based on the novel by Kent Haruf. [1] [4]

Private life

Crombie was never married and had no children. In 2015, his sister said "Jonathan was also a gay man who didn’t come out until his 40s ... He was a very private person." [11]


Crombie's family announced on April 18, 2015 that he had died suddenly three days earlier of a brain hemorrhage in New York City. His organs were donated. [12] News of his death led to "Gilbert Blythe" trending on Twitter as fans shared their condolences. [13]


1982 Class of 1984 Extra in final auditorium scene
1985 Anne of Green Gables Gilbert Blythe TV movie
1986 The Campbells Kevin SimsEpisode: "The Face of a Stranger"
1986A Judgment in Stone (The Housekeeper)Bobby Coversdale
1986 Bullies Matt Morris
1987 CBS Schoolbreak Special Barney RothEpisode: "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book"
1987 Anne of Avonlea Gilbert BlytheTV movie
1988 Mount Royal Rob Valeur16 episodes
1988 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Rick GarrisonEpisode: "Fogbound"
1989 The Jeweler's Shop Christopher
1989The Teddy Bears' PicnicBenjamin Bear (voice)TV movie
1989 The Hitchhiker KennyEpisode: "Coach"
1991 21 Jump Street Bill HowardEpisode: "The Education of Terry Carver"
1992 Road to Avonlea Gilbert BlytheEpisode: "Old Friends, Old Wounds"
1992Cafe RomeoBennie
1992The Teddy Bears' ChristmasBenjamin Bear (voice)TV movie
1992The Good FightSam CraginTV movie
1993 Matrix CumberlandEpisode: "Conviction of His Courage"
1993 Class of '96 Sam CliveEpisode: "They Shoot Baskets, Don't They"
1997 Comedy Now! [8] VariousEpisode: "Skippy's Rangers - The Show They Never Gave"
1998The Waiting GameMattTV movie
1998 SketchCom VariousTV series
1998The Teddy Bears' ScareBenjamin Bear (voice)TV movie
1999–2000 Power Play Hudson James5 episodes
2000 Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story Gilbert BlytheTV movie
2002 Earth: Final Conflict Dr. FieldEpisode: "Deep Sleep"
2003–2006 The Secret World of Benjamin Bear Benjamin Bear (voice)TV series
2003 Slings & Arrows Episode: "Playing the Swan"
2004 The Jane Show DaveEpisode: "Pilot"
2005Slings & ArrowsLionel Train3 episodes
2006Empty Room (short)
2004–2010The Secret World of Benjamin Bear (TV series)Benjamin Bear (voice)17 episodes
2013 Cottage Country Dan Mushin
2015 The Good Wife Inspector Bill FrazierEpisode: "Hail Mary"
2015 Haven Young DaveEpisode: "Just Passing Through"

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  1. 1 2 Moore, John (18 April 2015). "Actor Jonathan Crombie of Benediction has died at 48". Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  2. 1 2 Shulman, Michael (18 April 2015). "'Anne of Green Gables' star Jonathan Crombie dies at age 48". CTV News. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  3. Vlessing, Etan (19 April 2015). "'Anne of Green Gables' Star Jonathan Crombie dies at 48". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Kennedy, John R (18 April 2015). "'Anne of Green Gables' actor Jonathan Crombie dies at 48". Global News. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  5. Terrero, Nina (18 April 2015). "Anne of Green Gables star Jonathan Crombie dies at 48". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  6. Waiting For Ishtar
  7. Staff (17 August 2007). "Jonathan Crombie Returns as Drowsy Chaperone's Man in Chair". Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  8. 1 2 Pelley, Lauren (19 April 2015). "Actor the classic boy next door". Toronto Star. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  9. Jones, Kenneth (17 August 2007). "Hot Seat: Crombie Will Be Back in Broadway's Drowsy Aug 21". Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  10. "A Raisin in the Sun Revisited". Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  11. "Jonathan Crombie Was Gay Says Sister Robin. Posted on 7 July, 2015". Eat Blog and Die. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  12. "Jonathan Crombie, Anne of Green Gables actor, dead at 48". CBC News. 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  13. Omar, Mohamed (19 April 2015). "Jonathan Crombie Dead: Anne Of Green Gables Actor Was 48". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 23 April 2015.