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Blake, Mervyn

Actor born in Dehradun, India in 1907; died October 9, 2003 in Toronto at the age of 95. He is probably best known for his 42 consecutive seasons with the Stratford Festival where he performed in over 115 productions.

Mervyn Blake attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his professional debut in London, England in 1933. Since then, he performed in every play in the Shakespearean canon in England and Canada (since he arrived here in 1953). He served in the British military during WWII and participated in the liberation of Belsen concentration camp.

He won a Dora Mavor Moore Award in 1987 for his role in Saturday, Sunday, Monday at the St. Lawrence Centre. Blake was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1978 and was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada Nov. 16, 1995.

He joined forces with Michael Mawson to assure that actors at Stratford understood the history and significance of the Company for which they worked. He has said of this task, "You need atmosphere...It's something we ought to carry on for the young people to say that this is a kind of hallowed place which should be respected in your work."

His biography, With Love From Butch, by Audrey Ashley, was published by AB Collector Publisher (New Brunswick) in 1999.

Information provided by Lindy Cooksey.

Last updated 2020-02-21