Louis Negin's acting career spanned more than sixty years, including seven seasons at the Stratford Festival, where he appeared in Tamburlaine the Great in 1956, which then toured to Broadway.
After relocating to London, he devised Love and Maple Syrup in collaboration with a group of Canadians, including Claire Hewitt, Gabriel Gascon, and Sean Hewitt. The work was a collaboration among the artists involved, combining Canadian songs, poems and some prose. It was first performed at the Gatehouse Theatre in Highgate London, and then went on to the Roundhouse in London and later to Ottawa.
Negin worked as an actor in England until 1976, including appearances in the British production of John Herbert's Fortune and Men's Eyes, in which he was one of the first actors to appear nude on a British stage.
After returning to Canada, he appeared in M. Butterfly, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and Molly Wood and worked at the Manitoba Theatre Centre and at Centaur Theatre. In 1996 he received rave reviews for his solo turn in the Truman Capote monologue, Tru. In 1998, he appeared as Noel Coward in the well-received Linda Griffiths play, The Duchess, at Theatre Passe Muraille.
His semi-autobiographical play, The Glass Eye was written in collaboration with Marie Brassard, and premiered at the Luminato Festival, Toronto (Harbourfront) in 2008. Negin described it as a "collage of memories, dreams, fantasies, and truth," expressing his dreams of celebrity, and his disillusionment.
Negin has appeared in many films during his career, including the narrator in Guy Maddin's Brand Upon the Brain (2006), and in My Winnipeg (2008), written and directed by Guy Maddin.
In an interview with Rita Zekos in The Toronto Star (2008), he commented on his career as an actor: "you worry about all the phone bills you can't pay, all the trips you can't take – you are always in debt with no money. But it's all worth it for the exhilaration if the audience is loving it. It's a high you can't get from drugs or liquor. If the kid on Dundas St. is ready to give it up for those two minutes of exhilaration, he should go for it. Some people never get those two minutes. When you do a show and it works, you just fly." (thestar.com/news/2008/06/14)
Profile by Gaetan Charlebois. Updated by Anne Nothof. Additional information from Claire Hewitt.
Last updated 2022-12-08