If the content you are seeing is presented as unstyled HTML your browser is an older version that cannot support cascading style sheets. If you wish to upgrade your browser you may download Mozilla or Internet Explorer for Windows.

Peacocke, Thomas

Thomas Peacocke
Thomas Peacocke

Actor, director, drama professor, and mentor, Thomas Peacocke grew up in a two-room telephone exchange building in Barons, Alberta, a small town of 365. He often helped his father on the switchboard, and he recalled that the local gossip on the party lines inspired his love for theatre. At Barons Consolidated School, his teacher emphasized the importance of community, which permeated his professional and personal life.

At the University of Alberta his graduated with an Education degree, and met his wife, a lifelong partner. He also met actor and educator, Elizabeth Sterling Haynes, who was passionately committed to theatre education and community involvement. Following a teaching stint at Victoria Composite High School in the 1950s, he completed an MFA at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh and returned with his family to teach the U of A 1963. He was instrumental in building a highly regarded and successful BFA Drama program that has graduated hundreds of successful actors, directors, playwrights and theatre artists. He taught in the Department for thirty-five years, directing and appearing in many stage productions at the U of A Studio Theatre. As a full Professor, he chaired the Acting Program. Among his many initiatives was the open-air Torches Theatre, which brought popular productions to a summer audience. He facilitated connections between the academic, amateur, and professional theatre communities to develop the foundation of the vibrant Edmonton theatre scene.

He also chaired the Drama Department at the Banff Centre for the Arts and served on many committees and boards to support the Fine Arts across the country.

Peacocke appeared in dozens of radio and television programs and films, including The Hounds of Notre Dame as Père Athol Murray, winning a Genie for Best Actor in 1981. His other acting credits include: Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman (Vancouver Playhouse), Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night.

He was awarded The Order of Canada, The Queen's Medal, a Billington Award, a U of A Distinguished Alumni Award and an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award.

Thomas Peacocke died at his home in Edmonton in November, 2022 at the age of 89. He was predeceased by Judy, his wife of 64 years. They had three children and three grandchildren.

Sources: TW Peacocke. “Obituary,” Edmonton Journal 3 Dec 2022.

Liz Nicholls. 12thnight.ca, 23 Nov 2022.

Last updated 2023-08-09