RIP Denis Simpson

by Kenji Maeda on October 22, 2010

Post image for RIP Denis Simpson

I was sad to hear this morning that our much loved Canadian actor, singer, dancer, director, Denis Simpson passed away this morning after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

Denis had a career spanning close to 40 years. Along with his film and tv credits on imdb, he was also seen as the host of Channel M’s Cafe M, Live Eye guy on CITY TV’s Breakfast Television, and as Polkaroo on TV Ontario’s Polka Dot Door.

On stage, Denis’ credits were vast. According to whoswhoinblackcanada.com, some of his favourite roles included “Horse” in The Full Monty; “Muzzy” in Thoroughly Modern Millie; “Chris” in Blue Orange; “Belize” in Angels In America; “Hoke” in Driving Miss Daisy; “Reverend Sykes” in To Kill a Mockingbird; “Andre” in Ain’t Misbehaving (awarded the Dora Mavor Moore Award for the role); and “Jesus” in Godspell.

Denis was also very much involved in supporting community and charitable organizations including fundraisers for St Paul’s Hospital, Loving Spoonful, and AIDS Memorial Society.

My thoughts go out to his family, friends, and the many people who have had been inspired by his work, community service, or his personality.

This quote below is from an interview he did with The Next Stage last year seems to be very fitting for this time:

Life is short and precious, and thank God for theatre that tells our stories of hope, loss, love, and that can not only engage and stimulate the mind, but also heal the soul.

My first introduction to Denis was from Polka Dot Door, but I also remember him from such kids shows like Tell-A-Tale Town. Thanks, Denis for all you have provided the arts community and the joy you brought to kids over the years.

Tell-A-Tale Town | Story in the library

Tell-A-Tale Town | Ice Cream Parlour

Denis Simpson wrote and sang this song for his mother

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