Acclaimed Canadian actor, director and playwright Joy Coghill-Thorne dead at 90
Actor, director and playwright Joy Coghill-Thorne is presented with the Governor General's Performing Arts award by Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Friday November 1, 2002. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, January 25, 2017 8:06AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 25, 2017 8:07AM EST
VANCOUVER -- Acclaimed Canadian actor, director and playwright Joy Coghill-Thorne has died at age 90.
She had been admitted to St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver after suffering massive heart failure and died on Jan. 20.
Coghill-Thorne was born in Findlater, Sask., on May 13, 1926, and grew to be a trailblazer in the Canadian theatre community.
She created Holiday Theatre in 1953, which is billed as Canada's first professional children's theatre.
Coghill-Thorne was the first woman to hold the position of artistic director at the Vancouver Playhouse from 1967 to '69, and more than 40 years later she founded Western Gold, a company for senior Canadian actors.
One of her best-known works as a playwright is "Song of This Place" about legendary Canadian artist Emily Carr.
She was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada in 1991, and received a Governor General's Award for the Performing Arts in 2002.
In 2001, Coghill-Thorne co-founded the Performing Arts Lodge Vancouver which provides affordable housing and a network of support for veterans of the city's performing arts communities.
Coghill-Thorne is survived by her three children, Debra, Gordon and David, and her grandchildren Casey and Lucy.