Douglas Rain, 90, on Nov. 11. Born in Winnipeg, Rain studied acting at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. He was a founding member of the Stratford Festival and performed in a wide variety of theatrical roles, from Henry V (including a 1966 television adaptation) to his 1972 performance in Vivat! Viat! Regina! for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic). His association with Stratford continued through the late 1990s with one of his last roles playing Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1998). Rain is best known for being cast by Stanley Kubrick as the voice of the HAL 9000 computer for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984). Rain went on to voice another evil computer in Woody Allen’s 1973 futuristic comedy Sleeper. He also narrated Oscar-winning documentary The Man Who Skied Everest (1975).
François Macerola, 76, on Nov. 8. Macerola, a lawyer by training, became involved in the film industry in 1976 when he was appointed director of the French Program at the National Film Board (NFB). In 1979, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Film Commissioner, and became Commissioner in 1984. In Dec. 1988, Macerola stepped down to join Lavalin Communications and later Malofilm Distribution as vice-president of its Board of Directors. From 1995 until 2001, he served as executive director of Telefilm Canada and was Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2002. At Telefilm, Macerola helped expand the industry’s international growth and spearheaded an increase in co-production activity. Among the initiatives he established were the Canada Feature Film Fund and the first partnership between Telefilm and the private sector through the Canadian Television Fund, now the Canada Media Fund. He went on to work with Place des Arts (2004-08), the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles du Québec (2009 -2014), Cirque du Soleil (2003-2009) and most recently QuébéComm. He also served on the boards of such organizations as the Financière des entreprises culturelles (FIDEC) and the Fonds d’investissement de la culture et des communications (FICC).
Don S. Williams, 80, on Oct. 28, after a 25-year battle with Parkinson’s. Williams grew up in Stony Plain, AB, west of Edmonton where he developed a keen interest in the entertainment industry early on. He started his broadcasting career in 1957 at CKSA Lloydminster. A year later, he accepted a one-year contract at CKRM Regina and then moved on to CKX-TV Brandon where he worked as the producer and director, in addition to acting as artistic director at the Brandon New World Theatre. In 1963, Williams landed a job as a director and producer with CBC Winnipeg. He spent 15 years there, the last 10 freelance which involved travel to Vancouver where he worked on new series The Beachcombers. Williams relocated to Vancouver in 1979, where he directed actors like Bruce Greenwood and Michael J. Fox in the early stages of their careers. He started to focus on acting in the early 1990s, appearing as a guest star in shows including Wiseguy, Mom P.I., Neon Rider, and the recurring role of The First Elder on The X-Files. He also appeared in feature films The Stepfather (1987) and Reindeer Games (2000). Williams also worked behind the scenes as one of the founders of the Canadian Television Producers and Directors Association (CTPDA), acting as chief negotiator for collective bargaining agreements from 1968 to 1978. Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1993. His case received significant media attention in 2002 when documentary filmmaker Gerry Thompson featured him as one of four people who worked together at the CBC in 1979 (the most famous being Michael J. Fox) who would all go on not only to develop Parkinson’s, but to have the symptoms appear at roughly the same time.
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