London, Ont. photographer reflects on his long-time friendship with Christopher Plummer
LONDON, ONT. -- The loss of Canadian acting legend Christopher Plummer will be felt by many, especially those who became friends with the actor will miss his caring and selfless ways, including Londoner Richard Bain.
Bain became friends with Plummer over 20 years ago, and shared with CTV London what he was like on a personal level.
"He was never really interested in talking about himself. He was more interested in talking about us, about our lives, about our family, always asked about the kids," says Bain.
"The two of them (Plummer's wife Elaine) are such a lovely couple, and it's going to be a great loss, not only too the theatre community and film, but to so many of us that knew him personally," he adds.
The pair met in 1998 when Bain was looking for someone to write a foreword for his book on the Stratford Festival.
A friend of his suggested that her friend "Chris" would be happy to do it. That "Chris" turned out to be none other than the famed thespian Plummer.
"Within two hours my phone rang and it was that wonderful voice and it was rich. 'Christopher Plummer'," Bain says. "I called him Mr. Plummer and he corrected me right away," mused Bain.
The pair met the next day in Stratford and become close friends, spending time at his home in Connecticut, even vacationing in Florida.
The Stratford Festival issued a statement Friday, saying it is shocked and deeply saddened by the news.
Plummer was a member of the acting company for 11 seasons between 1956 and 2012.
“Christopher Plummer was our North Star,” said Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino.
“His talent, wit and verve set the highest standards for performance especially that of Shakespeare. One of the Stratford Festival's most dynamic alumni he graced our stages in roles as diverse as King Lear, Cyrano and Barrymore. His work on screen and stage across the globe made us so proud of him. His support for Stratford was unparalleled as he returned time and again to fondly rejoin his company of players.
“We shall not look upon his like again.”
Plummer, who was likely best-known for portraying Captain Georg von Trapp in "The Sound of Music," died peacefully at his home after suffering a fall two weeks ago. The news was announced Friday.
Plummer became the oldest Oscar winner in an acting category at age 82, winning best supporting actor for his role as a widower who embraces his homosexuality in "Beginners."
The Oscar came just two years after Plummer received his first Academy Award nomination for playing Russian writer Leo Tolstoy in "The Last Station."
His other memorable roles include industrialist Henrik Vanger in 2011's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and the patriarch in the 2019 murder mystery "Knives Out."
Plummer was born in Toronto in 1929 into a notable family. His great-grandfather on his mother's side was Prime Minister John Abbott. His parents divorced when he was a baby and Plummer was raised by his mother's family in Montreal.
He was 91.
- With files from the Canadian Press.