Kenneth Clifford Welsh (born March 30, 1942 in Edmonton, died May 5, 2022) - Canadian actor. Four-time winner of the Gemini Prize and the Genie Prize.
He has appeared on stage, in film and on television. He portrayed the villain Windom Earle, a former FBI agent who was the partner and best friend of Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in David Lynch's TV series Twin Peaks (1990–1991). He starred as the father of Katharine Hepburn, played by Cate Blanchett in Martin Scorsese's biopic The Aviator (2004).
He was born and raised in Edmonton in the Canadian province of Alberta. His father worked for the Canadian National Railway. He has been showing his interest in theater since the days of high school. He participated in a theater program based on Stanisławski's acting method at the University of Alberta. He later moved to Montreal and was accepted into the National Theater School from which he graduated in 1965.
In 1965 he auditioned at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, then spent the first seven years of his career on stage performing in such plays by William Shakespeare as Henry V (1966) as Sir Thomas Gray, Henry VI (1966) as first murderer and captain Talbot, Twelfth Night (1966) as guard and courtier, Richard III (1967) as Lord Hastings, The Merry Wives of Windsor (1967) as Fenton, Antony and Cleopatra (1967) as Octavius Caesar, Hamlet (1969 ) in the role of the title Danish prince, Macbeth (1971) as MacDuff, As You Like It (1972) as Sir Oliver Martext and King Lear (1972) as Edgar. In 1973 he left the company to direct Under Milkwood, based on a text by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. In 1978 he made his Broadway debut as Iwan Kuźmicz Szpekin - head of the post office in the Inspector. He was also the author and performer of the acclaimed off-Broadway cabaret musical Standup Shakespeare (1987).
He played the character of d'Artagnan in the television adaptation of Alexander Dumas' novel The Three Musketeers (1969), a filmed version of the 1968 Canadian stage production of the Stratford Festival. He played historical figures including Thomas E. Dewey, Harry S. Truman ( twice), Thomas Edison, General Harry Crerar and James Baker. He made guest appearances in recognized television series, incl. From the X Archives (1995), To the South (1996–1999) or Law and Order (1998). In Star Trek: Discovery (2020), he voiced Admiral Senna Tal.
Awards and decorations
In 1977 he won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor for his performance in Arthur Ui's Career at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. In 1998, he received the Earle Gray Lifetime Achievement Award for Television. In 1999 he was awarded the honorary academic title of Honorary Doctor of the University of Alberta. In October 2004, he was awarded the Order of Canada for his contribution to the performing arts in the country.
He was married to actress Donna Haley. His son, Devon (born September 3, 1988) is the lead singer of the pop group Majical Cloudz.
He died on May 5, 2022 at the age of 80.
1980: Phobia as Sergeant Wheeler
1984: Falling in Love as a Doctor
1985: Being Perfect as Joe McKenzie
1986: Heartburn as Dr. Appel
1987: The Golden Age of Radio as the Voice of Radio
1988: Crocodile Dundee II as Brannigan
1988: Another Woman as Donald
1994: Storm of Passion as Sheriff Tynert
1994: Death Wish 5 as Lieutenant Mickey King
1994: The Keeper of Time as Senator Utley
1995: The Devil's Lair as Detective Breech
1997: Absolute Power as Sandy Lord
2000: The Hound of the Baskervilles (TV) as Doctor Watson
2001: The Reagan Assassination (TV) as James Baker
2001: Visual acuity as Fr. Crighton
2003: Eloise of the Plaza Hotel as Sir Wilkes