Sandy Macdonald (in Memoriam)

Macdonald_SandyIn Memoriam

Sandy (James Alexander Stuart) Macdonald (1940-2018) was larger than life – a professional actor and director, a teacher, a raconteur and a man with great wit, a lot of grit and a big heart, who loved to tease everyone. He was born on March 1st 1940, in Hamilton, Ontario, and died in Kitchener, as dawn was breaking, a day shy of his 78th birthday.

He was a boy soprano and as a teenager and young man he was in the cadets for five years and then did two years of officer’s training. He received his teaching degree in Hamilton at the age of 22 and taught for two years in Toronto at the elementary school level. In the summers he did summer stock in Sarnia – ten plays in ten weeks - before buying a one-way ticket to England at age 24 to seek his fortune as an actor.

He acted for several years and worked with the likes of Sir Peter Ustinov and Sir Laurence Olivier. He also landed a small role in the movie, The Dirty Dozen. When he was 32, and a new father, he took a four-year degree in three years from London University in Drama, and taught high school drama in England from 1974 to 1977. He moved back to Canada in 1977, with his then-wife and his daughter, Charlotte, and his then-wife’s daughter, Kate, and son, Nick, both of whom he considered his own.

He worked as the Artistic Director at both Port Dover and Grand Bend and directed countless plays over his career. In 1989 he moved to Toronto and variously taught English and drama to high school students, notably at Marc Garneau, and then taught Special Ed. Wherever he went, his students loved him for his kind heart and captivating teaching style.

In the summers he directed and acted in plays at the Rainbow Theatre in Parry Sound for many years. He was also an experienced and highly entertaining adjudicator in Theatre Ontario's Talent Bank, for ACT-CO, QUONTA, WODL and EODL. In his later years, with his rich bass voice, he did TV commercials and voiceovers for such firms as McDonalds and Nabob.

He is survived by his daughter, Charlotte Storey (Simon), his grandson Porter, his stepdaughter Kate Van (Steve), and her sons Spencer and Tommy, his stepson Nick Rees-Evans (Juliet) and their daughters Nikki, Natassia and Bella, his stepson Steven Rees-Evans (Margaret) and their daughters, Melissa, Sabrina and Jessica, his stepdaughter Belinda Rees-Evans (Peter), and Suzanne Kingsmill, his partner of 7 years.

Go with Gaia, Sandy! She has your back.

Donations in Sandy’s memory to Save the Children Canada would make him smile, as would any donation to groups helping young actors.

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