Vancouver actor Lorena Gale dies of cancer

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      Amidst all the news about celebrity deaths this past week, the Canadian theatre, film, and TV industries suffered a loss when local actor Lorena Gale succumbed to abdominal cancer on June 21.

      Earlier this year, in February, the local theatre community rallied around her to support her during her battle with cancer.

      Gale racked up an extensive number of roles on-stage and on-screen, in TV shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, The X-Files, and The Outer Limits and movies ranging from Things We Lost in the Fire to The Chronicles of Riddick.

      She was also a dramatist whose Angélique, about a black slave hanged in 1734 after being accused of starting a blaze that destroyed Montreal, and Je me souviens, an autobiographical solo play that explored linguistic and cultural tensions in Quebec, were important contributions to Canadian theatre. In both her work and opinions, she addressed racial issues in Canadian society.

      Born in Montreal in 1958, she lived her last 20 years in Vancouver, where she married director John Cooper in 1991 and had a son, Clayton, shortly thereafter. She also graduated from the Simon Fraser University Master of Arts program, in 2005.

      She was nominated for three Jessie Awards, including best actress for Je me souviens (which was also nominated for a Governor General's Award for drama in 2002), and won a best supporting actress Jessie for The Coloured Museum.

      A celebration of her life will be held sometime in July.

      Comments

      5 Comments

      shamrockdoc

      Jun 30, 2009 at 11:02pm

      I am very familiar with Lorena Gale's face: a very recognizable character actor. Wow, I am truly sorry to hear of her passing, along with Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, pitchman Billy Mays (of OxiClean fame), and especially Mr. Michael Jackson. Ms. Gales would also be 51 this year like Mays and Jackson.

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      Cindy Hum

      Jul 3, 2009 at 11:52am

      I would like to say that Lorena was a fire cracker from the time we met in high school - I was very happy to hear she had fulfilled her dreams - and very pleasantly surprised every time I saw her on the big screen ! I'm sure she heard me cheering for her from Montreal. She will truly be a very missed character. She was also very loved by many. xoxo Ville Lasalle

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      Mindy from Montreal

      Jul 9, 2009 at 10:30pm

      I am so sorry to hear of Lorena's passing. I was a childhood friend of hers growing up in Montreal on Durocher Street.I recently came across my diary from when I was 12yrs old and came across her name....I too was so happy for her success in life and also cheered everytime I saw her in something!!!! I just listened to this interview that I found online....

      http://www.galactica.tv/battlestar-galactica-2003---interviews/lorena-ga...

      It was very freaky to hear her voice and what she said. I just wish that I could have been friends with her as an adult, she sounded like a great person....my condolences to her family and friends,
      Mindy

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      Victor Garaway

      Jul 10, 2009 at 6:52am

      Certainly a sad day for the theatre and film community of Canada, especially Vancouver and Montreal. It was my great fortune to have guided Lorena's first steps in theatre training at Marianopolis College, in Montreal. It was such a thrill every time I saw her on the screen, on the stage or in an interview. Her talents and professionalism were obvious to all. So was her devotion to her family and her heritage. It was in her social activism that Lorena played her greatest role, and for that she will be missed throughout all of Canada.

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      U.N. Owen

      Nov 22, 2012 at 5:29pm

      I just watched Ms. Gale as the priestess, Elosha in Battlestar Galctica (I'm having a BStarG 'marathon' at my home this week), and her performance - especially in the episode I just watched (The Hub), which poses the question of how we impact those closest to us after we leave is explored.

      It always was an especially powerful episode, more so, in that Ms. Gale herself would soon succumb to cancer herself within less than one year after this episode was originally broadcast.

      I wish to her family and friends my heartiest wishes, and thank you, Ms. Gale - for leaving such an important body of work.

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