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.