Character actor Heath Lamberts, a star of Canadian theater, died in Pittsburgh, Penn. Feb. 22 of prostate and throat cancer. He was 63.
His work as Cyrano de Bergerac at the Shaw Festival in Ontario led to him being awarded the Order of Canada in the 1980s. He also worked in regional theater in Pittsburgh and elsewhere, on Broadway and in TV.
He was known for creating the role of Cogsworth in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” which premiered in Houston and then moved to Broadway. He was also the mute King in the Broadway revival of “Once Upon a Mattress.”
He spent much of the past decade in Pittsburgh, performing at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, City Theatre, Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. In summer 2004, he appeared in PICT productions of “Travesties” and “Uncle Vanya.”
His final performance was in a two-man clown show “E-lectricity” at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in December 2004.
At Pittsburgh Playhouse, he appeared in “Quills” and the title role in “La Bete.”
Born James Langcaster in Toronto, he attended Montreal’s National Theater School and was then hired by Ontario’s Stratford Festival. He was most widely known in Canada for his performances at the Shaw Festival under artistic director Christopher Newton, where he starred in “A Flea in Her Ear,” “One for the Pot” and “Tons of Money.” He also toured in a one-man comic show called “Gunga Heath.” On TV, he appeared in shows including “Law & Order,” “Remember WENN” and “More Tales of the City.”
He is survived by his partner Louise Silk, two brothers and five nephews.