William Hutt, 87, actor

Canadian thespian starred in 'Lear,' 'Being Earnest'

William Hutt, longtime actor with the Stratford Festival of Canada and a mainstay of the Canadian theater community, died June 27 of leukemia in Stratford, Ontario. He was 87.

As a founding company member, director and actor, he participated in 39 seasons and 130 productions.

Among his notable roles were King Lear, the Fool to Peter Ustinov’s Lear, Titus Andronicus, Falstaff, Richard II, Jaques, Prospero and Tartuffe. He also gained notice for his portrayal of James Tyrone in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” — opposite Jessica Tandy in 1980 and opposite Martha Henry in 1994 and 1995, on stage and in film.

He was often remembered for his perf as Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Born in Toronto, Hutt served in WWII as a member of the Canadian Field Ambulance in Italy, France, Belgium and Holland.

After returning home he attended the U. of Toronto. He started his acting career at a Bracebridge, Ont., summer stock theater and was spotted by Amelia Hall, then artistic director of the Canadian Repertory Theater, who made him an associate director.

Hutt was one of the actors invited into the inaugural of the Shakespeare festival in the cornfields of Southwestern Ontario in 1953.

While Hutt performed in New York, Toronto, and London, England, and also served as artistic director of the Grand Theater in London, Ont., he called Stratford home for most of his life. The bridge that leads over the Avon River near his home was named in his honour in 2000.

More Scene

  • Ryan Murphy Pose

    Ryan Murphy on 'Showrunning as Advocacy' and the Post-Me Too 'Age of Enlightenment'

    William Hutt, longtime actor with the Stratford Festival of Canada and a mainstay of the Canadian theater community, died June 27 of leukemia in Stratford, Ontario. He was 87. As a founding company member, director and actor, he participated in 39 seasons and 130 productions. Among his notable roles were King Lear, the Fool to […]

  • 'The Sinner' film premiere

    Jessica Biel Closes Her Kid-Friendly Au Fudge Restaurant

    William Hutt, longtime actor with the Stratford Festival of Canada and a mainstay of the Canadian theater community, died June 27 of leukemia in Stratford, Ontario. He was 87. As a founding company member, director and actor, he participated in 39 seasons and 130 productions. Among his notable roles were King Lear, the Fool to […]

  • Comedy Converstion with L to R:

    Just for Laughs Festival Honors Tiffany Haddish, Hannah Gadsby, More

    William Hutt, longtime actor with the Stratford Festival of Canada and a mainstay of the Canadian theater community, died June 27 of leukemia in Stratford, Ontario. He was 87. As a founding company member, director and actor, he participated in 39 seasons and 130 productions. Among his notable roles were King Lear, the Fool to […]

  • Paul Krassner Memoir Illustration

    Paul Krassner on Resisting With Humor

    William Hutt, longtime actor with the Stratford Festival of Canada and a mainstay of the Canadian theater community, died June 27 of leukemia in Stratford, Ontario. He was 87. As a founding company member, director and actor, he participated in 39 seasons and 130 productions. Among his notable roles were King Lear, the Fool to […]

  • Just for Laughs Festival Montreal

    Just for Laughs Festival Is the Coachella of Comedy

    William Hutt, longtime actor with the Stratford Festival of Canada and a mainstay of the Canadian theater community, died June 27 of leukemia in Stratford, Ontario. He was 87. As a founding company member, director and actor, he participated in 39 seasons and 130 productions. Among his notable roles were King Lear, the Fool to […]

  • National Comedy Center Set To Open

    National Comedy Center Set To Open During Lucille Ball Fest

    William Hutt, longtime actor with the Stratford Festival of Canada and a mainstay of the Canadian theater community, died June 27 of leukemia in Stratford, Ontario. He was 87. As a founding company member, director and actor, he participated in 39 seasons and 130 productions. Among his notable roles were King Lear, the Fool to […]

  • Carter Hudson, John Singleton, Angela LewisFX's

    John Singleton on Disney-Fox Deal: 'You Gotta Let FX Be What It Is'

    William Hutt, longtime actor with the Stratford Festival of Canada and a mainstay of the Canadian theater community, died June 27 of leukemia in Stratford, Ontario. He was 87. As a founding company member, director and actor, he participated in 39 seasons and 130 productions. Among his notable roles were King Lear, the Fool to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content