Actor Jan Rubes dies at 89

Appeared in the film 'Witness'

Canadian actor and singer Jan Rubes, who appeared in the film “Witness” as the Amish grandfather, died June 29 in Toronto. He was 89.

His other film roles included “Dead of Winter,” “Something About Love,” “The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick,” “Class Action,” “Deceived” and “Never Too Late.”

In 1995, at the age of 75, he appeared in New York in James Lapine’s “Twelve Dreams” at the Lincoln Center Theater.

Born in Czechoslovakia, Rubes emigrated to Canada in 1948. A graduate of the Prague Conservatory of Music, he was a founding member of the Canadian Opera Company, singing more than 1,000 times between 1949 and 1989.

He took part in the very first CBC telecast with Glenn Gould in 1953, and sang on the opening telecasts of CTV, TVO, and CITY TV, as well as in many operas specially produced for TV.

Rubes was well-known in Canada for his weekly radio show “The Songs of My People.” He also taught at various universities and directed for opera companies across Canada.

He is survived by his wife Susan, two sons and two grandsons.

More Film

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Feasts on $150 Million Opening

    Canadian actor and singer Jan Rubes, who appeared in the film “Witness” as the Amish grandfather, died June 29 in Toronto. He was 89. His other film roles included “Dead of Winter,” “Something About Love,” “The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick,” “Class Action,” “Deceived” and “Never Too Late.” In 1995, at the age of 75, […]

  • NANTUCKET, MA - JUNE 23: (L-R)

    How Long Will TV and Film's Boom Market for Female Stories Last?

    Canadian actor and singer Jan Rubes, who appeared in the film “Witness” as the Amish grandfather, died June 29 in Toronto. He was 89. His other film roles included “Dead of Winter,” “Something About Love,” “The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick,” “Class Action,” “Deceived” and “Never Too Late.” In 1995, at the age of 75, […]

  • 'Ideal Home' Review: Steve Coogan, Paul

    Film Review: 'Ideal Home'

    Canadian actor and singer Jan Rubes, who appeared in the film “Witness” as the Amish grandfather, died June 29 in Toronto. He was 89. His other film roles included “Dead of Winter,” “Something About Love,” “The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick,” “Class Action,” “Deceived” and “Never Too Late.” In 1995, at the age of 75, […]

  • 'Calibre' Review: A Terrific, Intensely Terrifying

    Edinburgh Film Review: 'Calibre'

    Canadian actor and singer Jan Rubes, who appeared in the film “Witness” as the Amish grandfather, died June 29 in Toronto. He was 89. His other film roles included “Dead of Winter,” “Something About Love,” “The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick,” “Class Action,” “Deceived” and “Never Too Late.” In 1995, at the age of 75, […]

  • CHRIS PRATT stars as Owen in

    Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Gnaws on $144 Million Debut Weekend

    Canadian actor and singer Jan Rubes, who appeared in the film “Witness” as the Amish grandfather, died June 29 in Toronto. He was 89. His other film roles included “Dead of Winter,” “Something About Love,” “The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick,” “Class Action,” “Deceived” and “Never Too Late.” In 1995, at the age of 75, […]

  • Leung Chiu-wai

    Tony Leung Breaks With Wong Kar-wai’s Jettone (Reports)

    Canadian actor and singer Jan Rubes, who appeared in the film “Witness” as the Amish grandfather, died June 29 in Toronto. He was 89. His other film roles included “Dead of Winter,” “Something About Love,” “The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick,” “Class Action,” “Deceived” and “Never Too Late.” In 1995, at the age of 75, […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    ‘Jurassic World’ Holds off ‘Incredibles 2’ in China

    Canadian actor and singer Jan Rubes, who appeared in the film “Witness” as the Amish grandfather, died June 29 in Toronto. He was 89. His other film roles included “Dead of Winter,” “Something About Love,” “The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick,” “Class Action,” “Deceived” and “Never Too Late.” In 1995, at the age of 75, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content