Banff Award of Distinction: Paul Gross

Canuck projects see actor grow in stature

It’s hard to argue with the choice of Paul Gross as the recipient of the NBC Universal Canada Award of Distinction at this year’s Banff TV fest.

Gross, one of the country’s most popular actors, also has success as a director and producer. He wrote, directed and starred in “Passchendaele,” a Canadian-made World War I romantic epic that was the top homegrown ticket seller in Canada in 2008, making $4 million. His previous feature as a writer-director-thesp — the 2000 curling comedy “Men With Brooms” — was also the top at the local box office.

On the smallscreen, he’s won two Gemini Awards — the Canuck equivalent of the Emmys — for his work as an actor in the series “Slings & Arrows,” and he toplined the political-thriller miniseries “H2O.”

But he might well still be best known for playing an RCMP constable in the series “Due South,” which played on both sides of the border.

American auds might become more familiar with Gross in the fall as he co-stars in the new ABC drama “Eastwick,” based on the film “The Witches of Eastwick.”

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