John Robert Roy Drainie

John Robert Roy Drainie, actor (b at Vancouver 1 Apr 1916; d at Toronto 30 Oct 1966). An actor of extraordinary versatility, he was the most renowned and best loved of the first truly professional community of performing artists in English Canada.

John Robert Roy Drainie

John Robert Roy Drainie, actor (b at Vancouver 1 Apr 1916; d at Toronto 30 Oct 1966). An actor of extraordinary versatility, he was the most renowned and best loved of the first truly professional community of performing artists in English Canada.

Starting in radio in the late 1930s, he quickly became the leading actor of a repertory company established by CBC Radio drama producer Andrew ALLAN, first in Vancouver, later in Toronto. Primarily on Allan's "Stage" series (1944-56), Drainie performed hundreds of leading roles in classical drama and original Canadian plays, most notably his wicked satire of the red-baiting US senator Joseph McCarthy in Reuben Ship's "The Investigator." His 5-year radio portrayal of Saskatchewan hired man Jake Trumper on W.O. MITCHELL's "Jake and the Kid" and his recreation of humorist Stephen LEACOCK on radio, television and the stage were major contributions to Canadian entertainment and mythmaking.

Completely self-taught, he set a standard of professional excellence for Canadian acting that is emulated to this day. His memory is honoured annually by ACTRA's John Drainie Award for Distinguished Contribution to Broadcasting.