Brent Carver, actor (b at Cranbrook, BC 17 Nov 1951). One of Canada's most versatile actors, Carver has tackled the classics at the Stratford Festival (1980-87), as well as turning in critically acclaimed performances in musical theatre, cabaret and film. Associated with Robin Phillips, who directed him both at Stratford and at Theatre London (1983-84), Carver has also worked closely with John Neville at Edmonton's Citadel Theatre in such productions as Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet.
Heralded for the searing honesty and exceptional charisma of his performances, Carver has won 10 awards in a career that began in 1972, when he dropped out of the University of British Columbia after his third year to join the Vancouver Playhouse Holiday touring children's theatre, under the direction of Don Shipley. That same year he was in his first adult theatre production with the Vancouver Arts Club's Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.
Carver has worked across Canada, in the US and UK, but gained his reputation at the Stratford Festival, where he demonstrated his considerable adaptability with The Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance (1985) and the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet (1986). He further cemented his popularity among small theatre audiences with Brad Fraser's Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, for which we won the 1989/90 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Actor. Other diverse stage roles have included Ariel in Shakespeare's The Tempest (1979), in Los Angeles with Anthony Hopkins; Horst in Martin Sherman's Bent (1981), for which he won his first Dora; and Dr. Frankenfurter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1976).
Carver's film roles include Rafe in Carol Bolt's One Night Stand (1978), for which he picked up an Etrog Award, Robert Ross in Robin Phillips's adaptation of Timothy Findley's novel The Wars (1983) and Gail Harvey's adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard's stage play Lilies (1995).
His television credits run the gamut from Street Legal, in which he played an AIDS patient (1995) and won the Gemini, to principal roles in the mini-series Love and Hate (1988) and Love and Larceny (1984).
In 1996 Carver toured his highly acclaimed cabaret show, Brent Carver in Concert, playing at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre and at Vancouver's Ford Centre for the Performing Arts. He also guest starred as a dancer in an hour-long CBC tribute to Canadian dancer/choreographer Margie Gillis and received raves for his portrayal of psychotic thief Donnie in Lee MacDougall's High Life, a new Canadian play that headed for Broadway later that year. In the summer of 1998 Carver played the title role in an outstanding production of Schiller's Don Carlos, directed by Phillips. And at the end of the year he was back on Broadway, starring in the Livent musical Parade. Engagements for 2000 included the role of Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof at the Stratford Festival.
Along with a 1993 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman) and a Tony nomination for Parade in 1999, Carver's other awards include an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a musical (1992-93), also for Spider Woman; the Toronto Arts Award in the Performing Arts Category (1996); 2 more Doras for his outstanding performance as an actor (1993, 1996); a Gemini Award for Best Actor in a dramatic role or mini-series (1996); the Sterling Award for Best Actor (1994); and the New York Drama Desk Award for Best Actor (1992-93).