McGrath, Derek

 Derek Wayne McGrath, actor, writer (b South Porcupine, Ont 15 July 1949). Derek McGrath grew up in Timmins and went to school at Timmins High and Vocational School until moving to Toronto as a teenager. He was active in his high school drama club and first performed professionally as Linus in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown at the Playhouse Theatre in Toronto, a job that ran two-and-a-half years. After working the 1971 season at the SHAW FESTIVAL in Niagara-on-the-Lake, McGrath joined the legendary cast of the 1972 Toronto production of Godspell as an understudy. Along with other Godspell cast members Jayne EASTWOOD, Gilda Radner, Andrea MARTIN and Eugene LEVY, he moved on to the original Toronto Second City comedy troupe in 1981. He soon gravitated to the world of scripted television, where he has had a long and busy career. The malleable and easily disguised character actor is well known for his bookish and lightly eccentric father figures, portrayed in many classic television series.

In the 1970s he hosted TV Ontario's educational program Mathmakers. He had small parts in movies such as The Last Detail (1973), Nothing Personal (1980), Mr. Mom (1983) and Draw! (1984). In 1983 he moved to Los Angeles to write and perform for a pilot called Toast of Manhattan. Although it never aired, it gave McGrath his start in Hollywood. One could soon turn to almost any TV channel and find McGrath in guest appearances on some of the most enduring series of the 1980s, including SCTV, Cheers, Newhart, Who's the Boss?, Married with Children, and Dallas. Soon McGrath began to receive recurring, and more endearing, roles in Canadian series.

He played Dr Benjamin Jeffcoate in My Secret Identity (1988-91), and was nominated for a GEMINI AWARD for best lead actor in 1989 as well as for best dramatic series writing in 1990. He narrated the 2002 GENIE AWARD-winning animated short The Hungry Squid for the NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA. He played Garth Harble in Steve SMITH's The Red Green Show in 1995, and after a variety of appearances on television series, from 2001-05 he played the role of Dr Derek Hebert on the American/Canadian co-production of Doc, which starred Billy Ray Cyrus. Since 2007, Derek McGrath has appeared as the understated and witty Reverend Duncan Magee on the CBC hit comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie.