Jean-Louis Roux, theatre director, writer, actor (born 18 May 1923 in Montréal; died 28 November 2013 in Montréal). A doctor's son, Roux completed his BA at Collège Sainte-Marie and then enrolled in medicine at Université de Montréal (1943-46). He began acting in 1942 when Ludmilla Pitoëff was invited to mount a production with the Compagnons de Saint-Laurent, L'Échange. He performed again in 1946 with Jean GASCON in Phèdre and Le Pain dur, when Pitoëff returned to Montréal from New York with her theatre company.
The year after, Roux received a bursary and gave up medicine to study acting in Paris for 3 years. Returning from abroad in 1950, he joined Éloi de GRANDMONT to establish the Théâtre d'Essai, which gave place to the THÉATRE DU NOUVEAU MONDE (July 1951); they produced de Grandmont's Un fils à tuer (1949) and Roux's Rose Latulippe (February 1951). After the production of Un fils à tuer in Montréal, Roux went back to Paris to work as a professional actor (1949-50).
He later performed in the TNM's first production (9 October 1951), L'Avare, along with de Grandmont, Jean Gascon, Georges Groulx, Guy Hoffmann, Ginette Letondal, Denise Pelletier and others who would remain Roux's close associates for many years. During this time he directed approximately 40 of the TNM's productions and occupied the positions of secretary general (1953-63) and artistic director (1966-81).
Roux wrote and produced the play Bois-Brûlés (1967), translated some of the plays performed by the TNM, and wrote radio and TV scripts for Radio-Canada. He has acted in several famous TV roles, including a part in Septième nord and Les Plouffe, and played a number of roles in motion pictures such as in Jean BEAUDIN's Cordélia (1980), Fernando Arrabal's L'Empereur du Pérou (1981) and Tony Richardson's Hotel New Hampshire (1984), Francis MANKIEWICZ's Les Portes tournantes (1988) and Michel BRAULT's Mon Amie Max (1994).
He served as president of the Société des auteurs, as administrative secretary and later president of the Centre canadien du théâtre, and was on the executive committee of the Institut international du théâtre. His honours include the Victor-Morin award in 1969 and the MOLSON PRIZE in 1977. Roux was director general of the National Theatre School of Canada (1981 to 1987). He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1987 and a member of the Canadian SENATE in 1994.
In 1996 Roux found himself in the eye of a storm of controversy. A supporter of federalism in Québec, Roux implied during the 1995 referendum campaign that there were similarities between separatists and Nazis. However, shortly after his appointment as Lieutenant-Governor of Québec on 8 August 1996 it was revealed that he had worn a swastika on his sleeve in a 1942 rally. On 5 November 1996 Roux announced his resignation, which became effective at the beginning of January 1997. On 31 May 1998 Roux was appointed Chair of the CANADA COUNCIL.