Ciceri, Leo Armand
Leo Armand Ciceri, actor (b at Montréal 9 July 1924; d near Kitchener, Ont 17 Aug 1970). Ciceri obtained the rank of flying officer and served as a navigator with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) during World War II. After his war service he entered McGill University, where he participated in amateur theatre. Upon graduation, he moved to London, England in 1949 where he studied acting at the Old Vic Theatre School and remained to perform at Stratford-Upon-Avon and the Edinburgh Festival. In 1952 he appeared opposite Paul Scofield as the Duke of Aumerle in Richard II, directed by Tyrone GUTHRIE at the Lyric Theatre. As Paris in Jean Giraudoux's Tiger at the Gates he appeared on Broadway with Michael Redgrave in 1955, and the next year he replaced Christopher PLUMMER, opposite Julie Harris, in Jean Anouilh's The Lark.
In 1960 Ciceri returned to Canada to join the STRATFORD FESTIVAL in the roles of Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Paris in Romeo and Juliet, with Bruno GERUSSI as Romeo and Julie Harris as Juliet. He would play 20 roles with the Festival prior to his death in a traffic accident near Kitchener, Ontario, in August 1970. Some of his more memorable roles included Antonio in The Tempest (1962), King Henry IV (1965), Buckingham in Richard III (1967), Cleante in Tartuffe (1968), Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers (1968), and Claudius in Hamlet (1969). He also toured with Stratford in the roles of Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night (1967), Claudius in Hamlet (1969), Antonio in The Merchant of Venice (1970), and played Agrippa in Antony and Cleopatra at EXPO 67. His television credits include Cyrano de Bergerac (NBC TV, 1962) and The Three Musketeers (CBC TV, 1969). Although primarily a Shakespearean actor, he is remembered for other roles such as the Pope in Rolf Hochhuth's The Deputy, which he performed at the CREST THEATRE in 1964.
Ciceri was also admired for his teaching. He conducted classes at Stratford and helped prepare younger members of the company for their classical roles. As a tribute to his contributions as a teacher, a scholarship in his name was established by the Stratford Festival to be offered annually by the National Theatre School.