Peter Keleghan | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Peter Keleghan

Peter Keleghan, actor, screenwriter (born at Montréal 16 Sept 1959).

Peter Keleghan

Peter Keleghan, actor, screenwriter (born at Montréal 16 Sept 1959). Peter Keleghan attended John Abbott College and Concordia University in Montréal before earning a diploma from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in England and receiving a BA in English drama from Toronto's York University in 1984. In spite of early advice to give up his chosen profession, he took his unique straight-man approach to comedy and went on to become one of Canada's best-known actors.

He got his start at Toronto's famed Second City comedy training centre and was an active stage performer until moving on to television, where he co-wrote and co-starred in The Comedy Mill from 1986-91. He then moved to Los Angeles and appeared on Cheers, Murphy Brown and Seinfeld and in a recurring but brief role on the daytime soap, General Hospital.

Peter Keleghan returned to Canada and in 1991 he joined Steve SMITH on Smith's series The Red Green Show. Ranger Gord, the isolated and emotionally overwhelmed forest ranger, became a fan favourite and showcased Keleghan's lightly serious comedic touch.

He was cast as Alan Roy, the heartless film tyrant in Rick MERCER's Made in Canada, and as the outwardly affable and hopeless dullard Jim Walcott in Ken Finkleman's cynical sitcom The Newsroom. These 2 shows earned 4 GEMINI AWARDS for best ensemble performance in a comedy.

The next decade saw Peter Keleghan earn major parts in feature films, most notably in Canadian filmmaker Gary Yates' Manitoba-shot Niagara Motel (2006). The dark comedy written by George F. WALKER is about the chance encounters of a group of maladjusted visitors to Niagara Falls, and was a hit on the international film festival circuit. Keleghan also appeared in, among other movies, Ginger Snaps (2000), Coopers' Camera (2009), Eating Buccaneers (2009) and GravyTrain (2010).

Along with a successful career in voice work for radio and animated shows, Peter Keleghan has been seen in numerous TV series, including Slings and Arrows, Billable Hours, and The Murdoch Mysteries. He joined the cast of the sitcom 18 to Life (2010- ) as a father whose attic houses a newlywed 18-year-old son and daughter-in-law.

He also co-created and appeared with his wife Leah Pinsent in Love Letters (2010), a one-hour CBC special based on the 1989 play of the same name by A.R. Gurney. In the Canadian animated series Crash Canyon (2012), he is cast as Stephanel the Stern, a homosexual French-Canadian who further frustrates a family's attempts to come to terms with their new life stuck at the bottom of an Alberta canyon during an unlucky cross-countryroad trip.

He was active in the creation of the first credit union in Canada specifically for workers in the film industry, the Creative Arts Savings and Credit Union, which opened in Toronto in 2009. For his body of work and his tireless efforts to support the arts in Canada, Peter Keleghan was presented with ACTRA's Award of Excellence in 2009. He won the 2011 Gemini Award for best actor in a leading comedic role for his part in 18 to Life.