Wayne Robson, actor (b at Vancouver 29 Apr 1946, d at Toronto 5 Apr 2011). Wayne Robson began his professional career on the stage in 1966 when he was 20 years old. The stern-looking, squinty-eyed youth had a life-sized presence sought after for characters in both film and television.
His first significant production came in 1971 in Robert Altman's Oscar-nominated revisionist western McCabe & Mrs. Miller, one of the first Hollywood productions shot in Vancouver. Shortly thereafter Robson became a principal player in feature filmmaking in BC when many young talented filmmakers were finding outlets for their work thanks to the CFDC (Canadian Film Development Corporation)-supported productions that were beginning to emerge in the 1970s. Notably, Robson had featured roles in Sylvia Spring's Madeleine Is... (1971), Tom Shandel's Another Smith for Paradise (1972) and experimental filmmaker Jack Darcus's Wolfpen Principle (1974). Robson played troubled, angry, and thoroughly confused characters who hinder, if not outright work against, the protagonist's goals.
In the 1980s Robson emerged as a character actor with a growing national reputation. His most memorable roles were in western Canadian productions and his best performances of that decade were in Canadian features. He played "Shorty" William Dunn in Phillip Borsos's multiple GENIE AWARD-winning drama The Grey Fox (1982), Harry Dickens in One Magic Christmas (1985; also directed by Borsos), and Pete in Anne WHEELER's Bye Bye Blues (1989), earning Genie nominations for best supporting actor for The Grey Fox and Bye Bye Blues. In 1987, Robson won his first GEMINI AWARD for best supporting actor for his emotional and realistic portrayal of a desperate gangster in the television crime film And Then You Die.
It was in television that Robson would find even greater success in the 1990s. He and Anne Wheeler paired up again for a television movie adapted from Margaret LAURENCE's controversial novel The Diviners in 1993. Robson's role as Christie garnered almost uniform praise from critics across the country and earned him a second Gemini Award for best supporting actor. His best-known role, however, came when Steve SMITH offered him the part of nearly reformed thief Mike Hamar in the hit sitcom The Red Green Show. The curt, inarticulate and insecure Hamar, a local handyman on probation and a frequent visitor to the fictional Possum Lodge, quickly became a fan favourite and was even later reprised in the feature film adaptation of the series, Red Green's Duct Tape Forever (2002).
Wayne Robson remained an active performer in film and television with numerous credits in both Canadian and Hollywood productions, but softened his tough guy persona somewhat with appearances on many popular children's television programs including Franklin and Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends. He appeared in a recurring role in the popular LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, in THE KIDS IN THE HALL miniseries Death Comes to Town, and in Murdoch Mysteries. He also maintained a longtime career in theatre, playing a dying man in Tuesdays with Morrie at the Sudbury Theatre Centre in late 2010.