Edgar Fruitier | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Edgar Fruitier

Edgar Fruitier, actor, moderator, columnist (born at Montréal 8 May 1930).

Edgar Fruitier

Edgar Fruitier, actor, moderator, columnist (born at Montréal 8 May 1930). An artist of many talents - an actor of two hundred roles also able to sing; a comedian who could be serious; a moderator and columnist knowledgeable about classical music - Edgar Fruitier knew how to win over large audiences with his presence on stage, television and radio.

His family, of modest means, suffered from the economic crisis of 1930 during which they lost almost everything. His father, an academic, died when Edgar was only two leaving him his library, and the boy early on developed an interest in literature by reading plays aloud, and in his great passion - music. As a teenager he appeared on stage as an amateur and attended the theatre of the Compagnons de Saint Laurent. In 1955 and 1956, he won successive awards from the Dominion Drama Festival for his performances in Denise FILIATRAULT's play in verse Le Roi David, and Jacques Languirand's Les Insolites.

Edgar Fruitier studied theatre with Henri Norbert and Jean Valcourt, and polished his style with Georges Groulx, who entrusted him with the role of Trissotin in Molière's Les Femmes savantes at the Nouvelle Compagnie Théâtrale (NCT), 1967; and Paul Hébert, who directed him in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew at the Théâtre de Sainte-Adèle. With a comical appearance, slender silhouette and infectious laugh, Fruitier, a lover of flawless French, shone in Molière whose works, with a few exceptions, he performed in their entirety. His greatest role was Arnolfe in L'École des femmes, with fifty performances at the NCT in 1975.

Excelling in works of the repertoire, notably light comedies, Edgar Fruitier also took part in several Québécois creations: Sonnez les matines by Félix LECLERC at the THÉÂTRE DU RIDEAU VERT (1954) directed by the author; Marcel DUBÉ's Le Testament; and the musical comedy Les Héros de mon enfance by Michel TREMBLAY at the Théâtre de la Marjolaine (1974 and1976). A multifaceted and determined actor, his pleasant tuneful voice served him well in the operettas La Belle Hélène, La Veuve joyeuse, and others presented at the Variétés Lyriques, the THÉÂTRE DU NOUVEAU MONDE and La Poudrière. He appeared onstage again in 2007 in Molière 's Le Malade imaginaire as the pretentious Diafoirus, a role he had played in 1996 at the Rideau Vert, and in which he had held the title role of Argan at the TNM in 1973.

Among his many appearances in television plays and miniseries are the memorable Loup-Garou, a likeable character in the children's programs La Boîte à surprise and Le Pirate Maboule from the 1960s, and the boss Réné in Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut. The young generation knows him as the Québécois voice of Monsieur Burns in the cartoon Les Simpson. Edgar Fruitier, Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Pléiade (2003), is the spokesperson and honorary chair of many events related to music and the French language. He is still very active in radio, writing chronicles and hosting musical programs. The boxed sets of his favoured versions of classical works are a big hit with a wide public, and in this way he continues to use his expertise to everyone's benefit.