Jonathan Crombie (October 12, 1966 – April 15, 2015) was a Canadian actor and voice over artist, best known for playing Gilbert Blythe in CBC Television's 1985 telefilm Anne of Green Gables and its two sequels.
Crombie in 1986
|Born||October 12, 1966|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Died||April 15, 2015 (aged 48)|
New York City, New York, United States
|Parent(s)||David Crombie and Shirley Crombie|
Crombie was born on October 12, 1966 in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Shirley Ann (Bowden) and David Crombie, who was the mayor of Toronto from 1972 to 1978 and a Canadian federal Cabinet Minister in the 1980s. Crombie attended Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, where he was spotted by casting agent Diane Polley performing in a production of The Wizard of Oz.
Crombie had no previous acting experience and used a photo he took at a kiosk in Union Station when he auditioned for the role of Gilbert Blythe in the 1985 TV miniseries Anne of Green Gables. He reprised the role in the 1987 TV movie Anne of Avonlea, the 2000 TV movie Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and an episode of Road to Avonlea in 1992. His role was so popular that he answered to the nickname "Gil".
Crombie was also a comedian and in 1998 performed on the Canadian TV series Comedy Now! as part of a sketch comedy group. His other television credits included a guest appearance on an episode of the Vancouver filmed TV series 21 Jump Street in 1991, voicing the title character in the animated series The Secret World of Benjamin Bear (2004–2010), and appearing in the second season of Slings & Arrows (2005), as playwright Lionel Train. In 2015, he had a guest role on The Good Wife and Haven.
In 2014, Crombie and John Mitchell wrote, produced and directed a documentary titled Waiting for Ishtar about the 1987 film Ishtar. The documentary was financed by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. It premiered in at Cinecycle in Toronto on December 14, 2017. It was dedicated to the memory of Jonathan Crombie.
Crombie appeared on stage in The Dishwashers by Morris Panych (Tarragon Theatre, 2005) and The Oxford Roof Climbers Rebellion by Stephen Massicotte (Tarragon Theatre/Great Canadian Stage Company, 2006). He spent four seasons at Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival appearing in A Comedy Of Errors, Hamlet, As You Like It, Taming Of The Shrew, and as Romeo in Diana Leblanc's Romeo and Juliet. He was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his role in the Canadian Stage Company's 1997 production of Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia.
Crombie debuted on Broadway in the Canadian musical The Drowsy Chaperone as "Man in Chair", from March to April 2007. He returned to the production beginning August 21, and performed the role during the show's tour through the United States.
In 2013, Crombie performed at Centerstage, Baltimore, in Clybourne Park and Benetha's Place for the Rasin Cycle featured on PBS. His final appearance on stage was playing two roles in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company's 2015 world premiere of Benediction, based on the novel by Kent Haruf.
Crombie was never married and had no children. In 2015, his sister said "Jonathan was also a gay man who didn’t come out until his 40s ... He was a very private person."
Crombie's family announced on April 18, 2015 that he had died suddenly three days earlier of a brain hemorrhage in New York City. His organs were donated. News of his death led to "Gilbert Blythe" trending on Twitter as fans shared their condolences.
|1982||Class of 1984||Extra in final auditorium scene|
|1985||Anne of Green Gables||Gilbert Blythe||TV movie|
|1986||The Campbells||Kevin Sims||Episode: "The Face of a Stranger"|
|1986||A Judgment in Stone (The Housekeeper)||Bobby Coversdale|
|1987||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Barney Roth||Episode: "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book"|
|1987||Anne of Avonlea||Gilbert Blythe||TV movie|
|1988||Mount Royal||Rob Valeur||16 episodes|
|1988||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Rick Garrison||Episode: "Fogbound"|
|1989||The Jeweler's Shop||Christopher|
|1989||The Teddy Bears' Picnic||Benjamin Bear (voice)||TV movie|
|1989||The Hitchhiker||Kenny||Episode: "Coach"|
|1991||21 Jump Street||Bill Howard||Episode: "The Education of Terry Carver"|
|1992||Road to Avonlea||Gilbert Blythe||Episode: "Old Friends, Old Wounds"|
|1992||The Teddy Bears' Christmas||Benjamin Bear (voice)||TV movie|
|1992||The Good Fight||Sam Cragin||TV movie|
|1993||Matrix||Cumberland||Episode: "Conviction of His Courage"|
|1993||Class of '96||Sam Clive||Episode: "They Shoot Baskets, Don't They"|
|1997||Comedy Now!||Various||Episode: "Skippy's Rangers - The Show They Never Gave"|
|1998||The Waiting Game||Matt||TV movie|
|1998||The Teddy Bears' Scare||Benjamin Bear (voice)||TV movie|
|1999–2000||Power Play||Hudson James||5 episodes|
|2000||Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story||Gilbert Blythe||TV movie|
|2002||Earth: Final Conflict||Dr. Field||Episode: "Deep Sleep"|
|2003–2006||The Secret World of Benjamin Bear||Benjamin Bear (voice)||TV series|
|2003||Slings & Arrows||Episode: "Playing the Swan"|
|2004||The Jane Show||Dave||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2005||Slings & Arrows||Lionel Train||3 episodes|
|2006||Empty Room (short)|
|2004–2010||The Secret World of Benjamin Bear (TV series)||Benjamin Bear (voice)||17 episodes|
|2013||Cottage Country||Dan Mushin|
|2015||The Good Wife||Inspector Bill Frazier||Episode: "Hail Mary"|
|2015||Haven||Young Dave||Episode: "Just Passing Through"|
- Moore, John (18 April 2015). "Actor Jonathan Crombie of Benediction has died at 48". Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Archived from the original on 24 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2019-04-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Shulman, Michael (18 April 2015). "'Anne of Green Gables' star Jonathan Crombie dies at age 48". CTV News. Archived from the original on 22 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Vlessing, Etan (19 April 2015). "'Anne of Green Gables' Star Jonathan Crombie dies at 48". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 21 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Kennedy, John R (18 April 2015). "'Anne of Green Gables' actor Jonathan Crombie dies at 48". Global News. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Terrero, Nina (18 April 2015). "Anne of Green Gables star Jonathan Crombie dies at 48". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "Waiting For Ishtar". Archived from the original on 2018-12-28. Retrieved 2019-07-21.
- Broadway.com Staff (17 August 2007). "Jonathan Crombie Returns as Drowsy Chaperone's Man in Chair". Broadway.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Pelley, Lauren (19 April 2015). "Actor the classic boy next door". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 23 May 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- Jones, Kenneth (17 August 2007). "Hot Seat: Crombie Will Be Back in Broadway's Drowsy Aug 21". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "A Raisin in the Sun Revisited". Pbs.org. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "Jonathan Crombie Was Gay Says Sister Robin. Posted on 7 July, 2015". Eat Blog and Die. Archived from the original on 2018-04-14. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
- "Jonathan Crombie, Anne of Green Gables actor, dead at 48". cbc.ca. CBC News. 18 April 2015. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- Omar, Mohamed (19 April 2015). "Jonathan Crombie Dead: Anne Of Green Gables Actor Was 48". Huffington Post Canada. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.