Patrick Watson (producer)

Patrick Watson CC (December 23, 1929 – July 4, 2022) was a Canadian broadcaster, television and radio interviewer and host, author, commentator, actor, television writer, producer, and director for five decades.[1]

Patrick Watson
Late middle-aged man with grey hair, wearing a navy blue sweater and a white dress shirt
Watson in 1988
Born(1929-12-23)December 23, 1929
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DiedJuly 4, 2022(2022-07-04) (aged 92)
Ontario, Canada
Alma materUniversity of Toronto
University of Michigan
  • Broadcaster
  • writer
  • producer
  • director
  • interviewer
  • author
  • host

Early life edit

Born on December 23, 1929, in Toronto, Watson attended the University of Toronto and graduated with an MA.[2] He began working on his doctorate at the University of Michigan, but withdrew in 1955 to focus on working for CBC Television.[1]

Career edit

Watson's first broadcast, in 1943, was as a radio actor in the CBC's children's dramatic series The Kootenay Kid.[1] He first achieved national fame (and in some quarters, notoriety) as the co-producer and, with Laurier LaPierre, on-camera co-host of the CBC Television current affairs program This Hour Has Seven Days in the mid-1960s.[3][2][1] Watson went on to write, edit, and/or produce The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, Witness to Yesterday, and Titans.[2] He travelled to the United States for a short stint as an anchor and principal interviewer of The 51st State, a local news program televised in 1972–1973 on WNET in New York City.[2] Watson also hosted the CBC's business program Venture when it was first launched in 1985.[2][1]

In 1983 he created and performed, solo, a stage version of the Old Testament's The Book of Job, at first at the Nathan Cohen Studio in Toronto, directed by John McGreevey, and then at the National Arts Centre Theatre in Ottawa.[3] For CBC he hosted and/or produced shows such as The Watson Report, The Canadian Establishment and The World Challenge. He also created the Heritage Minutes, The Canadians: Biographies of a Nation, and The Struggle for Democracy series; the last has since aired in over 40 countries around the world.[4] It took five years to make, was filmed in 30 countries and was, at the time, the most expensive original documentary series ever made for Canadian television.[1] The Heritage Minutes were an initiative of Watson's begun in 1988 at Charles Bronfman's CRB Foundation (now The Historica Dominion Institute).[2]

Watson was chairman of the CBC from 1989 until 1994.[1] He was the recipient of honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Mount Allison University in 2002 and the University of Toronto in 2004.[2] He was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1981, then promoted to Companion in 2002.[1] Watson continued to write, lecture, advise, and work in many capacities in broadcasting.[4] He was married to Caroline Furey Bamford.[5] Watson has acted in more than 50 dramatic productions, including the movie The Terry Fox Story, and the HBO movie Countdown to Looking Glass.[4]

Personal life edit

His left leg was amputated above the knee in 1960 due to injuries sustained when he fell from a ladder.[2] He often assisted the Canadian disabled community, including serving as honorary chair of the Canadian Amputee Sports Association and chairman emeritus of the Canadian Abilities Foundation.[2]

He died at his home in Ontario on July 4, 2022.[1][5]

Selected bibliography edit

  • Conspirators In Silence. Toronto, Montreal: McClelland and Stewart. 1969. OCLC 504688802.
  • Fasanella's city : the paintings of Ralph Fasanella with the story of his life and art. New York: Knopf. 1973. ISBN 0-39448823-7.
  • Zero To Airtime: a novel. Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 1974. ISBN 0-88902015-9.
  • Dolgun, Alexander; Watson, Patrick (1975). Alexander Dolgun's story : an American in the Gulag. New York: Knopf. ISBN 0-39449497-0.
  • Alter Ego: a novel. Toronto: Lester & Orpen. 1978. ISBN 0-91963005-7.
  • Watson, Patrick; Barber, Benjamin (1988). The Struggle for Democracy (Revised ed.). Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys. ISBN 0-88619176-9.
  • Ahmek. Illustrated by Tracy Thomson. North York: Stoddart Kids. 1999. ISBN 0-77373145-8.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Watson, Patrick; Fraser, Hugh (2000). The Canadians : biographies of a nation. Toronto: McArthur. ISBN 1-55278170-4.
  • This Hour Has Seven Decades. Toronto: McArthur. 2004. ISBN 1-55278440-1.
  • Wittgenstein and the Goshawk: a fable. Toronto: McArthur. 2004. ISBN 1-55278449-5.
  • Finn's Thin Book of Irish Ironies. Illustrated by Aislin and Mary Hughson. Toronto: McArthur. 2010. ISBN 978-1-55278847-9.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Limericks. Toronto: McArthur. 2011. ISBN 978-1-55278946-9.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Canadian broadcasting legend Patrick Watson dead at 92". CBC News. July 4, 2022. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Patrick Watson". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Gilsdorf, William O. "Watson, Patrick". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Archived from the original on April 24, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c "Patrick Watson". Canadian Film Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on June 19, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Patrick Watson (1929–2022)". Magicana. July 4, 2022. Retrieved July 5, 2022.

External links edit