Kenneth Welsh, the Canadian actor, best known for his roles in Twin Peaks and Star Trek: Discovery has sadly passed away reports Comicbook.com via CTV News and ACTRA Toronto. Welsh was 80 years of age and passed on Thursday 5 May. He leaves behind a distinguished career on stage and screen.
ACTRA Toronto was responsible for breaking the tragic news of Kenneth Welsh first, as they posted a tribute on their official Twitter page. They described Welsh as one of Canada’s greatest performers, highlighting his decades of great performances. Their tribute can be seen in full below.
Kenneth Welsh was born on March 30, 1942, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Following college, Welsh embarked on his career as a thespian, studying acting at The National Theatre School in Montreal. From being an acting scholar Welsh progressed to stage work, acting in Shakespearean productions in Ontario, a seemingly natural steppingstone for all talented acting professionals. From stage Welsh made the jump to screen, his early television work came in the 1960s and Welsh developed an aptitude for appearing in period dramas, with roles in Henry V and The Three Musketeers. This aptitude for period dramas folded into Welsh’s other trope, representing historical figures, from the likes of General Harry Crerar to Thomas Edison.
Arguably Kenneth Welsh’s best-known role is that of Windom Earle in David Lynch’s iconic Twin Peaks series. As well as television, Kenneth Welsh has had a series of roles on the big screen as well. He has appeared in the likes of Crocodile Dundee II, Fantastic 4 Rise of the Silver Surfer, and The Day After Tomorrow, where he performed the role of Vice President of the United States and delivered the Roland Emmerich film’s closing monologue. Most recently, fans will recognize Welsh for his appearance in Star Trek: Discovery as Admiral Senna Tal.
It is clear to see that Kenneth Welsh’s career was expansive and meant a great deal to his native Canada, whose performing arts community celebrated his career to a great extent. A recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Alberta in 1999 and then in 2004, Kenneth Walsh was awarded the C.M. (Member of the Order of Canada) for his services to Performing Arts in Canada. He was also a multiple winner of the Gemini Awards, the acting accolades awarded by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. These accolades and achievements bestowed upon Kenneth Welsh by his home nation go to great lengths to explain the impact made by his death. It is clear to see that Welsh was undoubtedly a true leader of Canadian acting.
One just must look at the responses to ACTRA Toronto’s Tweet of Kenneth Welsh’s passing to see just how many hearts and minds his career touched. He leaves behind a legacy of decades in the making full of talented portrayals of historical figures and emboldened work of original characters too. It is in that legacy of work where Kenneth Welsh will survive, long for his fans and those close to him to remember him by.