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John Drainie


B: April 1, 1916 in Vancouver, British Columbia
D: October 30, 1966 in Toronto, Ontario

John Robert Roy Drainie remains one of Canada’s most beloved actors decades after his death. His is best remembered for a number of roles including his unique ability to become Stephen Leacock on stage, radio or television. He started in radio in the late 1930’s and performed in hundreds of productions between 1944 and 1956. In addition to playing Leacock, John Drainie also spent five years on radio as Jake Trumper, the hired man in W.O.Mitchell’s Jake and the Kid. Drainie was self-taught but set the standard for acting that many still strive to achieve to this day. In 1968, the Alliance of Canadian Theatre, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), created, which was given annually for distinguished service to Canadian broadcasting until 2015 when Ann-Marie MacDonald, Rick Mercer and Mark Starowicz were the last three to be honoured with the prestigious award. John Drainie was described by Orson Welles as one of the greatest radio actors in the world.

Also see Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Land of the Long Day (narrator, 1952, short)
The Grievance (narrator, 1954, short)
Strike In Town (narrator, 1955, short)
Anne of Green Gables (TV-1956)

Mister Arcularis (TV-1960)
The Incredible Journey (1963)

TV Series – Cast:
Maggie Muggins (1955-1956)
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (1959-1960)
Scarlett Hill (1962-1964)
This Hour Has Seven Days (Host, 1964-1965)

The Incredible Journey
This poster for The Incredible Journey was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.