Home Cast Members Richard Monette

Richard Monette


B: June 19, 1944 in Montréal, Québec

D: September. 9, 2008 in London, Ontario

Raised in a poor, working class family in Montréal’s East End, Richard Monette studied English and gravitated toward the theatre. He was first noticed at an Inter-Varsity drama competition held at Hart House in Toronto in 1959, where he took top acting honours. He went on to perform at the Crest Theatre, playing Hamlet when he was just 19 years old, before joining the Stratford Festival two years later where he played several small roles. At 23, he decided to continue his career in London, England, appearing in the notorious production of Oh Calcutta. On his return to Canada Monette established himself as one of the country`s great stage actors, taking the leads in the Stratford productions of Shakespeare`s Hamlet and the one-man-show, Judgement. In all he played more than 40 roles at the Festival. In 1988, he directed his first play at Stratford, The Taming of the Shrew. He was appointed artistic director designate in 1992 and was officially named to the position in 1994. He also directed The Taming of the Shrew for television in 1988 and The Comedy of Errors also for television in 1989. He performed throughout Canada, Britain and the U.S., including plays on Broadway and the West End, London. Named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1998, he announced in 2005 that he would step down from his position as artistic director of the Stratford Festival when his contract, which ran until 2007, would end. He had spent more than 35 seasons in various capacities at the festival and had become its longest-serving leader by the end of his tenure. He died of a blood clot in the lung in a London, Ontario hospital.

These are his credits for his work in film and television.

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

Big Zapper (1973)
Find the Lady (1976)

A Far Cry From Home (TV-1981)
Iceman (1984)
Mania (TV-1986)
Popeye Doyle (TV-1986)
The High Price of Passion (TV-1986)
Dancing in the Dark (1986)
I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)
Much Ado About Nothing (TV-1987)
Higher Education (1987)

The Good Fight (TV-1992)
And Then There Was One (TV-1994)
Harrison Bergeron (TV-1995)
While My Pretty One Sleeps (TV-1997)

I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, movie poster
This poster for I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection