Domini Blythe, Stratford Festival Actress, Dies at 63

Obituaries   Domini Blythe, Stratford Festival Actress, Dies at 63 Domini Blythe, a member of the Stratford Festival's acting company for 11 seasons over a 30-year period between 1976 and 2006, died of lung cancer on Dec. 15 in Montreal. She was 63.

Domini Blythe in Miss Julie, 1977
Domini Blythe in Miss Julie, 1977 Photo by Zo

Ms. Blythe was born in England in 1947. She met Richard Monette — former Stratford artistic director — in England as they performed in the erotic revue Oh! Calcutta! in 1970. Said Stratford general director Antoni Cimolino, "Richard was wise enough to ensure it was a life-long friendship."

In 1972, she emigrated to Canada and spent three seasons at Ontario's Shaw Festival before Monette brought her to Stratford.

Ms. Blythe, known as one of the more beautiful actresses of her generation, first joined the festival company in 1976 to play leading roles in The Way of the World, The Merchant of Venice and Antony and Cleopatra. In 1978, she appeared in the Festival's first production of Titus Andronicus. More recently, she was Maria to William Hutt's Feste in Stratford's 2001 production of Twelfth Night.

She last appeared on the Stratford stage in 2006 when she played Mistress Quickly in Henry VI Part 1, directed by Monette, and that same year she staged her one-woman show Fanny Kemble at the Studio Theatre. Most recently she appeared as Judge Evelyn Rowe in the 2010 television movie "The Ties that Bind."

Blythe said she identified with Kemble because they both were British-born actresses who had spent most of their careers in North America. Other Stratford roles included Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest; the title role in Miss Julie; Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost; Desdemona in Othello; Margery Pinchwife in The Country Wife; Elmire in Tartuffe; Gertrude in Hamlet; Liz Essendine in Present Laughter; and Goneril in King Lear opposite Christopher Plummer. She repeated the latter part in her sole Broadway appearance.

Ms. Blythe is survived by her husband, Jean Beaudin; her father, Richard Blythe; her brother, Ben Blythe, sister-in-law Andrea Schlieker and their two children Lily and Phinn. A funeral service will be announced at a later date.

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