By michelle-lee :Just two weeks shy of his 60th birthday, actor and singer Denis Simpson passed away October 20th in Toronto after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Denis was born in Jamaica and grew up in Scarborough, Ontario. He made his stage debut at the age of 19 in the original Canadian production of Hair at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre. He was a singer, dancer, choreographer, director; a songwriter, playwright and an original member of the singing group The Nylons. He left the group to appear in the musical Indigo.
In a career that spanned 40 years, Denis appeared on stage, radio and on television (X-Files, Night Visions, MacGyver, etc.) He won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for his role in the Fats Waller musical Ain’t Misbehavin” and a Jessie for his one-man show Denis Anyone, which he wrote, directed and starred. He appeared in many stage productions including A Funny Thing Happened on The Way To The Forum, Master Harold and The Boys, Angels in America, (parts 1 & 2), To Kill a Mockingbird just to name a few.
Denis was well known in the B.C.’s arts community and performed many times in Vancouver. (Ain’t Misbehavin’, Wang Dang Doodle, etc). Many will remember him as the host of the children’s television show, Polka Dot Door. He was also involved in community service and devoted many hours in support of various causes. He was inducted into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame.
We, at The Afro News, send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Denis was a huge talent and a wonderful human being. He will be missed.