Languages and Literatures
Dr. Milo Sweedler reads citation for Colm Feore at Fall Convocation
Dr. Milo Sweedler presented Canadian stage and screen actor Colm Feore for a degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, at Fall Convocation.
Dr. Feore is not only a world-famous actor known for his roles in such Hollywood blockbusters as Pearl Harbor, Changeling and most recently Thor. He is not only the Broadway star recently seen in such productions as Daniel Sullivan’s interpretation of Julius Caesar, where he played Cassius opposite Denzel Washington’s Brutus. He is not only a familiar face on American television shows such as the critically acclaimed West Wing, the hugely popular Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and the captivating series The Borgias. He is also a Canadian icon and a vital presence in the southern Ontarian arts and culture scene.
Dr. Feore is perhaps best known to some for his portrayal of national icon Pierre Trudeau in the 2002 television mini-series Trudeau, a role for which he won a Gemini Award. It seems fitting that an institution named after one iconic Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, bestow an honorary degree on the actor who received a Gemini for his portrayal of another iconic Prime Minister. Others might know Dr. Feore for his incarnation of Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould in the 1993 film Thirty-Two Short Films about Glenn Gould. Still others might know him as the by-the-book detective Martin Ward in the box-office hit Bon Cop, Bad Cop, where Feore, the Ontarian “good cop,” keeps butting heads with his freewheeling Québecois counterpart, the “bad cop,” until the two of them finally agree to put their cultural differences aside in order solve a quintessentially Canadian crime.
Moreover, Dr. Feore, an international celebrity and a Canadian icon, who has appeared in more than 100 film and television productions, is also a vital presence right here in southern Ontario. Born in Boston, Massachusetts and trained at Ridley College in St. Catharines, the National Theatre School in Montreal and the University of Windsor, Dr. Feore began his acting career at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, located some thirty kilometers west of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus, in Stratford, Ontario. Dr. Feore has moved on from Stratford to gain international celebrity, but he returns to Stratford, where he owns a home, on a regular basis. After having gained so much from Stratford, it is now his turn to give back to the town that launched his career. Over the past few years he has been seen in such Stratford productions as Molière’s Don Juan, where he played the title role in both the French and the English versions of the play, and the leading roles in such major productions as Macbeth, directed by Tony winning director Des McAnuff, and Cyrano de Bergerac, directed by Feore’s wife and collaborative partner Donna Feore.
An actor who seems equally comfortable on the stage or on the screen, in French or in English, in comedic roles such as the bon cop Martin Ward or in tragic roles such as Macbeth, Colm Feore has inspired innumerable lives. It is an honour and a pleasure for this institution to present him with a degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.