“Next” by Gordon Pinsent

This is a delightful and skilful memoir of Gordon Pinsent, one of Canada’s best-loved actors, written with the help of George Anthony, an entertainment editor who has worked in film, television and journalism. Together they have produced a very funny and impressive story of Pinsent’s life who today, at the age of eighty-two, is still in the business of acting.

Born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, Pinsent was the last of six children, and was very often left to make up his own dream world. After he discovered movies at the weekly matinees of the Nickelodeon Theatre, he decided to be an actor. He was already good at sketching, and later poetry, but never had an acting lesson – which did not stop him from working his way to Toronto, doing odd jobs, later a stint in the army from which he was discharged in Winnipeg. Here he met the actor John Hirsch, got some parts, and was on his way.

Pinsent tells of his adventures in Hollywood, his encounter with Christopher Plummer at Stratford, and eventually the whole roster of Canadian actors. Most significant of these was the Toronto star, Charmion King, who became the love of his life. They were happily married for forty years until her death in 2007.

Pinsent has played major classical roles across the country on both televison and film and is remembered for The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), The Shipping News (2001), The Rowdyman (1972) and John and the Missus (1987). He won a Genie award for best actor in Away from Her (2006) and recently made his songwriting debut on the Warner Music CD Down and Out in Upalong.
This book is almost as entertaining as watching him act.

Review by Anne McDougall