Kenneth Welsh, actor of ‘Twin Peaks’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, passed away at the age of 80.

Kenneth Welsh, a prolific Canadian character actor with more than 200 films, passed away Thursday night. He was 80 years old.

ACTRA, a Canadian film and television union, confirmed the news on Friday.

“Ken was one of the best Canadian performers of all time, with hundreds of memorable roles over the decades,” ACTRA said in a statement. “It simply came to our notice then. Our condolences to his loved ones. “

Welsh is best known to American audiences for his role as Windom Earle, a mad FBI agent in the second season of the revolutionary television series “Twin Peaks.”

He was a consistent figure on television in Canada, often starring in TV movies, and portrayed several historical figures on screen.

Born in 1942 in Edmonton, Alberta, Welsh studied at the National Theater School of Canada in Montreal. He then spent the first years of his career as a performer at the world-famous Stratford Film Festival, known for performing Shakespearean plays. In 2006, he starred himself in an episode of “Slings & Arrows,” a acclaimed comedy series set in a fictional theater troupe modeled after Stratford.

Welsh’s first on-screen credit was as a performer at the Shoestring Theater, a 1963 CBC anthology series in which a group of actors performed minimalist, experimental productions of plays. He made several more television appearances in the ’60s, including TV movie versions of“ Henry V ”(where he played Gray) and“ The Three Musketeers ”(where he played the central role of D’Artagnan).

During the 70s and 80s, Welsh worked primarily in Canada.

He has had notable roles in television films such as “Hedda Gabler”, “Reno and the Doctor”, “Stranger is Waiting” and “Love and Hate”. In 1988, he played a supporting role in the film “Crocodile Dundee II” and starred in the episode of the revival of “Twilight Zone”, which was in progress at the time.

In 1990, Welsh landed the role of Windom Earle, one of the central villains in the second season of Twin Peaks. A former partner and mentor to special agent main character Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), Earle went crazy and killed his wife. After escaping from captivity, he traveled to the title town of Twin Peaks in hopes of unleashing the power of the supernatural Black Lodge.

Welsh was menacingly present as Earle, who was memorable for his cruel nature and obsession with chess. The actor starred in 10 episodes of the series and was a central figure in the gloriously ambiguous finale of the series.

After “Twin Peaks,” Welsh began working more in America, although he continued to appear frequently in Canadian productions. He has guest starred in series including “The X-Files”, “Law and Order”, “Due South”, “Smallville”, “Stargate Atlantis”, “The Expanse” and “Star Trek: Discovery”.

In 2018, Welsh took on a notable recurring role in “Lodge 49,” where he played Larry Loomis, the leader of the fraternal order. He also went on to star in television films, including the role of US President Harry S. Truman in two separate productions: “Hiroshima” in 1995 and “Haven” in 2001.

From 2000 to 2002, Welsh played Dr. Watson alongside Matt Frewer as Sherlock Holmes in four television films for the Hallmark Channel.

Welsh has had supporting roles in theatrical films, including “Timecop” and “Legends of the Fall”. In 2004, he played Dr. Hepburn, the father of Katharine Hepburn of Cate Blanchett, in Martin Scorsese’s Aviator. In the same year, he also played the incompetent Vice President of the United States Raymond Becker in Roland Emmerich’s disaster film “The Day After Tomorrow”. At the time of the film’s release, there was some criticism as to how Welsh resembled then-Vice President Dick Cheney, which Emmerich deliberately admitted.

Other notable films include “The Fog”, “The Covenant” and “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”.

At the time of his death, Welsh had several projects in post-production.

He was scheduled to guest star in the premiere video revival of the Canadian sketch comedy series “The Kids in the Hall,” which will be released later this month. Other upcoming roles include appearances in films such as “Campton Manor”, ​​“Midnight at the Paradise”, “Deadly Draw” and “Afterwards”.

Behind Welsh remained his son Devon Welsh, a singer-songwriter.

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