Jay Scott

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jeffrey Scott Beaven (October 4, 1949 – July 30, 1993), known professionally by his pen name Jay Scott, was a Canadian film critic.[1]

Early life[edit]

Scott was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a Seventh-Day Adventist,[1] whose doctrine virtually prohibited movies.[2] Scott studied art history at New College of Florida in Sarasota.[3]


Moving to Canada in 1969 as a draft evader, he settled in Calgary and began writing film reviews for the Calgary Albertan a few years later.[1] He won a National Newspaper Award in 1975, and moved to Toronto when he was hired by The Globe and Mail in 1977.[1]

With the Globe and Mail, Scott became Canada's most influential film critic,[1][2] winning two more National Newspaper Awards for his writing,[1] and is still widely remembered as one of the best and most influential film critics in the history of Canadian journalism.[4] He was also the host of Jay Scott's Film International, a film series on TVOntario,[3] and published three non-fiction books on both film and art: Midnight Matinees, Changing Woman: The Life and Art of Helen Hardin, and The Prints of Christopher Pratt.[3]

From 1967 to 1980, he was in a relationship with Mary Bloom, whom he had met while studying in Sarasota.[3] After his divorce from Bloom, he came out as gay and began a relationship with Gene Corboy.[3]


He died of AIDS-related causes in 1993.[5] He wrote for the Globe and Mail until his death, and had been working on a book about Norman Jewison.[1] On the night of his death, TVOntario pulled a scheduled rerun of Film International to broadcast a tribute to Scott, including a screening of one of his all-time favorite films, Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless.[1]

Roger Ebert eulogized Scott as a "supremely well-informed critic who was able to translate his knowledge into superb prose that transmitted his passion for the movies."[1] Clint Eastwood sent an unsolicited $5,000 donation to Toronto's Casey House AIDS hospice in Scott's memory.[6] At the 1993 Toronto International Film Festival, filmmaker John Greyson dedicated his Special Jury Citation for Zero Patience to Scott's memory.[7]

A collection of his reviews, Great Scott! The Best of Jay Scott's Movie Reviews, was published posthumously in 1994; proceeds from the book sales were donated to the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.[8]

In 2009, the Toronto Film Critics Association established an annual $5,000 award for emerging talent in the Canadian film industry, the Jay Scott Prize, in Scott's memory.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Critic Jay Scott, 43 among world's best". Toronto Star, July 31, 1993.
  2. ^ a b Leonard Klady (2 August 1993). "Jay Scott [obituary]". Variety. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Globe's Jay Scott dies suddenly at 43: A rare film critic respected by all". The Globe and Mail, July 31, 1993.
  4. ^ "O Critic, Where Art Thou?", Ryerson Review of Journalism, 2002.
  5. ^ "Critic Scott eulogized as `secular saint'". Edmonton Journal, August 5, 1993.
  6. ^ "Eastwood donates to hospice in film critic's memory". Ottawa Citizen, August 20, 1993.
  7. ^ "Critic Jay Scott is not forgotten as Canadian and foreign film-makers pick up their awards at the Festival of Festivals". Ottawa Citizen, September 20, 1993.
  8. ^ "Critic's great voice lives on in collection". Ottawa Citizen, October 9, 1994.
  9. ^ "New award named for Jay Scott". The Globe and Mail. December 4, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2016.