John Dunsworth

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John Dunsworth
Born (1946-04-12) April 12, 1946 (age 71)
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
Occupation Actor
Years active 1976-present
Children 4, including Sarah and Molly

John Dunsworth (born April 12, 1946) is a Canadian actor. He is best known for playing the frequently drunk trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey on the comedy series Trailer Park Boys and the mysterious reporter Dave Teagues on the supernatural drama series Haven. He has also appeared in Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion, a CBC film about the 1917 Halifax Explosion. He also has extensive experience in regional theatre.

Early life[edit]

Dunsworth was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, the second of ten children born to Frank and Frances Dunsworth.[1] He grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia.



In 1988, Dunsworth starred in a video documentary short entitled, John Dunsworth: The Candidate,[2] which was written and directed by Neal Livingston. The film follows an underdog provincial candidate for the New Democratic Party, as he travels around Nova Scotia trying to win support for his campaign. Dunsworth's candidacy in this election was real,[1] but by 1990, he left the political realm in favour of his growing acting career.

Nova Scotia general election, 1988
Party Candidate Votes % ±
     Progressive Conservative Joel Matheson 6462
     Liberal Penny Larocque 4977
     New Democratic Party John Dunsworth 2746


Dunsworth studied acting at the University of Guelph, but dropped out in his fourth year.[1] He went on to act in numerous CBC radio dramas, and has had starring roles in many stage productions at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax.[3] In 1970, Dunsworth leased an abandoned building on Halifax's waterfront, and converted it into a playhouse. Dubbing it the Pier One Theatre, it became the city's first and most successful alternative theatre production house.[4] In 1987, Dunsworth founded Filmworks Casting where he worked as Halifax's most renowned casting director.[1] Dunsworth met director Mike Clattenburg in the mid-1990s when he tried out for a bit part in Clattenburg's film short, One Last Shot.[5] Dunsworth's small role gradually transformed into a leading part that earned him a Best Performance award from the Atlantic Film Festival. From there, he further developed the character into what would eventually become Jim Lahey in Trailer Park Boys.

Dunsworth, John Paul Tremblay, and Robb Wells can be seen in the 2002 movie Virginia's Run starring Gabriel Byrne and Joanne Whalley. Dunsworth plays a local cop while Tremblay and Wells play active and verbal townsmen similar to their Trailer Park Boys characters. Actors are credited as cop for John Dunsworth, J.P. for John Paul Tremblay (credits as J.P. Tremblay), and Robb Wells as Rob. The movie was filmed in Nova Scotia, Canada.[6] Dunsworth stars in Haven, the television series adaption of the Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid.[7]

In 2010, Dunsworth reunited with many of his former Trailer Park Boys castmates in the new series The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Fun Time Hour.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Dunsworth currently resides in Nova Scotia with his wife, three daughters, and one son. His daughters Sarah and Molly are both actresses.[9][10][11]

Unlike the character he plays on Trailer Park Boys, Dunsworth rarely drinks alcohol.[5] He has admitted suffering from a gambling problem in the past.[12] As a result of his recovery, he has been instrumental in trying to remove Video Lottery Terminals from bars in Nova Scotia.

Dunsworth once appeared on stage with Guns n' Roses in Halifax, as Axl Rose is a fan of Trailer Park Boys and Dunsworth's character in particular.[13] He is an avid boating enthusiast and frequently spends time on his yacht, The Emerald Princess. He also has a passion for building granite sculptures and walkways.[14]





  1. ^ a b c d Knox, Casten (September 2005), John Dunsworth: From Angry Young Man to Renaissance Man, retrieved December 9, 2008 
  2. ^ Johnston, Ian (May 27, 1990), "John Dunsworth: The Candidate", The Daily News 
  3. ^ Lahey, Liam (2003), Tight Pants and Self Righteousness, retrieved December 9, 2008 
  4. ^ Perkyns, R. (1985), "Two Decades of Neptune Theatre", Theatre Research in Canada, vol. 6 no. 2 
  5. ^ a b Capancioni, Marc (September 2008), "Liquored-up Mr. Lahey role initially gave actor bad case of the shivers", The Sault Star 
  6. ^ Second Teaser Promo: Stephen King's Haven
  7. ^ Find a Haven on Facebook
  8. ^ "The Boys are back and on drugs". The Globe and Mail, July 12, 2010.
  9. ^ Trask, Nicole (September–October 2006), "Fight Club", Halifax Magazine, archived from the original on August 12, 2008 
  10. ^ Hobo with a shotgun blogsite
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ CBC Arts (April 18, 2005), "'Trailer Park Boys' to tackle VLT addiction", CBC News, retrieved December 9, 2008 
  13. ^ John appears on stage with Axl Rose on YouTube
  14. ^ Video of John's boat and stone projects on YouTube

External links[edit]