Jonathan Crombie

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Jonathan Crombie
Born (1966-10-12)October 12, 1966
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died April 15, 2015(2015-04-15) (aged 48)
New York, New York, U.S.

Jonathan Crombie (October 12, 1966 – April 15, 2015) was a Canadian actor, best known for playing Gilbert Blythe in CBC Television's 1985 telefilm Anne of Green Gables and its two sequels.

Early life[edit]

Crombie was born in Toronto on October 12, 1966. His father, David Crombie, was the mayor of Toronto from 1972 to 1978 and a Canadian federal Cabinet Minister in the 1980s.[1] Crombie attended Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, where he was spotted by casting agent Diane Polley performing in a production of The Wizard of Oz.[2][3]



Crombie had no previous acting experience and used a photo he took at a kiosk in Union Station when he auditioned for the role of Gilbert Blythe in the 1985 TV miniseries Anne of Green Gables.[4] He reprised the role in the 1987 TV movie Anne of Avonlea, the 2000 TV movie Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and an episode of Road to Avonlea in 1992. His role was so popular that he answered to the nickname "Gil".[4]

Crombie was also a comedian and in 1998 performed on the Canadian TV series Comedy Now! as part of a sketch comedy group.[2] His other television credits included a guest appearance on an episode of the Vancouver filmed TV series 21 Jump Street in 1991, voicing the title character in the animated series The Secret World of Benjamin Bear (2004–2010), and appearing in the second season of Slings & Arrows (2005), as playwright Lionel Train.[4] In 2015, he had a guest role on The Good Wife and Haven.

In 2014, Crombie and John Mitchell wrote, produced and directed a documentary titled Waiting for Ishtar about the 1987 film Ishtar.[5] The documentary was financed by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and is due to be released later in 2015 and dedicated to Crombie.[6]


Crombie appeared on stage in The Dishwashers by Morris Panych (Tarragon Theatre, 2005) and The Oxford Roof Climbers Rebellion by Stephen Massicotte (Tarragon Theatre/Great Canadian Stage Company, 2006). He spent four seasons at Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival appearing in A Comedy Of Errors, Hamlet, As You Like It, Taming Of The Shrew, and as Romeo in Diana Leblanc's Romeo and Juliet. He was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his role in the Canadian Stage Company's 1997 production of Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia.[4]

Crombie debuted on Broadway in the Canadian musical The Drowsy Chaperone as "Man in Chair", from March to April 2007.[7][8] He returned to the production beginning August 21, and performed the role during the show's tour through the United States.[9]

In 2013, Crombie performed at Centerstage, Baltimore, in Clybourne Park and Benetha's Place for the Rasin Cycle featured on PBS.[10] His final appearance on stage was playing two roles in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company’s 2015 world premiere of Benediction, based on the novel by Kent Haruf.[1][4]


Crombie's family announced on April 18, 2015 that he died suddenly three days earlier of a brain hemorrhage in New York City. His organs were donated.[11] News of his death led to "Gilbert Blythe" trending on Twitter as fans shared their condolences.[12]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Class of 1984 Extra in final auditorium scene
1985 Anne of Green Gables Gilbert Blythe TV movie
1986 The Campbells Kevin Sims Episode: "The Face of a Stranger"
1986 A Judgment in Stone Bobby Coversdale
1986 Bullies Matt Morris
1987 CBS Schoolbreak Special Barney Roth Episode: "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book"
1987 Anne of Avonlea Gilbert Blythe TV movie
1988 Mount Royal Rob Valeur 16 episodes
1988 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Rick Garrison Episode: "Fogbound"
1989 The Jeweler's Shop Christopher
1989 The Teddy Bears' Picnic Benjamin Bear (voice) TV movie
1989 The Hitchhiker Kenny Episode: "Coach"
1991 21 Jump Street Bill Howard Episode: "The Education of Terry Carver"
1992 Road to Avonlea Gilbert Blythe Episode: "Old Friends, Old Wounds"
1992 Cafe Romeo Bennie
1992 The Teddy Bears' Christmas Benjamin Bear (voice) TV movie
1992 The Good Fight Sam Cragin TV movie
1993 Matrix Cumberland Episode: "Conviction of His Courage"
1993 Class of '96 Sam Clive Episode: "They Shoot Baskets, Don't They"
1997 Comedy Now![8] Various Episode: "Skippy's Rangers - The Show They Never Gave"
1998 The Waiting Game Matt TV movie
1998 SketchCom Various TV series
1998 The Teddy Bears' Scare Benjamin Bear (voice) TV movie
1999–2000 Power Play Hudson James 5 episodes
2000 Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story Gilbert Blythe TV movie
2002 Earth: Final Conflict Dr. Field Episode: "Deep Sleep"
2003–2006 The Secret World of Benjamin Bear Benjamin Bear (voice) TV series
2003 Slings & Arrows Episode: "Playing the Swan"
2004 The Jane Show Dave Episode: "Pilot"
2005 Slings & Arrows Lionel Train 3 episodes
2006 Empty Room (short)
2004–2010 The Secret World of Benjamin Bear (TV series) Benjamin Bear (voice) 17 episodes
2013 Cottage Country Dan Mushin
2015 The Good Wife Inspector Bill Frazier Episode: "Hail Mary"
2015 Haven Young Dave Episode: "Just Passing Through"


  1. ^ a b Moore, John (18 April 2015). "Actor Jonathan Crombie of Benediction has died at 48". Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Shulman, Michael (18 April 2015). "'Anne of Green Gables' star Jonathan Crombie dies at age 48". CTV News. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Vlessing, Etan (19 April 2015). "'Anne of Green Gables' Star Jonathan Crombie dies at 48". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Kennedy, John R (18 April 2015). "‘Anne of Green Gables’ actor Jonathan Crombie dies at 48"". Global News. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Terrero, Nina (18 April 2015). "Anne of Green Gables star Jonathan Crombie dies at 48". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Waiting For Ishtar
  7. ^ Staff (17 August 2007). "Jonathan Crombie Returns as Drowsy Chaperone's Man in Chair". Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Pelley, Lauren (19 April 2015). "Actor the classic boy next door". Toronto Star. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth (17 August 2007). "Hot Seat: Crombie Will Be Back in Broadway's Drowsy Aug 21". Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "A Raisin in the Sun Revisited". Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Jonathan Crombie, Anne of Green Gables actor, dead at 48". (CBC News). 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  12. ^ Omar, Mohamed (19 April 2015). "Jonathan Crombie Dead: Anne Of Green Gables Actor Was 48". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 

External links[edit]