Kenneth Welsh

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Kenneth Welsh

Born (1942-03-30) March 30, 1942 (age 79)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Years active1964–present
ChildrenDevon Welsh

Kenneth Welsh, CM (born March 30, 1942)[1] is a Canadian film and television actor. He is known as the multi-faceted villain, Windom Earle, in Twin Peaks and played the father of Katharine Hepburn as portrayed by Cate Blanchett in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator.

Early life[edit]

Welsh was born in Edmonton, Alberta, to a father who worked for the Canadian National Railway. He grew up in Alberta and studied drama at school. He later moved to Montreal and attended the National Theatre School. Following graduation, he auditioned for the Stratford Festival in Ontario and then spent the first seven years of his career on stage.[1]


Welsh has portrayed historical figures including Thomas E. Dewey, Colin Thatcher, Harry S. Truman (twice), Thomas Edison, James "Scotty" Reston, General Harry Crerar and James Baker. He has made guest appearances on the acclaimed TV series Due South and Slings and Arrows.

In 1984, he was nominated for a Genie Award as Best Actor for his portrayal of Reno Colt in the film Reno and the Doc, written and directed by Charles Dennis. In 1997, Welsh directed Dennis in the latter's play SoHo Duo at the West Bank Theatre in New York City. In 2003, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

His role as the Vice-President of the United States in the 2004 environmental disaster film The Day After Tomorrow sparked some controversy due to his physical resemblance to Dick Cheney, who at the time was the real Vice-President. Director Roland Emmerich later confirmed that he deliberately chose Welsh for that very reason. Emmerich stated that the character of the Vice-President in the film was intended to be a not-so-subtle criticism of the environmental policies of the George W. Bush administration.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Welsh was a follower of Adi Da, an American spiritual teacher, whose focus was primarily on the priority of spiritual enlightenment. In 2000, Welsh narrated Da's audiobook, "What, Where, When, How, Why, and Who to Remember to Be Happy".[3]

Welsh's son Devon[4] was the lead singer of the musical group Majical Cloudz.[5]


Year Title Role Notes
1965 The Overfamiliar Subordinate Short documentary
1974 Piaf
1975 The School for Scandal Oliver Surface For TV production, WNET/13 NYC
1976 Brethren Ralph
1980 F.D.R.: The Last Year Thomas E. Dewey TV movie
Double Negative Dr. Klifter
Phobia Sergeant Wheeler
1983 Tell Me That You Love Me David
Of Unknown Origin James Hall
Hot Money Parker
Empire, Inc. Sir James Munroe TV Mini-Series
1984 Covergirl Harrison
Reno and the Doc Reno TV movie
Falling in Love Doctor
1985 Perfect Joe McKenzie
Love and Larceny Ira Reynolds TV movie
The Cuckoo Bird Harry TV movie
The War Boy Stephan Berecky
The Ray Bradbury Theater Crane Season 1, Episode 1: Marionettes, Inc.
1986 Lost! Jim
The Climb Walter Frauenberger
Loyalties David Sutton Genie Award nominee for Best Actor at the 8th Genie Awards
Heartburn Dr. Appel
Murder Sees the Light The Evangelist TV movie
1987 Radio Days Radio Voice Voice
And Then You Die Eddie Griffin
1988 The House on Carroll Street Hackett
Crocodile Dundee II Brannigan
Liberace: Behind the Music TV movie
Another Woman Donald
The Twilight Zone Jack Simonson Episode: "Acts of Terror"
The Murder of Mary Phagan Luther Rosser TV Mini-Series, 2 episodes
1989 The January Man Roger Culver Credited as Ken Welsh
Physical Evidence Harry Norton
Champagne Charlie John Whistlow TV miniseries
Dick Francis: Blood Sport Harry Teller TV movie
Love and Hate: The Story of Colin and JoAnn Thatcher Colin Thatcher TV miniseries
1990 Straight Line Dr. Hammel
The Freshman Dwight Armstrong
The Ray Bradbury Theater Captain Wilder Season 4, Episode 7: "And the Moon Be Still as Bright"
Murder Times Seven Nick Ruggieri TV movie
The Widowmaker Atkinson TV movie
1990-1991 Twin Peaks Windom Earle 10 episodes
1991 The Big Slice Lieutenant Bernard
1992 Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster Sam Skinner TV movie
The Good Fight Dick Chandler TV movie
Eli's Lesson Uncle Yakub
1993 Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story Judge Norton TV movie
Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story Don Eisenberg TV movie
Les amoureuses David
1994 Death Wish V: The Face of Death Lieutenant Mickey King
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Vance Cavanaugh Episode: "Temple"
And Then There was One David Burns TV movie
Whale Music Kenneth Sexstone
Timecop Senator Utley
Legends of the Fall Sheriff Tynert
Boozecan Tim
1995 Hideaway Detective Breech
Hiroshima President Harry S. Truman TV movie
Margaret's Museum Angus MacNeil
Kissinger and Nixon James "Scotty" Reston TV movie
The X Files Simon Gates Episode: "Revelations"
1996 Portraits of a Killer Jim Miller
Rowing Through Harry Parker
Turning April Father
1997 Dead Silence Sheriff Lenny Budd
Habitat Coach Marlowe
Absolute Power Sandy Lord
The Wrong Guy Mr. Nagel
1998 Law & Order Ben O'Dell Episode: "Disappeared"
Thunder Point Armstrong TV movie
Thanks of a Grateful Nation Sen. Shelby TV movie
Edison: The Wizard of Light Thomas Edison TV movie
1999 External Affairs Michael Riordan
2000 Who Killed Atlanta's Children? William Kunstler TV movie
Deliberate Intent Peder Lund TV movie
Witchblade Joe Siri TV movie
Love Come Down Ira Rosen
Bad Faith Chief Inspector Brodsky
The Hound of the Baskervilles Dr. Watson TV movie
2001 Haven Harry Truman TV movie
The Sign of Four Dr. Watson TV movie
Focus Father Crighton
The Royal Scandal Dr. Watson TV movie
The Day Reagan Was Shot James Baker TV movie
2002 The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire Dr. Watson TV movie
2003 The Pentagon Papers John McNaughon TV movie
Ice Bound: A Woman's Survival at the South Pole Dr. Ben Murdoch TV movie
Eloise at the Plaza Sir Wilkes TV movie
Eloise at Christmastime Sir Wilkes TV movie
2004 Miracle George Nagobads
The Day After Tomorrow Vice President / President Raymond Becker
ReGenesis Dr. Shelby Sloane 3 episodes
The Aviator Dr. Hepburn Credited as Kenneth Walsh
The Wild Guys Andy
H2O Randall Spear 2 episodes
2005 This Is Wonderland Episode #2.3
Tilt Seymour Annisman 2 episodes
Our Fathers Bishop Murphy TV movie
Four Brothers Robert Bradford
Bailey's Billion$ Mouse Delaney
The Exorcism of Emily Rose Dr. Mueller (as Ken Welsh)
The Fog Tom Malone
Smallville Drunk Santa Episode: "Lexmas"
Category 7: The End of the World Chief of Staff Alan Horst TV Mini-Series, 2 episodes
The Snow Queen King TV movie
2006 The Covenant Provost Higgins
One Way William Henderson
Above and Beyond Lord Beaverbrook mini TV Series, in post-production
2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Dr. Jeff Wagner
Silk Mayor Joncour
Stargate Atlantis Jamus Episode: "The Ark"
2008 Adoration Morris
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Uncle Hendrick
Nothing Really Matters Joe
2009 Survival of the Dead Patrick O'Flynn
2010 Human Target Belvilacqua Episode: "Corner Man"
2011 Haven Cole Glendower Episode: "The Tides That Bind"
2012 The Riverbank Joe Mason
The Story of Luke Grandpa Jonas
2013 Cottage Country Earl
The Art of the Steal Paddy "Uncle Paddy" McCarthy
2014 The Best Laid Plans Angus McClintock 6 episodes
Wet Bum Ed
2015 The Ballad of Immortal Joe The Narrator Short
The Expanse Frank Degraff Episode: "Remember the Cant"
2016 The Void Dr. Richard Powell
2017 Chicanery Pringle Hewitt
Awakening the Zodiac Ben
Undercover Grandpa Harry
2018 Lodge 49 Larry Loomis 6 episodes
2019 And the Birds Rained Down (Il pleuvait des oiseaux)
2020 Star Trek: Discovery Senna Tal Episode "People of Earth", "Forget Me Not"
2021 The Middle Man Mr. Miller


  1. ^ a b Lucas, Ralph (August 29, 2019). "Kenneth Welsh".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ 'The Day After Tomorrow' heats up a political debate by Scott Bowles, USA Today, May 26, 2004. (retrieved on January 12, 2009).
  3. ^ "What, Where, When, How, Why, and Who to Remember to Be Happy". The Utne Reader (103–108): 98. 2000. Retrieved April 10, 2017. In this CD, Avatar Adi Da tells children exactly what to do every day to remember, feel, and breathe everlasting happiness. Narrated by award-winning actor Kenneth Welsh (Legends of the Fall, Perfectly Normal), with music by acclaimed composer Ray Lynch. Listen to this magical CD and be transported into the feeling of the Mystery!
  4. ^ Dolan, Margaret (June 17, 2013). "Majical Cloudz Don't Want to Be "Cool and Boring"". Paper Magazine. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  5. ^ "We Talked To Majical Cloudz". Vice, January 4, 2013.

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