Michael Burgess (singer)

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Michael Burgess
Michael Burgess.jpg
Michael Burgess, February 2005
Background information
Birth name Walter Roy Burgess
Born (1945-07-22)July 22, 1945
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died September 28, 2015(2015-09-28) (aged 70)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s) Actor, singer

Michael Burgess, (July 22, 1945 – September 28, 2015) was a Canadian actor and tenor singer, best known for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in the Toronto production of Les Misérables.

Early life and career[edit]

Burgess was born in Regina, Saskatchewan; his early musical training included education at Toronto's St. Michael's Choir School.[1] He studied at the University of Ottawa.[2]

Burgess appeared as one of the 17 Jean Valjeans at the end of the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert. His other major performances include Man of La Mancha, Blood Brothers, and starring roles throughout Canada and the United States.[2]

He is also known in Canada for his frequent vocal performances of national anthems; he was the first individual to sing "O Canada" at the baseball World Series, in Atlanta in 1992.[2] In 2013, he was made a Member of the Order of Ontario.[3]

Burgess performing at a Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey game in 2009

Personal life and death[edit]

He married fellow Les Misérables performer Susan Gilmour on October 8, 1994.[4] He also has a son Jesse Burgess from a previous relationship.

Burgess died in a hospice in Toronto on September 28, 2015, from skin cancer. He was 70.[5][6]


  1. ^ Volume Communications. "A Gift of Music Gala in support of St. Michael's Choir School". Newswire. Volume Communications. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Michael Burgess". Historica-Dominion. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "25 Appointees Named to Ontario's Highest Honour". Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. 
  4. ^ Zekas, Ritas (October 9, 1994). "Mr & Mrs Miz", Toronto Star, p. C2.
  5. ^ "Canadian tenor Michael Burgess dies at 70". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Morrow, Martin (2 October 2015). "Gifted Les Mis star Michael Burgess made hearts swell". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 

External links[edit]