Gordon Masten (1950-2020)

Gordon Masten in memoriam

Gordon Masten was a devoted husband, beloved father, brilliant actor, passionate musician, loyal friend, dedicated teacher. To have known Gordon is to be immersed in a universe of artistry and love. It is so so sad now to think of him gone.

With a sweeping reach Gordon connected with so many people... hearts and lives. I marvel at the scope and depth of his range. A rare breed of a man, he was a true gentleman with an elephantine memory acknowledging every birthday and anniversary. He was always the first to call in the day, to speak caring words, sing you a song or crack a joke that had been thoughtfully prepared and rehearsed for amusement.

Gordon was a brilliant actor, always at the ready for a role to sink his teeth into, no one was beyond his artistic scope. He possessed an inquiring and beautiful mind. He loved to research and build nuance into plot and character, breathing life onto the page. And he’d twinkle when caught in the act.

An avid theater goer, he was at every Centaur or Segal opening regardless of the weather or distance to travel, all to watch friends perform and show support. He could often be found wearing one if his trademark cashmere sweaters and be heard across the room with his wonderful deep joyful laughter.

As a client, Gordon was always ready to undertake the work necessary to prepare for an engagement, ready and up for the task, no role was too far a reach. He worked on the main stages in both Toronto and Montreal and across Canada. Most hilarious was the Picklein Schwartz’s The Musical! And he voiced numerous commercials, voice overs and animated cartoons.

We all remember Gord’s face as the New York City bus driver in The Day After Tomorrow, andSource Code, The Sunshine Tax, The Santa Clauseand the memorable Pat Frewen in his earlier Road to Avonlea along withthe much loved Christmas classic A Child’s Christmas in Wales. He worked with Sir Richard Attenborough, Denis Arcand, Rene Bonniere, Rolland Emerich, Todd Haynes and yes, Jean-Claude Van Damme... always with notes of admiration sent back to my desk.

Gordon met Jude Beny at one of Reisler Talent’s Mountain Street Christmas party’s in the late 90’s. He wore cashmere, she wore velvet. Kindred spirits, they were drawn to each other and soon married, blending their families together. He spoke of all of his kids with great pride and admiration. He loved and treasured each of his four grandchildren. And he never ceased to be devoted to Jude, his cherished Jude, noticeable in everything and all he said and did.

He was dedicated to his students at Dawson college where he taught in the theatre department for many years alongside Jude. Gordon loved to teach and gave much of his personal time to students, passing on craft and artistry to future generations.

As a community, we remember how much he gave of himself to help others move forward in strength and clarity and love. We weep at our loss.

One of Gordon’s favorite characters of all time was The Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. He could perfectly mimic the character and had often said he would have liked a chance to reprise the role. Gordon was in many ways like this beloved character. He was fantastic and magical, he was a king of a man with a roaring voice, and above all things a good and loyal friend.

Gordie, it has been an honour to walk down the yellow brick road with you and we know - we’re certain - you are shining somewhere there on the other side of the rainbow.