Kenneth Welsh

Born(1942-03-30)March 30, 1942
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
DiedMay 5, 2022(2022-05-05) (aged 80)
Years active1964–2022
ChildrenDevon Welsh

Kenneth Welsh, CM (March 30, 1942 – May 5, 2022)[1][2] was a Canadian film and television actor.[3] He was best known as the multi-faceted villain Windom Earle in Twin Peaks, for his roles in the films The Day After Tomorrow, Adoration, Survival of the Dead, and, as the father of Katharine Hepburn (portrayed by Cate Blanchett), in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator.

Early life

Welsh was born in Edmonton, Alberta, to a father who worked for the Canadian National Railway and mother who worked in a dress shop.[4] 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.[3]


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.[5] He made guest appearances on the acclaimed TV series Due South [6] and Slings & Arrows.[7]

He was a two-time Genie Award nominee for Best Actor, receiving nods at the 6th Genie Awards in 1985 for his portrayal of Reno Colt in the film Reno and the Doc[8] and at the 8th Genie Awards in 1987 for his performance as David Sutton in Loyalties,[9] and a two-time Genie nominee for Best Supporting Actor, receiving a nomination at the 5th Genie Awards in 1984 for Tell Me That You Love Me[10] and winning the award at the 16th Genie Awards in 1996 for Margaret's Museum.[11]

Reno and the Doc was 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.[12]

In 2003, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.[13]

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, the real-life vice-president at the time. 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.[14]

Personal life

Welsh had recently married Lynne Mcilvride in a civil ceremony at his house near Toronto.[15]

A follower of American spiritual teacher Adi Da, who primarily focused on prioritizing spiritual enlightenment, Welsh narrated Da's 2000 audiobook, "What, Where, When, How, Why, and Who to Remember to Be Happy".[16]

Welsh died on May 5, 2022, at the age of 80, from cancer.[17] His son Devon,[18] the lead singer of the now-defunct musical group Majical Cloudz,[19] announced on Twitter: "My dad passed away on Thursday peacefully at home. I will always love him beyond words. He lived a wonderful life, he was the best father I could have asked for, and he touched so many lives. Please make a toast, watch a film/TV show he was in, celebrate a giant of acting."[20] His ashes were sprinkled in Lake Ontario following cremation.



Year Title Role Notes
1965 The Overfamiliar Subordinate Short documentary
1974 Piaf
1976 Brethren Ralph
1980 Double Negative Dr. Klifter
Phobia Sergeant Wheeler
1983 Tell Me That You Love Me David
Of Unknown Origin James Hall
Hot Money Parker
1984 Covergirl Harrison
Falling in Love Doctor
1985 Perfect Joe McKenzie
The War Boy Stephan Berecky
1986 Lost! Jim
The Climb Walter Frauenberger
Loyalties David Sutton Genie Award nominee for Best Actor at the 8th Genie Awards
Heartburn Dr. Appel
1987 Radio Days Radio Voice Voice
And Then You Die Eddie Griffin
1988 The House on Carroll Street Hackett
Crocodile Dundee II Brannigan
Another Woman Donald
1989 The January Man Roger Culver Credited as Ken Welsh
Physical Evidence Harry Norton
1990 Straight Line Dr. Hammel
The Freshman Dwight Armstrong
Perfectly Normal Charlie Glesby
1991 The Big Slice Lieutenant Bernard
1992 Eli's Lesson Uncle Yakub
1993 Les amoureuses David
1994 Death Wish V: The Face of Death Lieutenant Mickey King
Whale Music Kenneth Sexstone [21]
Timecop Senator Utley
Legends of the Fall Sheriff Tynert
Boozecan Tim
1995 Hideaway Detective Breech
Margaret's Museum Angus MacNeil
1996 Portraits of a Killer Jim Miller
Rowing Through Harry Parker
Turning April Father [22]
1997 Habitat Coach Marlowe
Absolute Power Sandy Lord
The Wrong Guy Mr. Nagel
1999 External Affairs Michael Riordan
2000 Love Come Down Ira Rosen
Bad Faith Chief Inspector Brodsky
2001 Focus Father Crighton
2004 Miracle George "Doc" Nagobads
The Wild Guys Andy
The Day After Tomorrow Vice President / President Raymond Becker [23]
The Aviator Dr. Hepburn Credited as Kenneth Walsh
2005 Four Brothers Robert Bradford
Bailey's Billion$ Mouse Delaney
The Exorcism of Emily Rose Dr. Mueller (as Ken Welsh)
The Fog Tom Malone
2006 The Covenant Provost Higgins
One Way William Henderson
2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Dr. Jeff Wagner
Silk Mayor Joncour
2008 Adoration Morris
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Uncle Hendrick
Nothing Really Matters Joe
2009 Survival of the Dead Patrick O'Flynn [24]
2012 The Riverbank Joe Mason
The Story of Luke Grandpa Jonas
2013 Cottage Country Earl
The Art of the Steal Paddy "Uncle Paddy" McCarthy [25]
2014 Wet Bum Ed
2015 The Ballad of Immortal Joe The Narrator Short
2016 The Void Dr. Richard Powell [26][27]
2017 Chicanery Pringle Hewitt
Awakening the Zodiac Ben
Undercover Grandpa Harry
2019 And the Birds Rained Down (Il pleuvait des oiseaux) Boychuck
2020 PG: Psycho Goreman Narrator / Judicator
2021 The Middle Man Mr. Miller Final film role


Year Title Role Notes
1969 The Three Musketeers D'Artagnan TV movie[4]
1975 Great Performances Oliver Surface Episode: "The School for Scandal"
1977–1984 For the Record Various 3 episodes
1979 The Great Detective Henry Lyall Episode: "Murder at Blenheim Swamp"
Riel McWilliams TV movie
1980 F.D.R.: The Last Year Thomas E. Dewey TV movie
1981 CBS Children's Mystery Theatre Sergeant Hawkins Episode: "Mystery at Fire Island"
1983 Empire, Inc. Sir James Munroe Miniseries
1984 Reno and the Doc Reno TV movie[28]
1985 Love and Larceny Ira Reynolds TV movie[28]
The Cuckoo Bird Harry TV movie[28]
The Ray Bradbury Theater Crane Episode: "Marionettes, Inc."
1986 Seeing Things Sutherland Episode: "The Walls Have Eyes"
Murder Sees the Light The Evangelist TV movie[28]
1987 Spenser: For Hire Lt. Webster Bloom / Lt. Nicholas Webster 2 episodes
1988 The Murder of Mary Phagan Luther Rosser Miniseries, 2 episodes
Liberace: Behind the Music TV movie
T. and T. Dr. Hammel 3 episodes
The Twilight Zone Jack Simonson Episode: "Acts of Terror"
1989 Champagne Charlie John Whistlow TV miniseries
Gideon Oliver Father Brian Halloran Episode: "By the Waters of Babylon"
Dick Francis: Blood Sport Harry Teller TV movie
Love and Hate: The Story of Colin and JoAnn Thatcher Colin Thatcher TV miniseries
1990 Murder Times Seven Nick Ruggieri TV movie
The Ray Bradbury Theater Captain Wilder Episode: "And the Moon Be Still as Bright"
Street Legal George Wilson Episode: "Standard of Care"
The Last Best Year Jerry TV movie
The Widowmaker Atkinson TV movie
1990–1991 Twin Peaks Windom Earle[4] 10 episodes
1991 Love, Lies and Murder Stanfield 2 episodes
Beyond Reality Joe / Revere Episode: "The Doppelgänger"
1992 Cruel Doubt Attorney Wade Smith 2 episodes
A Mother's Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story Paul Michel TV movie
Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster Sam Skinner TV movie
The Good Fight Dick Chandler TV movie
Summit on Ice Narrator[29] Documentary
1993 Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story Don Eisenberg TV movie
Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story Judge Norton TV movie
Scales of Justice Crown attorney Episode "Regina v Truscott"
Dieppe Maj. Gen. Harry Crerar TV movie
1994 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Vance Cavanaugh Episode: "Temple"
And Then There Was One David Burns TV movie
Getting Gotti Bennett TV movie
The Diary of Evelyn Lau Larry TV movie[30]
Lonesome Dove: The Series The Colonel Episode: "Duty Bound"
1995 Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story Mr. Higgins TV movie
Vanished Bill Palmer TV movie
Hiroshima President Harry S. Truman TV movie
Kissinger and Nixon James "Scotty" Reston TV movie
The X-Files Simon Gates Episode: "Revelations"
1996 Escape Clause Owen Jessop TV movie[31]
1996–1999 Due South Randal K. Bolt / Cyrus Bolt 3 episodes
1997 Dead Silence Sheriff Lenny Budd TV movie[32]
The Outer Limits Dr. Vasquez Episode: "Tempests"
The Hunger Hugo Lawery Episode: "The Secret Shih Tan"
Joe Torre: Curveballs Along the Way George Steinbrenner TV movie
The Third Twin Preston Barck TV movie
1998 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Caz Hollowitz TV movie
Dead Man's Gun Dean Marley Episode: "The Gambler"
Law & Order Ben O'Dell Episode: "Disappeared"
Thunder Point Armstrong TV movie
Thanks of a Grateful Nation Sen. Shelby TV movie
Dead Husbands Chase Woodward TV movie
Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension Buck Corona III Episode: "The Jackalope"
Edison: The Wizard of Light Thomas Edison TV movie
1999 G-Saviour General Garneaux TV movie
Vendetta Mayor Joe Shakspeare TV movie
2000 Twitch City Mr. Surdjic 2 episodes
Falcone Episode: "Paying the Piper"
D.C. Neil 3 episodes
Who Killed Atlanta's Children? William Kunstler TV movie
Deliberate Intent Peder Lund TV movie
Witchblade Joe Siri TV movie[33]
Murder Call James Florie Episode: "Done to Death"
The Hound of the Baskervilles Dr. Watson TV movie
2001 Haven Harry Truman TV movie
Sanctuary Sam Hathaway TV movie[34]
The Sign of Four Dr. Watson TV movie
Witchblade Capt. Joe Siri 2 episodes
The Guardian Episode: "Reunion"; uncredited
The Royal Scandal Dr. Watson TV movie
The Day Reagan Was Shot James Baker TV movie
2002 Soul Food Dr. Jackson Pruit 2 episodes
The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire Dr. Watson TV movie
The Man Who Saved Christmas Newton Baker TV movie
2003 The Pentagon Papers John McNaughton TV movie
Ice Bound: A Woman's Survival at the South Pole Dr. Ben Murdoch TV movie
The Practice Judge M. Harrod 3 episodes
Eloise at the Plaza Sir Wilkes TV movie
Eloise at Christmastime Sir Wilkes TV movie
2004 ReGenesis Dr. Shelby Sloane 3 episodes
H2O Randall Spear 2 episodes
2005 This Is Wonderland Episode #2.3
Tilt Seymour Annisman 2 episodes
Karol: A Man Who Became Pope Professor Wójcik TV movie
Our Fathers Bishop Murphy TV movie
The Murdoch Mysteries Inspector Ramsgate Episode: "Under the Dragon's Tail"
Category 7: The End of the World Chief of Staff Alan Horst Miniseries, 2 episodes
Smallville Drunk Santa Episode: "Lexmas"
The Snow Queen King TV movie
2006 Covert One: The Hades Factor General Keilburger 2 episodes
Above and Beyond Lord Beaverbrook Miniseries
Slings & Arrows Himself Episode: "Divided Kingdom"
2007 Stargate Atlantis Jamus Episode: "The Ark"
Superstorm Richard Hughes Miniseries
Bionic Woman Prof. Howard Samuels Episode: "The Education of Jaime Sommers"
Booky and the Secret Santa Mr. Eaton TV movie
St. Urbain's Horseman Justice Beale Episode: "Part 1 & 2"
2008 The Trojan Horse Randall Spear Episode: "Part One"
A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride Jack TV movie
2009 Grey Gardens Max Gordon TV movie
The Last Templar Bill Vance 2 episodes
2010 Human Target Belvilacqua Episode: "Corner Man"
2011 Haven Cole Glendower Episode: "The Tides That Bind"
Being Erica Matthew Wexlar Episode: "Sins of the Father"
2012 Less Than Kind Henley Episode: "Coming Around"
The Listener Albert Jacoby Episode: "Captain Nightfall"
XIII: The Series Dr. Westlund Episode: "Tempest"
2013 Perfect Storm: Disasters That Changed The World Narrator 6 episodes
Rewind President TV movie
2014 The Best Laid Plans Angus McClintock 6 episodes
The Divide Stanley Zale 5 episodes
2015 Mr. D Francis Duncan Episode: "Corporal Punishment"
The Lizzie Borden Chronicles Lizzie's Lawyer 2 episodes
The Expanse Frank Degraaf Episode: "Remember the Cant"
2017 The Blacklist Werner von Hauser Episode: "Dr. Bogdan Krilov (No. 29)"
Saving Hope Wilfred Jennings Episode: "All Our Yesterdays"
Salvation Andrew Bartok Episode: "From Russia, with Love"
2018–2019 Lodge 49 Larry Loomis 8 episodes
2020 Star Trek: Discovery Senna Tal Episodes: "People of Earth", "Forget Me Not"
2021 Charmed Fenric the Vile 2 episodes
2022 The Kids in the Hall Martin Episode 8; posthumously


  1. ^ "Kenneth Welsh, Canadian Actor in 'Twin Peaks' and 'The Day After Tomorrow,' Dies at 80". 7 May 2022.
  2. ^ Prolific Canadian actor Kenneth Welsh dead at 80. CBC News, May 6, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Lucas, Ralph (August 29, 2019). "Kenneth Welsh".
  4. ^ a b c "Versatile actor Kenneth Welsh went from Shakespeare to Twin Peaks: Kenneth Welsh worked for seven years at Stratford and played hundreds of theatre roles but found broader fame with his many memorable appearances in film and television" by Fred Langan, The Globe and Mail (20 May, 2022) Retrieved from ProQuest 2667000775
  5. ^ "Kenneth Welsh, Twin Peaks and Star Trek Actor, Dies at 80" by Jenna Anderson at
  6. ^ "Leslie Nielsen brings big laughs to Due South" by Bonnie Malleck, The Hamilton Spectator (11 April, 1996) [Final Edition] Retrieved from ProQuest 269814634
  7. ^ "Slings & Arrows starts 3rd season" by Alex Strachan, The Windsor Star (24 July, 2006) [Final Edition] Retrieved from ProQuest 254640849
  8. ^ Jay Scott, "Bay Boy reels in 11 Genie nominations". The Globe and Mail, February 15, 1985.
  9. ^ John Allemang, "Arcand's Decline tops Genie nominations with 13". The Globe and Mail, February 5, 1987.
  10. ^ Jay Scott, "11 nominations for Chapdelaine in Genie race". The Globe and Mail, February 10, 1984.
  11. ^ Maria Topalovich, And the Genie Goes To...: Celebrating 50 Years of the Canadian Film Awards. Stoddart Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-7737-3238-1.
  12. ^ "Be it Broadway or Clint's way: It's the reel thing" by Rita Zekas, Toronto Star (20 June, 1997) Retrieved from ProQuest 437685498
  13. ^ "Kenneth Welsh, Twin Peaks and The Day After Tomorrow actor, dies at 80" by Sara Netzley at
  14. ^ 'The Day After Tomorrow' heats up a political debate by Scott Bowles, USA Today, May 26, 2004. (retrieved on January 12, 2009).
  15. ^ "A stage without Kenneth... • Ted Barris". Ted Barris. 2022-05-08. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  16. ^ "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!
  17. ^ Allen, Jordan (May 21, 2022). "Kenneth Welsh, Memorable as a Villain on 'Twin Peaks,' Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  18. ^ Dolan, Margaret (June 17, 2013). "Majical Cloudz Don't Want to Be "Cool and Boring"". Paper Magazine. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  19. ^ "We Talked To Majical Cloudz". Vice, January 4, 2013.
  20. ^ "Twin Peaks Actor Kenneth Welsh Dies at 80". Pitchfork. 8 May 2022.
  21. ^ Whale Music review by Leonard Klady at
  22. ^ Turning April review by David Stratton at
  23. ^ The Day After Tomorrow review by Todd McCarthy at
  24. ^ "George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead" by Leslie Felperin at
  25. ^ "Film Review: ‘The Art of the Steal’" by Justin Chang at
  26. ^ "Casting News Emerges from The Void" by Steve Barton at
  27. ^ "Film Review: ‘The Void’ " by Dennis Harvey at
  28. ^ a b c d "Kenneth Welsh Dies: Veteran Actor Played Windom Earle On ‘Twin Peaks’ Was 80" by Bruce Haring at
  29. ^ Campigotto, Jesse (14 September 2022). "The Summit Series was the start and end of an era". CBC Sports.
  30. ^ "The best thing about the CBC-TV movie The Diary Of ..." by Greg Quill, Toronto Star (13 March, 1994) Retrieved from ProQuest 437003452
  31. ^ Escape Clause review by Tony Scott at
  32. ^ Dead Silence review by David Stratton at
  33. ^ Witchblade review by Steven Oxman at
  34. ^ "Nora Roberts’ Sanctuary" by Steven Oxman at