Sunday, April 19, 2015

Remembering Gilbert Blythe


Unfortunately I never heard of Anne of Green Gables until a roommate introduced me to the movie, and then the books. I completely identified with Anne in many ways: red hair, books, scope for the imagination. I knew everyday life would never be the same again. The witty lines grabbed not only me, but later my husband, and then my children, who embraced these movies wholeheartedly. When the entire family watched the movie together, they repeat many of the lines with the actors. If we are not watching the movie, in everyday life, any little reference that would spark a memory would cause any one of us to repeat a witty line. When I taught my daughter how to read, we read the book together, to each other, savoring each moment.  My birthday tradition came to be a time to soak in these movies. to share time with kindred spirits on the screen, to enjoy some scope for the imagination.

Today I fell into the depths of despair when I learned that Jonathan Crombie, who portrayed Gilbert Blythe, has passed away. I've read that he had had little acting experience when he took the part.I always thought that he played the part of Gilbert with great depth of emotion, as Megan Follows did for her part as Anne. Both teamed up beautifully in bringing their characters to life. Incorrigible Gil. Teasing Gil. Patient Gil. Gentlemanly Gil. A role model to be sure. Most definitely he was a kindred spirit.

All day my thoughts have remembered various movie scenes with Gil. Heartbreakingly, I recalled Anne going to Gil's death bed. I even caught myself wondering..."did Anne's heart tell her Gil had died?"
"I don't want diamond sunbursts or marble halls. I just want you."-Anne to Gil in Anne of Avonlea    

Since we are all kindred spirits, I thought I'd share the various memorials that have come through. I will continue adding to this list because I'm sure the memorials for Jonathan Crombie's heroic work will continue to pour in...

From CBC Canada, there are four video clips including one that contains an interview with 20  year old Jonathan Crombie on how he got his part as Gil.

From Now Toronto, a memoriam.

From Ottawa Citizen, a video clip of the infamous carrots/broken slate scene.

A video tribute of Anne and Gil set to the beautiful theme music from the movie.

From the daily mail, UK,  the memoriam includes a photo from his childhood with his father and the trailer from the movie.


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