Monday, March 28, 2011

Dream on Roger!

We lost one of the good ones over the weekend.

Roger Anthony Abbott, half of the founding team of The Royal Canadian Air Farce died in Toronto from leukemia.

The fact that Abbott has been sick for many years and very few knew about it is something of the measure of the man. He was a consummate professional and a consummate performer. His life's role was to enliven others, not to dwell in his own misfortune.

I was a fan of Roger, Don, Luba and John as they created comedy magic, first on CBC radio and then later on CBC television. Together with their sometimes partner Dave Broadfoot, they allowed us to step out of our dour, solemn attitude and laugh at ourselves and our icons. Roger's caricatures of Jean Chretien, Peter Mansbridge, even the Queen Mother gave us all a reason to laugh.

I especially appreciated Roger's professionalism – his commitment to the industry that gave him such great success and to which he contributed so very, very much. His careful attention to detail and his rigorous commitment to quality meant that every performance was the best he could deliver. The way he and Don went over each script to tweak the nuances and bring out just the right inflection to make a funny line even funnier meant that a top-notch product hit the air every week. "Good enough" was never part of his vocabulary.

His sheer joy of life and the kindness he showed to those around him never will be forgotten.

Few knew that he was actually Dr. Roger Abbot having received his PhD from McGill University in Montreal.

Here's Roger's obituary from the Toronto Star ...

ABBOTT, Roger Anthony - Died peacefully on Saturday, March 26, 2011 in Toronto surrounded by his family and friends at the age of 64. He was a loving, compassionate man of many talents who shared all that he had - a true inspiration to all who were blessed to have known him. Though Roger was taken from us far too early, he was a man who lived his life to the fullest and we were fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to express our profound love for him in his final days. He was predeceased by his father William Abbott. He is survived by his loving mother Betty and his sister Jackie McNally (Vince) of Oakville. He will be greatly missed by nephew Mark McNally (Joanne) of Ottawa and niece Johanne McNally Myers (Derek) of Oakville. He was a great-uncle to Quinton and Ryan McNally and Jacob and Zoƫ Myers. He leaves many other family and friends around the world. His family is deeply grateful to Don Ferguson for his incredible strength and devotion during this difficult time. Sincere thanks to the exceptional medical team in the MSICU at Toronto General Hospital for their loving care and support. A private ceremony has already taken place. A memorial and celebration of Roger's life will be held in the coming weeks. Memorial donations to Easter Seals Ontario would be greatly appreciated.


Wisewebwoman said...

A sweet talented man. He will be missed.

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The Canadian peoples misses a nice and talented man ,its really an awful news for me