Canada's oldest working actor William Needles dies at 97

NEW YORK - William Needles, Canada's oldest working actor who graced the stages of Broadway, London and the Stratford Festival for almost 50 years, has died in Canada.

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He was 97.

The actor and educator died Tuesday at a hospice in Alliston, Ontario, after suffering a heart attack, according to Ann Swerdfager, a Stratford representative.

Needles appeared in the Broadway productions of "Hadrian VII" in 1969 and played Banquo in the 1961 TV film of "Macbeth" with Sean Connery in the title role. One former student, Jon Lovitz, immortalized Needles with his classic "Saturday Night Live" character Master Thespian.

Needles appeared in more than 100 productions at Stratford over 47 seasons, appearing in everything from "Alice Through the Looking-Glass" to "Henry VI."

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and five children.



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