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Monday May 16, 2011

George Bloomfield, director, writer and teacher, whose sixdecade career in film, theatre and television helped kick off Canada's artistic golden age, died on Friday, May 13th, 2011 after a heroic 30 year battle with heart disease, diabetes, cancer and kidney disease. His patented 'Bloomfield turnarounds' were the stuff of legend in Toronto Emergency Rooms, and these frequent miraculous recoveries were fueled by his legendary spirit and seemingly endless reserves of hope. George was supported throughout his long and difficult illness by his loving caregivers and biggest fans, wife Louisa Varalta and daughter Daccia Bloomfield. George described his own life as 'the most fun anyone has ever had, ever'. A lot of that had to do with his career as a pioneer in Canadian theatre and television, his time as one of the first teachers at the National Theatre School, and his mentoring of scores of Canadian actors, writers, directors, and producers. A legendary 'actor's director', he was equally at home with great drama, great comedy and great episodic television - from The Ecstasy of Rita Joe to SCTV, from CBC's great Festival dramas to Due South. George wasn't just a famous guy - he was also an embodiment of playfulness and love. He shared his sharp wit with his beloved nephew and, protégé actor Maury Chaykin (who predeceased him). In addition to how he made them laugh all day every day, Louisa and Daccia will miss the way George's hands looked sewing a button onto a shirt, his giggle, and his ability to make you feel like the most amazing, talented and beautiful person in the world. George is survived by adored and adoring friends and family, including big sister Clarice, best and oldest friend Mel Heft, beloved nieces and nephews, fake son Shawn, and dear friends The Kastners, McLeans and Evdemons. His is a legacy of old fashioned love, comedy, belief in people, and hope. A celebration of George's life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to University Health Network Foundation.

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