James B. Douglas ’51
Deceased December 29, 2009
Jim Douglas passed away on Dec. 29, 2009, at his home in Stratford, Ontario, following a six-month battle with cancer. He and his second wife, Myfanwy, had moved there just last August from their 1857 country home of 27 years located near Toronto.
Jim devoted his years at Amherst and his professional career to writing, directing and acting in theatrical productions. Following Amherst, Jim attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England and thereafter appeared in plays mostly in his beloved Canada at venues such as the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, but also in the U.S. and England and then in movies such as M*A*S*H* in which he played Col. Merrill. Near the end of his career, he produced and acted in his own creation, Sunshine and Shadows: An Evening with Stephen Leacock that he presented first in Stratford, Ontario, and then in England and Vermont.
In a written communication in the summer of 2008 Jim advised that he considers himself “to be incredibly lucky to have been able to spend” his entire career after Amherst “in a profession that is more than a job—as an actor and director in England, the U.S. and Canada. Without the great experience of working with Curtis Canfield ’25 and such great technical people as Charlie Rogers and Tuffy McGowan at Kirby Theater,” his career would never have taken off. Class theatergoers may recall Jim for his roll as Kit Carson in The Amherst Masquers production The Time of Your Life. A highlight of his college career was his appearance as Octavius Caesar in Julius Caesar that, after Kirby Theater, was also performed in Washington, D.C., at the Folger Shakespeare Theater, a premier on that stage as well as a first on NBC Television, a live Sunday afternoon production in color.
Nesbitt C. Blaisdell ’51
Everett E. Clark ’51
Charles (Hobie) Cleminshaw ’51