Sean McCann, an award-winning actor known for his role on the Canadian TV series Night Heat, died on Thursday. He was 83.

A prolific character actor, McCann performed in hundreds of productions, ranging from a Canadian politician in The King Chronicle (1988) to an animated bear in TV series Little Bear (1995-2003).

He was also known for his roles in films such as Tommy Boy (1995), Chicago (2002), Naked Lunch (1991) and Miracle (2004). McCann played supporting roles in films with big names such as Meryl Streep in … First Do No Harm (1997) and Nick Nolte in Affliction (1997).

McCann was born in Windsor, Ont. in 1935, the son of Alta Tobin and Jack McCann, and had seven siblings. He studied to become a priest at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ont. before turning to acting in the 1960s.

In a Star article from 2002, he recalled his early days in theatre, working as the spotlight operator at the Covent Garden Opera House in London, England during a premiere attended by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. A self-styled mischief-maker, McCann recalled calling out to Prince Philip’s limousine after the show.

“I yelled, ‘Up the republic!’ …(and) before I knew it, I was being frisked and questioned,” he said.

Later in his acting career, he said, his Canadian patriotism led him to turn down some roles in American TV shows and movies.
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