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Paul Robert SOLES
1930 - 2021
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PAUL ROBERT SOLES Born in Toronto, August 11, 1930, to Arthur L. Soles and his wife Lillian (née Goodfellow) they of Polish/Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. Died in Toronto May 26, 2021. Predeceased by his younger brother Bill and sister-in-law Marg, he leaves his baby sister Ruth-Ellen, nieces Liane and Alison, Heather and Sandra, nephews Richard, Allan and Brian, wife Jean (née Allan), son Jonathan and daughter-in-heart Jarah. He will be remembered as a charming, magnanimous, principled man, a creative and versatile performer and a proud Canadian. It was the titans of radio who first fired his imagination and he set out to emulate them from an early age. Committed to the highest standards throughout his 70 year career he remained the consummate professional wholly dedicated to his craft, but by nature he tended undeniably towards mirth. 'He who laughs, lasts' was an oft repeated aphorism. He delighted in cracking people up on air and off and was a terrific joke-teller, an impressive mimic, accent man, public speaker, story-reader, announcer, host, emcee, compare. Warm and gentle with an easy going manner he enjoyed the company of others as much as his own. Thoughtful and inventive he possessed a quiet strength and a deep well of emotion. A talented and hard-working person he often cited good fortune as the sole reason for his success, but the truth is he loved what he did and it showed. A champion debater and Army Cadet RSM at Vaughan Road Collegiate he dropped out of UWO after third year, following stints at CHLO and CKEY, to work full-time at CFPL radio, transitioning to TV at its inception in 1953. Commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the RCAF Auxilliary at Station Crumlin he spent 1956-57 running the radio station at 3 Wing, Zweibrücken, Germany and travelled with the Flyers hockey team as their play-by-play man. In 1962 he returned to Toronto, married a first generation Scottish-Canadian girl from southwestern Ontario, began a 16-year run on CBC's 'Take-30' and started a family. Other cherished turns during the CBC-TV years were the 1966 Goon Show-like summer replacement sketch comedy series Charlie Had One and This is The Law, 1971-1976. Best known today for portraying Hermey the Elf in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) and Peter Parker and his crime-fighting alter ego in the 1967 cartoon Spider-Man he worked extensively in every medium, his favourites being radio drama and live theatre. His career took him all over the world but he happily spent the bulk of it in Canada, treading the boards of virtually every major theatre in the land. He performed on and off Broadway and headlined theatrical tours across Canada and the US. Among his many memorable dramatic performances three stand out: the lead in the Canadian premiere in 1987 of 'I'm Not Rappaport'; the first Jewish Canadian to play Shylock in the 2001 production of 'The Merchant of Venice' at the Stratford Festival and the Dora-nominated role in the 2005 two-hander 'Trying'. A multiple award nominee he won three: best supporting actor, Six Characters in Search of an Author, 1960 Dominion Drama Festival; best supporting actor in a dramatic series, Terminal City, 2001 Genies; best actor in a digital series, My 90-Year Old Roommate, 2017 Canadian Screen Awards. Beyond work and family he had three life-long passions: sports cars, music and flying. A racing nut he drove the winning foreign entry in the American International Rally (1959) speaking only German and passing himself off as a factory driver from Mercedes in a zero-mileage model W120. A bigtime jazz fan, particularly of the big-bands, he was a fixture at clubs on both sides of the border and he forged friendships with a number of performers. An aviation enthusiast and pilot he owned two RCAF primary trainers, first a Fleet 16-B Finch open cockpit biplane acquired to barnstorm across the continent as part of The Great Belvedere Air Dash of 1973 and later a DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk. He was a performing member of the Great War Flying Museum (Brampton), an air show participant for 20 years and a perennial volunteer for the Canadian International Air Show. He did not go gentle retaining to the end his ability to uplift. When asked "how are you doing?" he replied "I make a living". A celebration of life will be held at a date TBD. In lieu of flowers please donate to an organization dedicated to theatre, comedy or jazz or to one that supports such artists. Remembrances and condolences would be welcome online at legacy.com/obituaries/theglobeandmail.

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Published in The Globe and Mail from May 29 to Jun. 2, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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59 entries
July 8, 2021
I posted this on Facebook, and Jean asked me to share it here. It's regarding the "We're a Couple of Misfits" song from Rudolph and my experience with Uncle Paul.
***
I think this song is the theme song of my life. When I was 19 or so, my wonderful Aunt Jean told me that one day, I'd "find my people". Ironically, her ex-husband was my beloved Uncle Paul Soles who made all the family gatherings bearable (he and Jean remained best of friends and Uncle Paul came to family things after their divorce.) Why ironic? Because Paul is the voice of Hermey. He used to bend down low and sing the chorus to me, like a secret just between the two of us. It's like he saw me and knew I was a misfit right from the beginning.

Now, I have a huge tribe, filled with amazing misfits of the same weird variety as me. Whenever I hear this song, I think of Uncle Paul, Aunt Jean and all my favorite misfits. You know who you are. Love you all.
Ali Cross
Family
June 21, 2021
Paul acted in two of my plays on CBC radio back in the early 1980's, bringing the same written character in both plays to life. It was a joy to listen to him......
My sympathy to the family.
Larry S Snyder
Acquaintance
June 20, 2021
My first encounter with a Toronto television star. (After Elwood Glover and Uncle Bobby). At Yonge St. and Roxborough I crossed and instantly a wine coloured Porsche 911 with natural leather upholstery zoomed up and it was the suave Mr.Soles getting his brand at the smoke shop. Years later I was thrilled to be around the bend living on Crescent Rd. Murray Chercover was next street over and Jimmy Dale was four houses over with a green Rolls-Royce and Gordon Lightfoot was first street after Glen Rd. bridge. Real Canadian celebrities. Those who created what we know as show business in 20th Century are gone and the World will never see them surpassed. You jumped out of your car never expecting to be recognized or silently admired. Canadian excellence. R.I.P.
John Klein
Neighbor
June 19, 2021
Many years ago I had the privilege to have dinner with Paul and his cousin Marv Rubin and Dennis Goodfellow. I was so star struck I could hardly talk. Dennis and I saw him whenever we could when he came to Toronto to do theatre.
A wonderful and talented man.
My condolences to Ruth Ellen and his son Josh.
Jan Loftus (Goodfellow)
Jan Loftus
Family
June 8, 2021
Such a loss. Paul was an extraordinary talent and a wonderfully empathetic human being. A real mensch. We travelled from Amsterdam to Honolulu together, with stops in between in places like North Dakota! Pau stayed with us in California when he had an ongoing role on L.A. Law. We spoke last about 3 years ago. I will chant the kaddish for him. My deepest condolences to Jonathan and Ruth-Ellen.
David Rabinovitch
Friend
June 3, 2021
I am saddened to know that Paul has 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth'. We became friends through aviation, in particular the Canadian International Air Show where he was part of my Media Relations Team. I will always remember the flight we took to the Syracuse National Guard Base his beautiful, yellow Fleet Finch, open-cockpit bi-plane. I nearly froze! He was hugely supportive when I was going for my Pilot's License and so proud when Jonathan took HIM flying! I checked in with Paul about 3 weeks ago...and he was his usual witty, cheerful self. He was such a special friend. We've lost an amazing, talented Canadian...Rest well Paul... Sincerest condolences to Jonathan and Ruth-Ellen.
Jacquie Perrin
Friend
June 2, 2021
We treasure memories of Paul in his Lakefield days..when Jonathan was at LCS.
Happy dinners at the Schnitzel House and his entrees at Lakefield Agriculture Fair.
Better for having known him !!!
Jeanne Armstrong
T
Jeanne Armstrong
Friend
June 1, 2021
That "first generation Scottish-Canadian girl from southwestern Ontario" whom Paul Soles married was my husband's first cousin, and I remember hearing about his celebrity at Peckham and Clark family reunions. Unable to attend his Celebration of Life, we wished to express our deepest heartfelt sympathy, and let our loved ones, Jean and Jonathan, know we are praying for their peace and comfort at this time of great loss. HUGS.
Charles and Karen Peckham
Family
June 1, 2021
Ruth Ellen, so very sorry for your loss. Paul was a real gem, and I so enjoyed running into him at PAL, and and ETM, where he was a beloved member of our family of actors. He will be greatly missed.
Maria Ralley
Friend
June 1, 2021
Good flying friend. Fun to be around, will be missed !
Wm M Pomeeoy
Friend
June 1, 2021
I am so sorry to hear this. Paul was a good friend to my grandmother and a great Cache Lake citizen. I have many fond memories including him paddling stern as my grandmother sat ramrod straight in the bow with her pinky up in the senior doubles canoe race and a not-too-long-ago introduction to horseshoes. I will miss seeing him across the channel. Sympathies to Paul's family from Carolyn and I.
Sue Kingsely
Neighbor
June 1, 2021
Enjoyed working at the CIAS with this warm and generous man. We enjoyed having lunch and celebrating my 50th birthday with Paul. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Spence and Barb Gludish
Spencer Gludish
June 1, 2021
One day out of the blue I received a phone call from Mr Paul Soles on the telephone. I answered the call only to hear "Well Wallipin Websnappers Chris...it's Spidey calling." I was BLOWN away & it still is one of the biggest thrills of my life as I was & still am a HUGE fan of the 1967 Spiderman show.

I let him know how much of a fan I was & he was gracious & warm on the call & he spoke with me for a few minutes. He took his time to provide an incredible thrill to a fan & I am grateful for his kindness to this day.

Rest in Peace.

Chris Emery
Fan
Chris Emery
Acquaintance
June 1, 2021
Had the pleasure of meeting Paul in the summer of 1975. He flew in to Lake St. John airport in the Finch. I was working there as a flying instructor at the time. Paul asked if it would be ok for him to go in for a swim and I said sure but you should know that there is no shortage of snapping turtles and water snakes in there. Undeterred, off he went for a refreshing swim. Afterwards we chatted about his airplane for a bit, I prop started it for him and away he goes. What a guy.
Ted Burke
Acquaintance
May 31, 2021
I played Paul's wife in Brighton Beach Memoirs at Theatre Calgary and with his vitality, warmth, and skill he helped make it the highlight of my career. He was simply the best.
Maida Rogerson
Friend
May 31, 2021
In 1953 I was 8 and we got our first TV. CFPL was the only station available. Paul Soles was my longest living TV personality. My fondest memories are of him and early LIVE TV. He had a long career and seemed so happy in it. Rest easy!!
Garry Odbert
Acquaintance
May 31, 2021
Mr. Soles came to our school as a Judge for our "House Plays". He was very encouraging in his feedback. It was my first performance on stage. I went on to become a drama teacher. My condolences to Jonathan and his whole family.
Stephen Meinhardt
Student
May 31, 2021
Paul Soles. A man I wish I had met. Bonus? Had got to know well.

We shared a passion for broadcasting and theatre. (I've had a career of sorts). But his was a life and career that dwarfs mine. To all those he touched with humour and humanity I envy your experiences with him.

There's no doubt Paul Soles wil Rest In Peace. Nor is there doubt he will be dearly missed.

Mike Hanson
Huge Paul Soles Fan
Mike Hanson
May 31, 2021
Enjoyed him as a kid on CFpL London On. .. best wishes to our sister RuthEllen of The Journal Days.. George McEvenue
George Mcevenue
Friend
May 31, 2021
A generous, talented and warm person. Loved working and being with him Rest in Piecs.
Agota Gabor
Coworker
May 30, 2021
Liane and Family: Wishing you heartfelt condolences on the loss of Paul. a family member to you: a Canadian icon to so many of us; May he rest in peace and your memories bring you comfort and a smile to your face.
Michael Bakker
Friend
May 30, 2021
RIP Paul! God bless your son Jonathan for sticking by your side day and out. You preserverance, your wisdom and strength gives me the courageto keep living life to the fullest. I promise to always be there for your son through thick and thin. You were Jonathan's best friend and I can never replace such a role, but I promise to live up your standards. Finding out you were spiderman, you were my favorite dentist in Rudolph and the father of my best friend has been a blessing I will always cherish in my heart. You will always live on in our hearts.

Love,

Momo
Monique Brookes
Friend
May 30, 2021
Dear Ruth-Ellen,
My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I had the great fortune to work with Paul on Take 30, if only for a few moths, before he left to devote more time to his many acting assignments. Paul made a lasting impression on me. I fondly remember him for his kindness, warmth and great humour.
Sig Gerber
Sig GERBER
Friend
May 30, 2021
i am impressed at the station in life that Paul left. i met Paul a couple of times "on set" and was very impressed at his demeanor which might have imagined a far greater person than the person i met but his obit explains this in spades " he was over-the-average from the person he was visibly presented but the obit truly outlines who he was.
The two minutes i spent with Paul on set were enough to register what a grand human being he was. Humble without being magnanimous....what a life!
Rick Coulter ... Full ACTRA member
rick coulter
Coworker
May 30, 2021
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Mr Soles when a few years ago, he so very kindly took part in video podcast I was involved in. He was incredibly generous with his time and his stories.
To meet and enjoy an entire afternoon with a childhood hero will always be on my hit parade of life moments.
He created more magic for more people than he could ever fathom.
Thank you Sweet Mr Soles.
Thank you and rest easy xo
Sheila Connolly
Friend
May 30, 2021
Paul was a dear friend and fellow aviator. He was a prince among men, always with a kind word to say and unwavering in his decency. I spent many a flying hour in the air with him, flying formation airshows in the GWFM World War One fighters often having hilarious experiences. RIP my dear friend. I have only the best memories of our time together.
Peter Allen
Friend
May 30, 2021
Paul was extraordinary in the production I was privileged to direct of TRYING by Joanna M. Glass, a play she had written about her experience as secretary to Judge Francis Biddle, former Attorney General to FDR, in his last year of life. Paul exquisitely captured the complexity of a brilliant mind losing its way with all the poignancy, pain, irascibility and deep-hearted humanity that great man possessed. He was especially moving when conveying Biddle's lifelong shame and despair over the interment of the Japanese during his time in office. I am so sorry we have lost such a splendid man and fine actor. My condolences to his family and his many, many friends. Marti Maraden
Marti Maraden
Coworker
May 30, 2021
We first got to know Paul when Jonathan came to Lakefield and he was what we hoped all good parents would be: he listened! We shared much with both him and Jean and well remember a wonderful meal he produced in his Kawartha farmhouse. We watched Paul in "Showboat" in Toronto and were thrilled to go back stage...our last meeting. A special man with so many interests and passions; we are proud to have had him as a friend and memories of his relationship with his son endure.
Terry and Sue Guest
Acquaintance
May 29, 2021
God bless you Paul. You will always be a part of my youth ,as I watched spiderman cartoon , and will never forget your voice portraying Spider-man. Rest In Peace.
AL
Friend
May 29, 2021
I remember a kind and generous soul from CFPL in London and a frequent guest at our synagogue Bnai Moses
As a child he impressed me immensely
Rick Goodman
Friend
May 29, 2021
The characters you voiced will live on
RIP

Andrew Stutt
May 29, 2021
Thank you for so many years of performances and memories.
You made many a childhood one of wonder and laughter.
R I P !!!!!
Merrick Terry
May 29, 2021
dear Ruth Ellen:we were so sorry to read of Paul's passing. He was so important in your life and his loss will be hard for you. How lucky that you two could share so much of life together. He was a most unique person and his versatility never ceased to amaze. Aubrey and I send our love. Judith Golden
judith golden
Acquaintance
May 29, 2021
Ruth-Ellen, I am very sad to hear of the passing of your brother Paul. I wanted to send to you and the rest of your family my deepest condolences and I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

I hope that your memories of Paul brings you some comfort in the days, months and years ahead and that eventually you are able to laugh through your tears when recalling your fondest times spent with him. Take care of yourself...Anne-Marie Maugeri
Anne-Marie Maugeri
Coworker
May 29, 2021
Uncle Paul was extraordinary - and I didn't even know 1/2 those things about him! The man I knew was charming, funny, kind and thoughtful. I loved how he loved his family. I loved him on the big and little screens. I just loved him, and he will be missed.

Much love to you, Jean, Jonothan, and Jarah.

Love Ali (Sandra), David, Charlie and Xander in Utah.
Ali Cross
Family
May 29, 2021
Ruth-Ellen, my deepest sympathy on the loss of your brother. He lived an amazing life and has left many memories that will hopefully ease the pain. Sending love!
Janice Jackson (Gold)
Friend
May 29, 2021
My husband Ron Ulrich and I send deepest condolences to the Soles family. My family and Paul go back a long time- my uncle Paul Kligman worked with him on many projects, including Spider-Man and Rudolf. My father, Murray, was a friend and colleague and lived at PAL at the same time as Paul. Ron and I were lucky enough to persuade him to come to Halifax and star in Arthur Miller’s The Price, at Neptune Theatre- which I directed. What an honour! He was a mensch, a class act and a brilliant actor. He was funny and warm and always so very caring toward me. The world will be poorer for his having left it. May his memory be a blessing.
Marcia Kash
Friend
May 29, 2021
So sorry to hear of the loss of your father, Jonathon. My Condolences, to you at this time. Interesting to read about your father - he had so many interesting things that made up his life including his love of humour 'He who laughs, lasts' was an oft repeated aphorism, which is what you also share. I also remember your telling me that you and your Dad flew airplanes together and participated in mock air fights, which you mentioned, your Dad always won. Great to cherish those memories Jonathon. Wishing you all the best in this difficult time.
Harvey Bradley
Friend
May 29, 2021
Paul, thanks for many great memories as you helped me learn my video editing craft - you will never be forgotten. Peace my friend.
Jim Kitchen
Coworker
May 29, 2021
Ruthie, I so sorry for the loss of your dear brother. I know how close you were and the few times I had the privilege to meet Paul, he was always charming. I know he adored his baby sister. Huge hugs. Mary-Jo
Mary-jo Osborn
May 29, 2021
My deepest sympathies to Paul's family. Years ago I worked on Cross Country Check-Up. We were looking for a host and Paul's name came up, he came to fill in (he didn't want the job full-time) but I was so nervous about having this legend come to work with us, I was completely tongue tied. He came and was the loveliest of people, a class act and a true gentleman. I was so sorry he did not stay on with us and am so sorry to hear of his passing. A truly wonderful person. May his memories bring you comfort always.
Sophia Hadzipetros
May 29, 2021
We are deeply saddened to learn of your enormous loss. We will remember Paul fondly from days at Cache Lake... his huge talent, his charming ways and his love of life. He was a true gentleman who will be sorely missed. Our deepest condolences to you all.
Richard and Barbara Rigby
Neighbor
May 29, 2021
My dear friend for more than 50 years, a Mensch, a sublime actor who wore his laughter for all of us to share. We spoke frequently and that was always a lesson in timing and comedy. I told him I had a new book coming out and that I had put his photo in it, his response, "I will sue, you didn't ask." He will stay in my heart, he gave us all so much joy. Jonathon, he told me how you so lovingly cared for him, my condolence to all the family; what a grand legacy he left us.
Bill Brady
Friend
May 29, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person and Canadian icon. We will love you and miss you always. My condolences to Jonathan and the rest of the family from the "Gifford" family. (Cousins to Jean)
Jo-Anne (Gifford) Bishop
Family
May 29, 2021
Ruth Ellen, I am so sorry to learn about your brother's passing. My condolences to you and your family.
Renee Pellerin
May 29, 2021
A life well lived, I have many fond memories of Paul from my childhood on Cache Lake. Sending best wishes, Jonathan.
Heather (Fowler) Fitzgerald
Heather Fitzgerald
Acquaintance
May 29, 2021
My deepest sympathy to the Soles family! Jonathan I was so sorry to hear this news! He was a great man!
Cathy Volpe
Friend
May 29, 2021
I first met Paul Soles on the fifth estate where he had come down the hall into my office exploring the idea that I buy a tree to plant in Israel. His manner evoked a sense of charm and so what could I do? I bought a tree.
When I started making films about 15 years later I cast him along side Neil Munro in Beethoven Lives Upstairs and needless to say ... he was amazing.
About five years after that... HBO ordered a light drama for children on Einstein at Princeton and I cast Paul in the lead. Paul was a warm soul... a easy man to get along with... a great talent. I loved him and I will miss him.

Rest In Peace, Paul.
David Devine
Friend
May 29, 2021
Oh, I have SO many memories of Paul. Like me 'n' the sisties, it is always Paul, Billy and Ruth-Ellen, always the triad of siblings. And Auntie Lil and Uncle Arthur. Memories of Paul in that house, memories of Paul in our house. Hanging out with him under the grand piano one night while he told yet another hysterical, larger than life story about one of his many adventures. Babysitting Jonathan a thousand years ago. When he got a new co-host on Take 30, a tiny little woman named Adrienne Clarkson, just getting a start in TV... But mostly, it is the laughter that stays in my mind. Because to be with Paul meant to laugh and take great joy in the doing. Sending lots of Caplan love during this difficult time.
Lori Caplan Ryerson
Neighbor
May 29, 2021
I was a fan. He was a wonderful broadcaster and a gentleman. He was always so amiable, so very personable. ..a delight to observe. My condolences to his family and friends. Rest In Peace, Mr. Soles.
Sheila Bryan
Acquaintance
May 29, 2021
Paul- you were one of the best and your legacy remains one. I had the pleasure of knowing you on and off over the years, and working with you on only a few very bright occasions. On those occasions, you had a unique ability to make one feel better not only about the work, but of themselves, making those around you want to be better. A glowing reputation in our industry is hard won, and over decades, all too rare. You set a standard to match. God speed.
Peter Keleghan
Coworker
May 29, 2021
Paul taught everyone that misfits are unique in their own way! Thank you for promoting tolerance and respect towards others! R.I.P.
Mikahail Richardson
Student
May 28, 2021
A dear friend of summer days, RIP, Paul. The Brices loved being your friend and neighbor.
Whitney Brice
Friend
May 28, 2021
I knew Paul through our association with the Canadian International Air Show. Friend, mentor and fellow partner-in-crime, I have many fond memories of Paul through our quarter century plus friendship. Always a kind word, a guiding hand and a pat on the back were Paul's trademark. Rest easy my friend.
Andy Trklja
Friend
May 28, 2021
His memory and his work are blessings to children...and to children at heart. Even now.

From one more fan among many...
Dwight Williams
May 28, 2021
Paul, You were one of the best people I have ever heard of, whether it was on TV or Radio! Spider Man taught me to fight for what is right, whereas Hermey taught me to follow my dreams and embrace differences. I am blessed to call you a teacher, and I will miss you dearly. Good Luck, and say hello to Billie Mae in Heaven! Rest In Peace.
Mikahail Richardson
Student
May 28, 2021
Paul was a genuine friend to all and a truly generous person! He would always encourage people to follow their dreams and never turn away from adversity. Now that he has left us, the performing world lost a bright star. I will look at the bright side of things: now Billie Mae Richards (Rudolph) and Paul are reunited in Heaven singing We're A Couple of Misfits and Fame and Fortune! Good luck on the other side of the Bridge, Mr. Soles! I wish you all the best and would have loved to meet you. Thank You for all the wishes!
Mikahail Richardson
Student
May 28, 2021
Rest in peace, Paul. A true gentleman who brightened the lives of everyone he touched. It was truly my honor to host you at your first ever convention where you signed hundreds of Hermey the Elf and Spider-Man photos for your adoring fans. Every bit of love deserved and then some. My sincere condolences to Jonathan, family and friends. God bless you, Paul. Until we meet again...
Michael Michalski
Friend
May 28, 2021
Paul was a guest at our comic show back in 2017 and 2018. People were in awe that they were meeting the man who voiced Peter Parker/Spider-Man from the 1960s cartoon. Since then, we'd always have fans asking when he would return to the show. Paul was adored by his fans and was one of our favorite guests. He was very friendly, easy-going, and polite. We'll miss him tremendously. Rest in peace, Paul.
Mike DeSantis
Friend
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