Leo Alan Orenstein

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  • "Paul, Harriet, Nicola and Family ~~ Please accept our..."
    - Sandra Walkden
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    - Susan Wood-Smith
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LEO ALAN ORENSTEIN With deepest sorrow the family of Leo Orenstein announces his passing on February 5th, 2009 at the age of 89 at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Leo lived an extraordinary life. Over eight decades he had a multi-faceted career as a painter, illustrator, producer, director, teacher and writer. At the CBC he produced and directed over 150 television dramas, many of which were adaptations of works by Chekhov, Ibsen, G.B. Shaw and Ionesco. His first play, The Big Leap, made its debut at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto in 1953. He taught at Ryerson while still writing novels and plays, and continued writing after retiring. In 2007 he won Theatre BC's National Playwriting Competition for Homeless Hannah, and recently completed another play. In spite of recent physical setbacks and the losses of friends and family, most notably his longtime companion Olive Mark, he had an unstoppable appetite for life and an uncanny way of connecting with all those he came in contact with. He will be sadly missed by sons Paul and Norman, their partners Harriet and Resa, granddaughter Nicola, nieces Joy, Renee, Babette and Judy, nephew David, their families, and the many friends and colleagues who had the pleasure of knowing him. Visitation will take place at the Murray E. Newbigging Funeral Home, 733 Mount Pleasant Road on Tuesday, February 10th at 1:00 p.m., service at 2:00 p.m. followed by interment at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to a charity of your choice. A memorial celebration of Leo's life will be held at a later date. For more information, contact [email protected]

Published in the Toronto Star on Feb. 9, 2009