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  • "I knew Martin ever so briefly in the mid-70s when I worked..."
    - Drew Irwin
  • "Heartfelt condolences are extended to your family at this..."
  • "Martin was a much loved family friend, particularly of our..."
    - Deborah Troop
  • "This is sad news that our theatre community has lost such a..."
  • "My heart goes out to Martin's family. He was a lovely man...."
    - Michael Therriault
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Service Information
Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home & Chapel
467 Sherbourne Street
Toronto, ON

HUNTER, Martin To thine known self be true. John Martin "Martin" Hunter passed away on Sunday, November 12, 2017 at the age of 84 after a long, productive and much enjoyed life. Predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Catherine Judith "Judy" Hunter, he leaves his much loved and only sibling, brother W. T. "Bill" Hunter and wife Dorothy Hunter, his children Sarah, Ben and Guy Hunter and daughter Lavina (Ernestine) and grandchildren Rebekah, Naomi, Eleanor, Sam and Cal. A true lover of life, Martin's passion from the age of seven was the theatre. Here, he met his wife Judy and the innumerable friends, collaborators and accomplices that made his life a rich tapestry. Born at a seminal time for Canadian theatre, such were Martin's contributions that he received the Order of Canada in 2013 for his efforts in this lifelong passion. Martin Hunter was a man of many talents and a true sophisticate. Exceedingly social, generous, tolerant, smart and fun loving, he kept in touch with hundreds of friends for decades. He had a number of disparate careers including stints at the Department of External Affairs and his father's paper business (Buntin Reid). Perhaps the apex of his life was the decade he was Artistic Director at Hart House Theatre, U of T, performing works of Brecht, Shakespeare, Euripides and Chekhov with actors including R.H. Thompson, Rod Beattie and costume designer Martha Mann. His playwriting included a Governor General's award. He wrote for stage and was active in journalism, radio production, filmmaking and philanthropy – The K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation. Entertaining and travel were additional passions. He and Judy's home on North Sherbourne Street in Toronto, frequently hosted dinners, cast parties and many notables. Martin and Judy visited most if not all of the major sites of the ancient world. Gifted in bringing people together, Martin helped launch many careers, introduced many friends and supported many endeavors, financially, creatively, logistically, emotionally. A person of action, Martin got things done quickly. His most recent work, Bright Particular Stars, came out this year, thoughtful and beautifully illustrated portraits of 58 major Canadian performers of the last 50 years. A perfect coffee table book for Christmas. Visitation at Rosar-Morrison at 467 Sherbourne St. (South of Wellesley), on Friday, November 24th, 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, November 25th, 3-5 p.m. A large memorial will be held at Hart House Theatre (U of T), on Monday, December 11, 2017 5-7 p.m.

Published in the Toronto Star on Nov. 18, 2017
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