Tears and joy at ACTRA Toronto awards

It was a night of standing ovations and moving speeches at the ACTRA Awards in Toronto on Friday, as two posthumous honors for Maury Chaykin and Tracy Wright were announced.
Ennis Esmer

It was a night of standing ovations and moving speeches at the ACTRA Awards in Toronto on Friday, as two posthumous honors for Maury Chaykin and Tracy Wright were announced.

The late Maury Chaykin was awarded Outstanding Performance – Male for his role in TV series Less Than Kind, an award accepted by his wife Susannah Hoffmann and daughter.

Don McKellar took the podium to accept award for Outstanding Performance – Female for wife Wright, delivering an emotional speech that also brought the audience to its feet.

Wright shared the female performance award with her Trigger co-star Molly Parker.

“The double win for Molly Parker and Tracy Wright illustrates their inseparable contribution to Bruce McDonald’s hit film,” said ACTRA Toronto president Heather Allin in a statement.

But the night was not solely marred by tears, as Sean Cullen had the audience howling during his acceptance speech for Outstanding Performance – Voice in Jimmy Two-Shoes, commenting on the distraction of the person performing sign language on stage.

“If that guy waves his fingers one more time, I’m going to lose my shit,” said Cullen. “My shit is lost. Please, someone. Help me find my shit.”

And Eric Peterson took the stage to present Fiona Reid with ACTRA Toronto’s 2011 Award of Excellence, who also received a standing ovation.

“Actors do not, and should not work for free,” stated Fiona Reid, also a past recipient of the Order of Canada, drawing more applause from the crowd.

“Acting is about being authentic, not theatrical.”

The evening was hosted by The Listener’s Ennis Esmer (pictured), along with music from the band Boys Who Say No.