Megan Follows To Receive Stratford Festival's Legacy Award

Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino will present this year's Legacy Award to Megan Follows, one of Canada's most beloved performers, who shot to fame around the world for her award-winning portrayal of Anne in the 1985 miniseries Anne of Green Gables and its sequel Anne of Avonlea. Cimolino and Follows played opposite each other as Romeo and Juliet in Stratford in 1992.

"Megan was always incredibly gifted and she has become extremely accomplished not only as an actor on stage and screen but now as a director as well," says Cimolino. "It's such a pleasure to celebrate the great success of a friend with whom I shared a critical moment of early development on the Festival stage."

The Legacy Gala, co-chaired by Barry Avrich and Wendy Pitblado, will be held on Monday, September 24, at Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel. Hosted by Colm Feore, recipient of the 2015 Legacy Award, the event will feature tributes from Margaret Atwood, Antoni Cimolino, Sara Farb, Dayna Manning and others.

Follows was a member of the Stratford acting company for just two seasons, but her family has a legacy stretching back to the Festival's very beginning. In 1953, her mother, Dawn Greenhalgh, was a founding company member. Two years later, her father, Ted Follows, joined the company, and the couple married in 1958, each doing eight seasons at the Festival over many years, with the whole family spending a number of summers in Stratford. Megan's sister Edwina Follows was also a member of the company, in 1974.

In addition to playing Juliet in 1992's Romeo and Juliet, a production that was also filmed for CBC TV, Follows played Constanze Weber opposite Stephen Ouimette's Mozart in 1995's Amadeus.

An actor and director, Follows remains in the international spotlight, with recent roles including the fan-favourite villain Queen Catherine de' Medici in the CW Network/CBS Studios series Reign; Lily Borden in CBC's Heartland; and Michelle Earp in the genre-breaking hit Syfy series Wynonna Earp.

Follows began acting at the age of nine and landed her first leading role, in the series Matt and Jenny, when she was 11. Follows has had starring roles in such films as Hockey Night, opposite Rick Moranis; Inherit the Wind, opposite Kirk Douglas and Jason Robards; Stephen King's Silver Bullet; A Time of Destiny, with William Hurt and Timothy Hutton; and the epic Ken Follett miniseries World Without End. In addition to her ACTRA and Gemini awards for the Anne series, Follows has earned a Genie nomination for best actress for the film Termini Station and five Gemini nominations for performances in Booky, Shania: A Life in Eight Albums and Open Heart.

Her stage credits include Uncle Vanya (Geffen Playhouse); The Seagull (Old Globe Theatre); 'night, Mother, Top Girls, The Real Thing, Fool for Love and Three Sisters (Soulpepper Theatre); This (Vancouver Playhouse); Desdemona in Othello (National Arts Centre); and a lead role in Nightwood Theatre's The Penelopiad, a play that she will be directing later this year at the Grand Theatre.

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