13 Facts About Martha Henry


Martha Kathleen Henry was an American-born Canadian stage, film, and television actress.


Martha Henry was noted for her work at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario.


Martha Henry grew up in the northern Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, attended the Kingswood School, and graduated from the drama department at Carnegie Institute of Technology before moving to Canada in 1959.


Martha Henry later adopted the stage surname Henry, the legal surname of her first husband Donnelly Rhodes, whom she married in 1962.


Martha Henry performed at Toronto's Crest Theatre upon her arrival in Canada, and was after accepted into the first class at the National Theatre School in Montreal.


Martha Henry caught the attention of Artistic Director Michael Langham, who offered her a spot in the 1962 company based entirely on her performance that day.


Martha Henry took the offer and was awarded a diploma ahead of the inaugural class, making her the Theatre School's first graduate.

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Martha Henry was artistic director of the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, from 1988 to 1995, during which time she programmed a wide variety of contemporary works, including newer plays such as Oleanna by David Mamet, The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway, and The Stillborn Lover by Timothy Findley.


In 2018, in her 44th season of performing, at age 80, Martha Henry played Prospero in The Tempest, directed by Antoni Cimolino.


Martha Henry died of cancer shortly after midnight on October 21,2021, at her home in Stratford, Ontario, twelve days after her final stage appearance in Three Tall Women.


Martha Henry was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1981, and promoted to companion in 1990.


Martha Henry was made a member of the Order of Ontario in 1994.


Martha Henry received a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for her lifetime contribution to Canadian theatre in 1996.