Obituary: Who is Martha Henry? Age, Husband, Death Cause: Family, Net worth, Wiki, Bio

Martha Henry was an American-born Canadian TV, film, and stage actress who was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1981 and promoted to a companion in 1990. She was best known for her work at the Stratford Festival in Canada, Grand Theatre in Ontario, and TV roles in Empier, Inc., H2O, and At the Hotel.

After arriving in Canada, Martha performed at Toronto’s Crest Theatre and was accepted at the National Theatre School, Montreal. During the first season at the 1962 Stratford Festival, she acted as Lady Macduff in Macbeth and Miranda in William Hutt’s first Prospero in The Tempest. She played leading roles in 40 productions from 1962 to 1980 and made her directorial debut in 1980.

‘HEARTBREAKING’; Martha Henry, a Canadian theatre legend, died at the age of 83.

Martha Henry, a staple of the Stratford Festival, has died, the festival reported in an email to CBC News.

She died of cancer just after midnight in her Stratford, Ont., home, surrounded by her family, according to festival organizers. She had just been in the festival for 12 days when she gave her final performance in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women.

In a news release, artistic director Antoni Cimolino was quoted as stating, “Our hearts are shattered.”

“Martha Henry is a name that conjures up images of artistry, knowledge, and beauty. Her performances as an actress went down in history… Her sense of obligation to the theater was so strong that it allowed her to persevere through agony and a terminal illness, in order to give an astonishingly honest performance as a dying lady in Three Tall Woman and her existence, became a work of art.”

Martha Henry was born in Detroit in 1938 and moved to Canada in 1959 after graduating from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University).

She soon rose to prominence at the Stratford Festival after attending the National Theatre School of Canada.

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Her first appearance at the festival was in a 1962 production of The Tempest, however, she appeared in all three of the festival’s productions that year. She played Miranda against William Hutt as Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Maratha went on to star in over 30 Shakespeare plays, as well as other contemporary productions, and directed her first film, Brief Lives, in 1980, which starred her then-husband Douglas Rain.

She later married actor Rod Beattie in 1989 and acted alongside him in plays such as Macbeth, Twelfth Night, and Henry VIII. Then, nearly 60 years after she began her Stratford career with the play, she returned to The Tempest in 2018.

This time though, instead of playing Miranda, she took on the lead role of Prospero. 

“I thought, ‘Now listen,'” she answered when asked why she decided to take a male lead role. 

“‘This scares you, doesn’t it?’ And I had to admit that yes, this scares me quite a lot. And then I thought, ‘Well then if it scares you, well then you have to do it.'”

Her last play at Stratford, Three Tall Women, is a contemporary play written by American playwright Edward Albee about his adoptive mother.

In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Henry said she had to use two canes to walk onstage in another play just months earlier, and first relied on a walker, then a wheelchair for Three Tall Women due to nerve issues in her leg. At the time, she said she was being cared for at home by her daughter.

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That final performance was on Oct. 9, and festival organizers say it was filmed and they hope to secure the rights to share it publicly. 

The festival also said a memorial for Henry will be held “at an appropriate time.” In a statement, Mirvish Productions said it will dim the marquee lights in all Mirvish theatres at curtain time tonight in Henry’s honor. For Mirvish, Henry starred in the 2004 play Copenhagen, which played at Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre.

Martha Henry Age, Date of Birth, Birthday, Family, what about her father, mother, where is she from? Early Life.

Martha was born on February 17, 1938, in Detroit, Michigan to parents Lloyd Howard Buhs and Kathleen Hatch.

martha henry earlylife

She grew up with her family in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Martha Henry Net worth, how much did she earn?

There is no information about her net worth but it seems that she has earned enough money from her career, she was undoubtedly making a sizable wage and amassing a sizable net worth. Furthermore, his career was her primary source of revenue.

Martha Henry’s husband, Her relationship, What about children?

Martha was married three times, and all her marriages ended in divorce. She got married to her first husband, Donnelly Rhodes from 1962 till their divorce in 1962. Rhodes was a Canadian actor who has worked in several movies and TV shows including, Battlestar, DoctorCottle, Sidestreet, and The Young and the Restless.

Henry got married to Douglas Rain in 1968. Douglas was a Canadian actor and narrator best known for his theatrical roles in Henry V and Vivat! Vivat Regina. He voiced HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Their marriage also ended in a divorce.

martha henry husband

Martha got married to Canadian actor Rod Beattie in 1989, but their marriage did not last and ended up in divorce. Rod appeared at the Stratford Festival for over 45 years and played several protagonists in Shakespearean plays.

She took the stage surname Henry, her first husband Donnelly Rhodes’s legal surname.

Martha Henry Career

Leading actress at Stratford

During Henry’s first season at the Stratford Festival in 1962, she played Miranda to William Hutt’s first Prospero in The Tempest, and Lady Macduff in Macbeth. Between the 1962 and 1980 seasons, she played leading roles in 40 productions and made her directing debut in 1980.

Some of her roles during this time included Viola in Twelfth Night (1966), Cordelia in King Lear (1967), Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968), Desdemona in Othello (1973), Isabella in Measure for Measure (1975-1976), Olga in Three Sisters (1976), Lady Anne in Richard III (1977), and Paulina in The Winter’s Tale (1978). During brief periods away from Stratford, Henry performed elsewhere in Canada and abroad, including Manitoba Theatre Centre, Shaw Festival, Broadway, New York’s Lincoln Centre, and London’s West End.

Henry and three other directors (Urjo Kareda, Peter Moss, and Pam Brighton) were appointed to lead Stratford’s 1981 season after the resignation of Artistic Director Robin Phillips, but the group was dismissed a few months later when the Board of Directors had lined up English stage director John Dexter to replace them. A major uproar ensued across the Canadian Arts community, and Immigration Minister Lloyd Axworthy denied Dexter a work permit.

A month later, Canadian director John Hirsch was appointed Artistic Director for the 1981 season. The “Gang of Four” fallout caused Henry and other Stratford veterans to work away from the Festival for many years, but the enduring result was noted by actor R.H. Thomson as “Stratford turning (a corner) and becoming a deeply Canadian enterprise”.

Directing and later-stage career

After 1980, Henry performed and directed at major arts venues across North America, including Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage, Globe Theatre, the National Arts Centre, Roy Thompson Hall, Citadel Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Shaw Festival, Neptune Theatre, and Carnegie Mellon University.

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She was Artistic Director at 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.

Her return to the Stratford stage in 1994 as Mary Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey Into Night was widely acclaimed, and the production was remounted for the 1995 season. A filmed version of the production earned her a 1996 Genie Award. The return also marked the start of a second long run for Henry at Stratford, with her performing in leading and supporting roles, directing, and instructing.

Stratford’s Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training

In 2007, she was appointed director of Stratford’s Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training, a program that has trained many promising new Canadian actors. Her production of All My Sons by Arthur Miller was included in multiple theatre reviewers’ lists of top theatre productions in 2016. In 2017, she took over leadership of Stratford’s Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction.

In 2018, in her 44th season of performing, at age 80, Henry played Prospero in The Tempest, directed by Antoni Cimolino. Chris Jones, the theater critic for the Chicago Tribune, wrote “in all my years watching shows at this theater, a miragelike fountain of excellence … I have never seen anything quite like the experience of watching Henry”.

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In 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Henry played the role of “A” in Three Tall Women by Edward Albee at Stratford’s Studio Theatre. In his review of the production, J. Kelly Nestruck of the Globe and Mail said “Henry’s performance is a reminder of how much more daringly theatrical her generation of stage actors – she’s now in her 80s – can be”.

Henry died of cancer on October 21, 2021, at the age of 83, only 12 days after her final stage appearance in Three Tall Women.


Henry was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1981 and promoted to a companion in 1990. She was made a member of the Order of Ontario in 1994. Henry received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for her lifetime contribution to Canadian theatre in 1996.

As a recipient of the Order of Canada, she has been awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in 1992, the Canadian version of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, and the Canadian version of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Television roles

Notable television roles include Catherine in Empire, Inc., the prime minister’s mother in H2O, and the owner of the Chateau Rousseau in Ken Finkleman’s At the Hotel.

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In 1994, she starred in the TV film And Then There Was One.

Where she attend her High school and University? What was her major?

She grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, attended the Kingswood School (today Cranbrook Kingswood School), and graduated from the Drama department at Carnegie Institute of Technology before moving to Canada in 1959. Maratha later adopted the stage surname Henry, the legal surname of her first husband Donnelly Rhodes.

She performed at Toronto’s Crest Theatre upon her arrival in Canada and was soon after accepted into the first class at the National Theatre School in Montreal. In 1961, the Theatre School took its students to Stratford to perform scene selections for the Festival company.

 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. Accepting the offer would have required Henry to leave the Theatre School partway through the three-year program, however, NTS Director Powys Thomas advised her to take the offer, saying she would learn more with the Stratford company than at the Theatre School. 

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

Martha Henry Social Media Reach

We looked for her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms but were unable to locate her. She must have a social media account under a different name, or she may not have any. Maybe she likes a private life.

Martha Henry’s Body Appearance Height, Weight

HeightN / A
WeightN / A
Eye ColorBlack
Body TypeFit
Sexual OrientationStraight

Interesting facts about Martha Henry’s which you should know

NationalityAmerican-born Canadian
ReligionN / A
Age83 years
BirthdateFebruary 17, 1938
BirthplaceDetroit, Michigan

Social Media

Not Available