November 14, 2016 6:19 pm
Updated: November 14, 2016 9:26 pm

‘Corner Gas’ star Janet Wright dead at 71

Award-winning stage and screen actress Janet Wright, shown in a handout photo, best known for her portrayal of the long-suffering matriarch on "Corner Gas," has died at age 71.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
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Award-winning stage and screen actress Janet Wright, best known for her portrayal of the long-suffering matriarch on “Corner Gas,” has died at age 71.

Wright played Emma Leroy on the hit Canadian sitcom, which ended its six-season run in 2009, and returned with a big-screen adaptation in 2014.

Wright’s character Emma was the wife of Oscar Leroy, played by Eric Peterson, and mother to Brent, portrayed by series creator and star Brent Butt.

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READ MORE: ‘Corner Gas’ set dismantled in Rouleau, Sask.

The series won the 2007 Gemini for best ensemble comedy performance.

Born in England on March 8, 1945, Wright and her family relocated to Canada and eventually settled in Saskatoon at a young age.

Wright was the co-founder of Saskatoon’s Persephone Theatre, and performed at virtually every major theatre company in Canada.

READ MORE: Kickstarter campaign allows California family to tour ‘Corner Gas’

She had been affiliated with the Vancouver Arts Club Theater since the early 1970s, and also directed for many major theatre companies across Canada, including productions at Ontario’s Stratford Festival.

She won the best actress Genie Award in 1992 for “Bordertown Cafe,” and won the best supporting actress in a dramatic program or miniseries award in 2003 for “Betrayed.”

Her film credits include “The Perfect Storm,” opposite George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, and TV appearances on series “Dark Angel,” “The King of Kensington” and “The Beachcombers.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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