Canadian actor Kirby Morrow dead at 47 after struggling with addiction, mental health

Click to play video: 'Well-known Canadian actor suffered in silence, died at 47'
Well-known Canadian actor suffered in silence, died at 47
WATCH: The entertainment industry is mourning the loss of an accomplished Canadian actor. Kirby Morrow died just over three weeks ago. As Jill Croteau reports, away from the spotlight, he was hiding a dark secret that cost him his life – Dec 10, 2020

It’s been almost three weeks since the entertainment industry lost a Canadian actor. Kirby Morrow was 47 years old when died on Nov. 18, 2020. He lost his life after a long history of alcohol addiction.

His brother, Casey Morrow, said Kirby suffered so much in silence, keeping his dark thoughts to himself. Over the last several months, his depression worsened.

“Being alone by himself (and) not being able to entertain people every day, that’s what caught him,” Casey said.

Kirby Morrow. Courtesy: Morrow family

“It was tough because you would see all the greatness and see the other side where he was hurting and struggling, and you couldn’t help him because he didn’t want to help himself.”

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READ MORE: Struggling with an addiction in Canada? These resources can help 

Those who were closest to him want to share his story in hopes of helping others tortured by mental health issues.

The family is still reeling from the loss of Kirby and Casey’s dad, who died just days before Kirby’s life ended.

Morrow family. Courtesy: Morrow Family

“It’s a story we need to tell and Kirby would want us to help people because that’s what he loved to do,” Casey said.

“He didn’t want anybody to know he was in pain because he didn’t want anybody to feel that too.”

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Kirby grew up in Jasper, Alta., and went to theatre school at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. He moved to Vancouver to pursue his acting dreams.

Kirby Morrow. Courtesy: Morrow family

Kirby was known for his roles in X-Men: Evolution and the Stargate series. He was also an accomplished voiceover actor working on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as on two of the LEGO movies: Ninjago and Jurassic World.

But friends said it was his off-screen moments that resonate most. Michael Coleman and Gerry South organized a virtual memorial for Kirby on Wednesday night.

“I have to finally come to terms with the fact my life is now an emptier place,” South said.

“This is the guy I would have gone to when this happened,” Coleman said. “When Kirby passed, I need(ed) him to tell me what to do next.

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“I’m not ready to say goodbye so I’m not going to. I got too much of him still in me.

“In an industry that has a difficult time finding authenticity and integrity, he embodied it,” he added.

“In 20 years, right up until the last day, we didn’t have a conversation that didn’t end in ‘I love you.’ I got to say it on his last day and I will be forever grateful for that.”

Friend Darren Hunter said he learned a lot from Kirby.

“One time there was this strung out junkie, drunk (and) lying in the middle of the street and Kirby walked over and helped this guy up when nobody was looking at him,” Hunter said.

“Kirby didn’t know this guy and helped him across the street, but it’s what he did for all of us.”

Another of Kirby’s friends, Charles Zuckermann, urged those suffering to reach out for a lifeline.

“These are dark times and I am a sane man with no mental disorder and some days I’m starting to crack,” Zuckermann said. “We got to call each other, love each other and we got to spend more time reaching out to each other.”

“We all have something to learn and something that could make the world a little better just by being more like Kirby,” Casey said.

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Casey Morrow, Kirby\’s brother. Jill Croteau/Global News

Casey has set up a fundraiser, to raise money for a scholarship in Kirby’s name, hoping to gift an aspiring actor tuition money.

“There’s a lot of kids like Kirby, kids in small towns and (who) don’t have a lot of resources,” he said. “So if we can build a fund for them (and) send a couple to theatre school, that’s how we are going to try and remember him.”

Kirby’s cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

“He had been sick for a while and his body was getting older, and when you live like a 25-year-old and you’re 47, it’s hard,” Casey said.

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