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Memorable Manitobans: Nancy Jane Drake (1943-2020)


Born at Winnipeg on 22 January 1943, daughter of John George “Jack” Johnston (1905-1992) and Mary Kirk (1906-2003), she moved to London, England in 1962, married there, and they returned to Canada and had five children. The family moved from Winnipeg to Sydney, Nova Scotia where she performed in musical theatre and had a weekly radio show on CBC with her husband. Following the breakup of the marriage, she returned to Winnipeg in 1976 and began working in local theatres. She performed 28 plays for the Manitoba Theatre Centre, eight for Prairie Theatre Exchange, and 23 musicals. She also had over 20 film and television credits. She taught theatre acting at the Manitoba School for Theatre and Allied Arts and Manitoba Youth Theatre. She died at Winnipeg on 9 September 2020.


Obituary [John George Johnston], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 December 1992, page 64.

Obituary [Mary Johnston], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 March 2003, page 32.

Nancy Drake, ‘a Winnipeg queen of theatre,’ dies at age 77,” CBC News, 11 September 2020.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 September 2020.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 September 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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