MHS Smarty Party: 20 October 2022

Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Phyllis Ellen West (1905-1991)

Actor.

Born in Yorkshire, England in 1905, she immigrated to Canada in 1952 to work with Sanford Evans Publishers. In 1960 she auditioned for a part in Gaslight at the Manitoba Theatre Centre and began an acting career that kept her busy for the remainder of her life. She subsequently appeared with Actors Showcase, Fantasy Theatre for Children, and Rainbow Stage. West did television appearances with Burton Cummings and a film entitled Gentle Sinners, and was well known for her television commercials as the “Birt’s Saddlery lady.” She was known as “the Grand Duchess.” Her last performance was in 1990. She died at Winnipeg on 11 May 1991.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 May 1991, page 25.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 June 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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