MHS Smarty Party: 20 October 2022

Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Kenneth Stewart “Ken” Zeilig (1939-1990)

Journalist, actor.

Born at Winnipeg on 19 September 1939, son of Morrey I. Zeilig (1912-1998) and Lillian Bereskin (1913-1994), after graduation from St. John’s High School, he studied arts and literature at United College. During the early 1960s, he worked and studied at the Manitoba Theatre Centre School directed by John Hirsch and acted in several of the theatre’s early production. Obtaining a teacher's certificate from the Manitoba Teachers’ College, he taught English and Drama at Regent Park School (three years, early 1960s) and later in Quebec and London, England. In 1968, he received an MA degree in Film and Television from the Hornsey College of Arts (now Middlesex University). He worked as a journalist and broadcaster with CBC Television at Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland (1976-1977) and in Los Angeles, California (two years, 1980s).

Specializing in entertainment reporting, he was a frequent contributor to CBC radio and television, producing programs in science, education, politics, and the arts. Among celebrities he interviewed were Bette Davis, Bob Hope, Alfred Hitchcock, John Lennon, Isaac Stern, and others. He also produced several short documentary films. After 15 months as a radio producer and station manager for CBC at La Ronge, Saskatchewan, he returned to Winnipeg where he and his wife Victoria wrote Ste. Madeleine: Community Without a Town (1987) about Metis people displaced from Ste. Madeleine during the Great Depression. Shortly before his death, he acted in the feature film The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick (1988) filmed in Beausejour and Winnipeg.

He died at Winnipeg on 15 August 1990 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.

See also:

Review: Ken and Victoria Zeilig, Ste. Madeleine: Community Without a Town; Métis Elders in Interview by Diane Payment
Manitoba History, Number 17, Spring 1989

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ste. Madeleine Cemetery (RM of Ellice-Archie)

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 21 August 1990, page 36.

Obituary [Lillian Zeilig], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 November 1994, page 25.

Obituary [Morrey I. Zeilig], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 February 1998, page 100.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Martin Zeilig for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 June 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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