Fast Facts

  • Began his stage acting career in Canada while also helping to establish two theatres, including the Chester Summer Playhouse in the lobby of a Nova Scotia curling rink.
  • Early roles in his television and movie career included a Little House on the Prairie episode and playing Henry Fonda's firefighting son in the film City on Fire. 
  • Won a Merritt Award (Nova Scotia theatre) in 2007 for Best Supporting Actor in Fool For Love and was nominated the following year for Best Direction in The Drawer Boy.
  • Collected Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Doras) for Best Actor in In the Jungle of the Cities (1984) and for his portrayal of an aging Tennessee Williams in His Greatness (2011).
  • Narrated several episodes of Nova on PBS, as well as all six episodes of the TV series The Sea Hunters. 
  • Recorded an audio book for Rockbound, a Frank Parker Day novel set on an island off Nova Scotia, Donat's birthplace.


  • 1986, Genie Awards — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee


  • Lucas Donat — Nephew
  • Peter Donat — Brother
  • Robert Donat — Uncle
  • John Donat — Cousin


  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; National Theatre School of Canada, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (1967)

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  • Birth Name: Richard Donat
  • Birth Place: Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Birthday: June 1, 1941, Gemini
  • Profession: Actor

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