Board of Directors
Jane Mallett (1899–1984)
Jane Mallett was born in London, Ontario in 1899. She begun acting while an undergraduate at Victoria College, University of Toronto. In 1921, she was offered the leading role in The Great Adventure at Toronto’s Upper Canada College. Playing opposite her was Frederick Mallett who was to become her husband of over 50 years.
Throughout the 1920’s, she worked continually, playing a diverse selection of roles at American stock companies operating in Toronto at the time. It was in the 1930’s that she began working in comedy, writing and performing Two Tonics, a two-player revue, as well as several other revues throughout the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. Her work in radio earned her the title “the girl with a thousand voices” due to her talent for portraying multiple characters during one show.
She was the recipient of the Brenda Donahue Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre, ACTRA’s John Drainie Award for Distinguished Contribution to Broadcasting and in 1975, she was inducted into the Order of Canada.
In 1958, Ms. Mallett along with four other visionary actors, put $5 in a pot and begun what is known today as The AFC (previously the Actors’ Fund of Canada). She became the Fund’s first president, and remained in that role until her death in 1984. The Jane Mallett theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts was named after her posthumously in recognition of her contributions to the performing arts in Canada.