Remembering the life of Glenn Cannon

Glenn Cannon

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He was an actor, director, teacher, mentor and a friend.

Glenn Cannon died this weekend at the age of 80.

What better place to talk about one of Hawaii’s finest actor/directors than in the theater. Long time friend Joyce Maltby emphasized that Cannon could do it all – - from Shakespeare to light comedy, when he played the devil in the musical, Aloha, Rosie’s.

“Yes, the versatility – I think the qualities – when I knew I was going to talk to you, I was thinking what are the qualities about Glenn other than his being a wonderful actor, director, teacher – but he was probably the most honest man I’ve ever known,” said Joyce Maltby, HPU theatre director.

Maltby pointed out that Cannon acted in countless films and TV shows, but that his real love was directing and teaching.

“And if you could count up how many classes he’s taught, how many productions he’s directed, you’re easily into the tens of thousands of students and peoples lives that he has touched,” said Paul Mitri, UH Kennedy theatre director.

Not to mention the audiences… Including those who saw a revival of Manoa Valley, a play he directed with a particular passion.

“In part in terms of the chaos, the difficulty, the problems that are going on in this country and in the world and being able to re-identify with home,” stated Director Glenn Cannon.

Maltby overheard one student thank Cannon for pushing her to be better.

“You weren’t doing it for any other reason than to get the best out of us. And those students who really wanted that, and those are the true students you want to teach, those students loved him,” said Maltby.

Cannon directed Paul Mitri in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

“I just found him to be just a great director, an actor’s director, somebody that would give you the freedom to do anything and tell you when it worked and when it didn’t work,” Mitri said.

Maltby and Cannon’s other theatre friends were near his bedside during his final days and they sang to him.

“And we also sang another of his favorites, ‘I did it my way.’ Because that was Glenn – he did it his way,” Maltby concluded.

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