Albert Hamilton Schultz

Albert Hamilton Schultz, actor, artistic director (b at Port Hope, Ont 30 Jul 1963). A debonaire leading man, Schultz has achieved success in film and television, as well as establishing himself as an accomplished stage actor in both the classics and contemporary work. The classical theatre remains his primary interest, however, and he is now co-producer and artistic director of Soulpepper Theatre Company, which he co-founded in 1998 with a group of like-minded colleagues.

Throughout his career, Schultz has been strongly associated with director Robin Phillips. Educated at York University from 1981 to 1982, at the Banff Centre in 1983 and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) from 1984 to 1985, Schultz played Laertes in Hamlet and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet for Guy Sprung's Toronto Free Theatre before joining Phillips's Young Company at the Stratford Festival in 1987. His Young Company roles included Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Touchstone in As You Like It (both 1987), and Edgar in King Lear and Feste in Twelfth Night (both 1988).

With Phillips at Edmonton's Citadel Theatre, Schultz starred in such plays as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Arthur Miller's The Crucible (both 1989), Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer (1994), and The Music Man (1995). His television career was also developing significantly and he starred in CBC-TV's Street Legal for 3 seasons (1992-95) and in CBC-TV's Side Effects for 2 seasons (1994-95). He was the lead in CTV's biography of the controversial Conrad Black, Shades of Black (2006). His onstage wit and charm also brought additional TV exposure as host of the Gemini Awards in 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1999. He won a Gemini in 1995 and has been nominated on 3 other occasions.

In film, he has worked with directors such as LeVar Burton, John Boorman, David Wellington, Brigitte Berman and Jerry Ciccoritti. As a stage director, Schultz has tackled 3 works by David Widdicombe as well as directing As You Like It for the Festival of Classics in Oakville, Ont.

As Soulpepper's artistic director, he brought in his mentor, Robin Phillips, to direct the company's inaugural season at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre in 1998. Both productions, Molière's The Misanthrope in which Schultz starred as Alceste and Schiller's Don Carlos, were greeted with critical acclaim and sold-out houses. In 1999 and 2000 Schultz played the title role in the Soulpepper production of Chekhov's rarely performed play Platonov, under director Laszlo Marton. He starred in an acclaimed production of Pinter's Betrayal in 2000 and as Astrov in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in 2001, 2002 and 2008, as well as in Our Town in 1999, 2006 and 2007, The Real Thing in 2006, The Odd Couple in 2008 and Glengarry Glen Ross in 2009 and 2010. He also leads the Soulpepper Academy and the company's youth outreach and access initiatives.

Albert Schultz's many honours include the City of Toronto's Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award, the DareArts Foundation Cultural Award, the Toronto Arts Council William Kilbourn Award, the Salute to the City Award and the Joan Chalmers National Award for Artistic Direction. For his work on behalf of UNICEF, Schultz received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. He has received honorary degrees from Queen's and Bishop's universities in recognition of his contribution to Canadian theatre.