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Sunday, April 14, 2024
THE LOVE REPORT: On and off the stage, this connection is real
Terry and Donna Belleville play lovers in Tiger at the Gates by Jean Giraudoux.
Terry and Donna Belleville in the living room of their Niagara-on-the-Lake home

Terry and Donna Belleville

The year was 1972, at Playhouse 66, a small theatre in Scarborough.

The play was “Tiger at the Gates” by Jean Giraudoux.

In the story, a Trojan prince named Hector – played by Terry – has just returned from the wars only to discover that Andromache – played by Donna – was with child.

What the audience didn’t know is that Donna, the actress, was at almost exactly the same stage in her pregnancy with Jason (Terry and Donna’s first child).

The two had been in a relationship for about eight months: “Clearly, a little longer than the rehearsal period,” said Terry.

Then, they both lived in Toronto. Donna was from a town in the Finger Lakes region of New York and Terry was from Melbourne, Australia.

The couple moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1975, when Terry took a job with the Shaw Festival.

“I came to work in administration at Shaw,” said Terry. “I joined to assist Judith Hendry, the director of publicity and public relations. I eventually took over the role when Judith left the festival. Donna joined the Acting Company.”

Fast-forward to 1976, Terry and Donna would be married on June 11 at Grace United Church on Victoria Street.

Minus some years in Calgary in the ’80s, Terry and Donna have lived in NOTL ever since, with Donna being a regular on the Shaw Festival playbill from 1999 to 2017.

The two also shared the stage other times.

“We acted together a lot,” said Terry. “Our plays include Georges Feydeau’s ‘A Flea in Her Ear,’ ‘The Lion in Winter,’ ‘Oh! What a Lovely War,’ ‘I Never Sang for my Father,’ ‘Private Lives,’ ‘The Hollow,’ and ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt.’ ”

None of these were at Shaw, but at other theatres in Toronto and Calgary.

The couple has two sons, Jason and Ryan, and four grandchildren.

Jason was born in Toronto and Ryan here in town.

“Jason is the oldest and the tallest. He is a very successful writer in Hollywood. He currently lives in Los Angeles. He is married, and he and Carla have two sons, Leland and Campbell,” Terry said.

“Ryan has made a mark in the comedy world in Canada,” he continued. “He is perhaps best known as Lionel, one of the leads in the CBC series ‘Workin’ Moms.’ He has been doing live stand-up at major venues across Canada.”

The Canadian government also flies Ryan to locations around the world so that he can entertain the Canadian troops abroad.

Ryan lives in Santa Clarita, Calif., with his wife, Jenn. They have two children, a son, Wilder, and a daughter, Poppy.

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