The Canadian Press reports that Neville, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died Saturday in Toronto, surrounded by family. The veteran actor appeared in dozens of productions over the course of his sixty-year career, but it was his titular role in Terry Gilliam's 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen' that earned him critical acclaim and public visibility. Though the film was a commercial failure, few could fault Neville's wry performance, and he went on to become a mainstay in films, television and theater.
Though he turned in many memorable on-screen performances, Neville seemed just as comfortable working behind the scenes, serving as artistic director of the Nottingham Playhouse in the 1960s and, after his move to Canada, the Stratford Festival in the 1980s.
As well as his stint at Stratford, Neville also served as artistic director for Edmonton's Citadel Theatre in the 1970s and Halifax's Neptune Theatre from 1978-1983.
British-born Neville emigrated to Canada in 1972, where he subsequently became a citizen. In 2006, he was named a member of the Order of Canada for his work in Canadian theatre, and he became an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1965.
Des McAnuff, current artistic director of the Stratford Festival, said of the actor: "John Neville was a superb actor, an outstanding director and a terrific artistic leader of our Festival. His charisma and charm were matched by the generosity of his spirit."
Neville is survived by his wife, Caroline, and their six children and six grandchildren.
Which of Neville's roles was your favorite?