Kenneth Welsh

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Kenneth Welsh
Born(1942-03-30) March 30, 1942 (age 72)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Years active1964–present
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Kenneth Welsh
Born(1942-03-30) March 30, 1942 (age 72)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Years active1964–present

Kenneth Welsh, CM (born March 30, 1942) is a Canadian-American film and television actor (sometimes credited as Ken Welsh). He is known to Twin Peaks fans as the multi-faceted villain Windom Earle, and played the father of Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator. He lives outside of Toronto.

Life and career[edit]

Welsh was born in Edmonton, Alberta to a father who worked for the Canadian National Railway.[1] He grew up in Alberta and studied drama at school. He later moved to Montreal and attended the National Theatre School. Following graduation, he auditioned for the Stratford Festival in Ontario and then spent the first seven years of his career on stage.

Welsh has portrayed historical figures including Thomas E. Dewey, Colin Thatcher, Harry S. Truman (twice), Thomas Edison, James "Scotty" Reston, General Harry Crerar and James Baker. He has made guest appearances on the acclaimed TV series Due South and Slings and Arrows.

In 1984, he was nominated for a Genie Award as Best Actor for his portrayal of Reno Colt in the film Reno and the Doc, written and directed by Charles Dennis. In 1997, Welsh directed Dennis in the latter's play SoHo Duo at the West Bank Theatre in New York City. In 2003, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

His role as the vice-president of the United States in the 2004 environmental disaster film The Day After Tomorrow sparked some controversy due to his physical resemblance to Dick Cheney, who at the time was the real vice-president. Director Roland Emmerich later confirmed that he deliberately chose Welsh for that very reason. Emmerich stated that the character of the vice-president in the film was intended to be a not-so-subtle criticism of the environmental policies of the Presidency of George W. Bush.[2]

Welsh's son Devon is the lead singer of the musical group Majical Cloudz.[3]


1965The Overfamiliar Subordinate
1980F.D.R.: The Last Year (TV)Thomas E. Dewey
PhobiaSgt Wheeler
1983Hot MoneyParker
Tell Me That You Love MeDavid
Of Unknown OriginJames Hall
1984Reno and the Doc (TV)Reno
Falling in LoveDoctor
1985The War BoyStephan Berecky
The Cuckoo Bird (TV)Harry
The Ray Bradbury Theater (Season 1, episode 1 Marionettes, Inc.)Crane
Empire, Inc. (mini TV series)Sir James Munroe
Love & Larceny (TV)
Murder Sees the Light (TV)The Evangelist
1987And Then You Die
LoyaltiesDavid Sutton
Radio DaysRadio Voicevoice only
1988The Murder of Mary Phagan (TV)Luther Rosser
The House on Carroll StreetHackett
"Crocodile" Dundee IIBrannigan
Liberace: Behind the Music
The Twilight Zone (Episode: - Acts of Terror)Jack Simonson
Another Woman
1989The January ManRoger CulverCredited as Ken Welsh
Love and Hate: The Story of Colin and Joanne Thatcher (TV)Colin Thatcher
Physical EvidenceHarry Norton
Dick Francis: Blood SportHarry Teller
1990The Ray Bradbury Theater (Season 4, Episode 7, And the Moon Be Still as Bright) (TV)Captain Wilder
The Widowmaker (TV)Atkinson
Twin Peaks (TV)Windom Earle
Murder Times Seven (TV)Nick Ruggieri
1992Eli's LessonUncle Yakub
Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster (TV)Sam Skinner
The Good Fight (TV)Dick Chandler
1993Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story (TV)Don Eisenberg
Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story (TV)Judge Norton
Death Wish V: The Face of DeathLt. Mickey King
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues: episode Temple (TV)Vance Cavanaugh
And Then There was OneDavid Burns
TimecopSenator Utley
Legends of the FallSheriff Tynert
1995Hiroshima (TV)President Harry S. Truman
Kissinger and Nixon (TV)James 'Scotty' Reston
The X Files - episode Revelations (TV)Simon Gates
1996Portraits of a KillerJim Miller
1997HabitatCoach Marlowe
The Wrong GuyMr. Nagel
Edison: The Wizard of Light (TV)Thomas Edison
1998Law & Order - episode Disappeared (TV)Ben O'Dell
Thunder Point (TV)Armstrong
Thanks of a Grateful Nation (TV)Sen. Shelby
1999External AffairsMichael Riordan
2000Who Killed Atlanta's Children? (TV)William Kunstler
Love Come DownIra Rosen
The Hound of the Baskervilles (TV)Dr. Watson
Witchblade (TV)Joe Siri
2001The Royal Scandal (TV)Dr. Watson
The Sign of Four (TV)Dr. Watson
Haven (TV)Harry Truman
FocusFather Crighton
The Day Reagan Was Shot (TV)James Baker
2002The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire (TV)Dr. Watson
2003Ice Bound: A Woman's Survival at the South Pole (TV)Dr. Ben Murdoch
Eloise at the Plaza (TV)Sir Wilkes
The Pentagon Papers (TV)John McNaughon
Eloise at ChristmastimeSir Wilkes
2004MiracleGeorge Nagobads
The Wild GuysAndy
The Day After TomorrowVice President/President Raymond Becker
H₂O (TV)Randall Spear
The AviatorDr. Hepburn
2009Survival of the DeadPatrick O'Flynn


  1. ^ Kenneth Welsh Biography ((?)-)
  2. ^ 'The Day After Tomorrow' heats up a political debate by Scott Bowles, USA Today, May 26, 2004. (retrieved on January 12, 2009).
  3. ^ "We Talked To Majical Cloudz". Vice, January 4, 2013.

External links[edit]