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Anne of Green Gables‘ Jonathan Crombie Passes Away at 48

True friends are always together in spirit.

Canadian actor Jonathan Crombie, best known for his role as Gilbert Blythe in the Anne of Green Gables TV movies, passed away last Wednesday in New York from a brain hemorrhage. Crombie was 48.

In addition to his time on Green Gables, Crombie was also known for his work on The Good Wife and Slings and Arrows as well as his stage performances; Crombie’s sister told US that her brother’s favorite role was playing the lead in Broadway’s Drowsy Chaperone in 2007.

We’ve been going through lots of stories the last couple days. He was funny, he was sweet, he loved acting, he loved comedy and singing and dancing. As a little kid, he just loved Broadway shows and all of that kind of stuff and would sing and dance in the living room.

Growing up as a Lucy Maud Montgomery nerd, the relationship between Crombie’s Gilbert and Megan Follows’ Anne set a high standard for what I anticipated from future partners; although it’s obviously unrealistic to expect any relationship to have the same romantic intensity as the Green Gables books did (if only because few people have as many drawn out near-death experiences as Gilbert), I’m glad that one of the first on-screen relationships I grew attached to was so positive.

Gilbert loved Anne without idealizing her, respected and supported her need for independence and to follow her own dreams, and was, above all, her kindred spirit and bosom buddy (hair-pulling incident accepted, of course). They loved each other, and they liked each other, and I’ll always remember Jonathan Crombie for showing me that romantic love can be just as kind and peaceful as a platonic friendship.

A toast of currant wine in your honor, Gil.

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