Canadian stage actress Cara Leslie dead at 45

Pop Goes The News — Tributes are pouring in for Canadian theatre actress Cara Leslie.

Toronto Police confirmed Friday that Leslie, who had been missing since mid-March, is dead. She was 45.

No further details have been made public.

Leslie was reported missing March 16 after her clothing, purse, phone and other personal belongings were found outside the Argonaut Rowing Club.

Investigators found CCTV footage of Leslie from March 13 and conducted searches of Lake Ontario and the surrounding area.

“Cara was a special person,” artist Troy Brooks commented on Facebook. “Gifted in so many ways. She always made me laugh. It was easy to love and admire her. She left a mark.”

Leslie played Hope Caldwell in a 2004 CanStage production of Urinetown in Toronto and had a long list of stage credits – from Anne of Green Gables at the Charlottetown Festival and Jolson: The Musical at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre to several shows at Tokyo Disneyland.

She also performed for troops stationed in Afghanistan.

Former theatre producer Aubrey Dan said Leslie’s “energy and vibrancy towards life was so engaging” and described her work in Urinetown and Toxic Avengers as “off the charts amazing.”

He added: “Even when she had her down days, she was full of life. I’ll miss her passion for acting and performing as she was so talented.”

A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Leslie studied Music Theatre Arts at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton.

Janet Nichol, who taught Leslie singing at Grant MacEwan, called her as “a bright light that was extinguished far too soon.”

Singer Gavin Hope of The Nylons shared: “I remember sweet Cara when we competed in the Stampede Youth Talent Showdown in Calgary many years ago. I’ve always loved her voice and how much she loved Barbara Streisand.”

Actress Ellen Dubin, who co-starred with Leslie in Boeing Boeing, wrote: “My heart aches … She always had a smile and dove into her work with passion and fun.”