Pop Goes The News – Canadian actress Karyn Dwyer died Tuesday in Toronto at 43.
Dwyer was best known for starring as Maggie in the acclaimed 1999 film Better Than Chocolate.
Actor Frank Chiesurin, who worked with Dwyer several times, described her as a “beautiful soul” in an Instagram tribute. “So generous, loving and talented,” he wrote. “You were and still are a blessing to so many.”
Musician and actor Raoul Bhaneja tweeted: “We lost a fine actor and warm human being. Much love to her friends and family who stood with her all these years.”
One of five children born into an Irish Catholic family in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Dwyer got an early start in theatre, playing the title role in a production of Alice in Wonderland when she was only 10.
Her passion took her to Toronto where she studied theatre at George Brown College.
Dwyer worked steadily on screen. She had dozens of guest spots on homegrown TV series like Republic of Doyle, Due South, This is Wonderland, and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. Her film credits include a role as a cheerleader in Molly Shannon’s 1999 SNL flick Superstar and the 2013 film The Art of the Steal, which starred Kurt Russell and Matt Dillon.
Dwyer returned to the stage for roles in productions of Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It as well as Eric Bogosian’s SubUrbia and RH Thompson’s Exercises in Depravity.
She also created, produced, and starred in the one-woman show Bad Girls at Toronto’s Rivoli.
Dwyer dealt with heartache throughout her life, losing her father to cancer when she was only 11 and then losing a brother when she was in her early 20s.
Asked about her choice of career, Dwyer reportedly said: “It’s sad really. At 5’2″ I was too short to be a professional basketball player and too tall to be one of Santa’s elves. So I settled for being an actress.”
A memorial service is scheduled for Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in The Celebrity Club at PAL Toronto on The Esplanade.