John Dunsworth, the actor who brought laughter to millions at Jim Lahey on the cult stoner series Trailer Park Boys, has passed away aged 71.
Dunsworth died after a “brief and unexpected illness”, his daughter Sarah Dunsworth confirmed.
“With heavy and broken hearts the family of John F. Dunsworth would like to let people know that our amazing husband, father and grandfather John Dunsworth has passed away,” she wrote in a statement on Twitter.
“John left this world peacefully after a short and unexpected illness.”
The second of 10 children born to Frank and Frances Dunsworth, John grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada and was a regular on the theatrical scene in the region.
A regular performer in the theatre, he first gained notoriety with the 1988 film short John Dunsworth: The Candidate, which followed his real-life campaign as an underdog provincial candidate for the New Democratic Party that year.
His big break came in the mid-90s though, when he was cast in a small role in Mike Clattenburg’s movie One Last Short.
It was a small role that gradually transformed into a leading part and earned Dunsworth a Best Performance award at the Atlantic Film Festival.
The role was also ultimately spun into the character of Jim Lahey on Trailer Park Boys, the park supervisor and police officer known for his drunken antics and bisexual escapades alongside shirtless sidekick, Patrick Roach’s Randy.
Unlike his character though, Dunsworth rarely drank alcohol and instead spent much of his spare time boating – he owned a yacht.
The 12th season of Trailer Park Boys, which is about to be released on Netflix, will now serve as a swansong for the much-loved comedy actor and entertainer.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.