Characters

Characters

Sara Stanley

Sara is an adventurous ten-year-old girl used to living luxuriously in Montreal with her father and nanny, who must learn to adjust to simpler life in the rural village of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. Her mother was Ruth King, sister to Hetty, Alec, Roger and Olivia, who died when Sara was a toddler. When Sara’s father runs into trouble, he arranges to have Sara stay for a time in Avonlea. Sara reluctantly stays without her nanny and lives with her single aunts Hetty and Olivia at Rose Cottage. Sara learns to appreciate the lifestyle Avonlea has to offer and eventually comes to enjoy it.

Sarah Polley

Today, Sarah is an accomplished actress, writer, producer and director. Below is a look at what the Story Girl has done to receive these well-deserved titles. After appearing in the last season of Road to Avonlea, Sarah went on to star in the critically acclaimed drama The Sweet Hereafter, in which she played the only survivor of a school bus crash. Since then, she has starred in a number of series and feature films, including the zombie thrillerDawn of the Dead, Slings & Arrows, Beowulf & Grendel and the HBO drama John Adams, to name a few. Besides her many acting roles, Sarah garnered international attention with the film Away From Her, for which she adapted the short story, The Bear Came Over the Mountain written by Canadian author Alice Munro. The film, which starred Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie, was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.This was not the first feature that Sarah wrote and directed, nor will it be her last. Most recently Sarah is being credited with the success of directing the documentary, Stories We Tell, a film that unearths layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.
 
Road to Avonlea Janet King

Janet King

Janet is Alec’s loving but independent-minded wife. She loves her husband and children, but unlike many women of her era, she knows she is capable of being more than a wife and mother. She is not afraid to speak her mind and express her opinion about family, financial and political issues.

Lally Cadeau

Cadeau has performed in stage and television acting and is a strong supporter of the Stratford Festival since 1998. Cadeau is best known for her role as Janet King in the series Road to Avonlea. In 1986, Cadeau was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for Separate Vacations in 1986 for the Genie Awards. She currently designs homes & gardens at Lally Cadeau Design in Toronto.
 
Avonlea Hetty King

Hetty (Henrietta) King

Hetty is the middle-aged, traditional and very serious school teacher of Avonlea and also the head of the King Family. She resides at Rose Cottage with her sister, Olivia, and her niece, Sara. Hetty is an important influence in Sara’s life as a strong role model and a mother figure.

Jackie Burroughs

The actress who played the indomitable Hetty King actually shares her character’s never-tiring attitude. We can simply look for proof in the number of television series and films she appeared in since her days in Avonlea. Jackie appeared in many Canadian television series, includingDue South, Made in Canada, The Eleventh Hour, Slings and Arrows, as well as the American show Smallville – to name just a few. Some of her feature films include Lost and Delirious, A Guy Thing, Willard, Rhinoceros Eyes, The Republic of Love, Fever Pitch and Into the Labyrinth. Sadly, Jackie Burroughs passed away on September 22, 2010.

Felicity King

The eldest daughter of Alec and Janet King, Felicity often insists on taking on adult responsibilities and feels intellectually superior to her younger siblings and cousin Sara. Over the course of the series, Felicity wants to be a wife, a teacher and a doctor, but eventually runs the Avonlea Foundling Home.

Gema Zamprogna

Gema Zamprogna’s professional career began when she asked her parents if she could try auditioning for television commercials. She was cast in the TV movie Challengers, playing a girl who disguises herself as a boy to be part of a music group. This role conflicted with her part in RTA, and fortunately, shooting schedules could be rearranged to allow Zamprogna to play Felicity. She reprised the role of Felicity for An Avonlea Christmas, and also acted alongside Zachary Bennett in the Sullivan film By Way of the Stars.   Zamprogna continued acting in several TV movies and series, and graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Film and Drama in 1997.   She was a founding member of the Theatrefront Drama Group in Toronto, which describes itself as an “ensemble of artists who cross borders to create unique dramatic work”. Zamprogna is also a distinguished dancer and choreographer, and has appeared in dozens of roles on stage. She is also an entrepreneur, opening her own Pilates and acting studio. Zamprogna is married to Daniel Boich, and together they have two children and live in Toronto.

Gus Pike

Well recognized for his “Maritime English”, Gus is a young vagabond who grows to earn the respect and love of the Avonlea townsfolk. In spite of his humble beginnings, he also manages to win the love of Felicity King.

Michael Mahonen

Born and raised in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Michael is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, director and film producer whose work has been seen in over 150 countries around the world. Mahonen attended and graduated from Toronto’s George Brown College in 1989. The following year, Mahonen was selected to play Gus Pike in the Road to Avonlea series. Originally, he was only supposed to be featured in two episodes, but with the praise of viewers, his contract was extended for two more years. Mahonen won 3 Gemini Awards for his role in the series.   Michael is President and Creative Director of Requisite Films, which aims to produce entertaining and enlightening films of integrity that awaken conscience and inspire compassion. His debut film, Sandstorm, received 29 awards at independent film festivals worldwide.
Road to Avonolea Janet King

Olivia King

Olivia is Sara’s more affectionate, younger aunt and the youngest of the King siblings. She is the more sensitive and social one of Sara’s two aunts and is a “big sister” figure to Sara. Olivia often disagrees with Hetty, especially where men are concerned. She learns to stand on her own two feet and marries Jasper Dale despite Hetty’s disapproval.

Mag Ruffman

Fans of Road to Avonlea may find Mag Ruffman’s face familiar—before she was cast as Olivia King in RTA, Ruffman appeared as shopkeeper Alice Lawson in Anne of Green Gables and the sequel. Ruffman had a memorable scene with Richard Farnsworth (as Matthew Cuthbert), where he awkwardly purchases a very special girl’s dress as a gift. Ruffman also appeared in the Sullivan Entertainment film, Looking for Miracles.   Ruffman hosted television shows “Anything I Can Do” and “A Repair to Remember” for several years, which showcased her talents as a licensed contractor. She also writes a column, ToolGirl, for the Toronto Star. In 2012, she partnered with Lowe’s Canada to produce a series of web videos featuring creative projects for the whole family. Perhaps best of all, her blog ‘ToolGirl.com’ epitomizes the DIY “can-do” attitude. Ruffman highlights tips and tricks, cool websites, new products, and all the information anyone could hope for about building/fixing/creating.
 
Road to Avonlea Jasper

Jasper Dale

A shy photographer with a stutter, he is also a talented inventor who wins the heart of Olivia Dale. Jasper may be awkward and socially inept at times but he has a heart of gold and loves Avonlea almost as much as Olivia.

R.H. Thomson

R.H. Thomson has been one of the leading actors in Canada for the past 30 years, performing extensively on stage, television and film. He has worked in Canada, Europe and the US. He has won awards for his acting, his directing and his writing. His work has encompassed a wide range of roles as an actor and as well a career as a director, narrator and television host. Thomson has acted in roles all over the country including the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Canadian Stage, Theatre Passe Muraille, Tarragon Theatre, Toronto Free Theatre, Toronto Workshop Productions, Stratford Festival, Theatre New Brunswick, Bastion Theater, and directed at Neptune Theatre. Thomson has appeared in over 50 film and television scenes. Thomson was nominated 9 times in the Gemini Awards, winning twice.   R.H. is an arts advocate and activist. He has toured extensively with the baroque orchestra Tafelmusik and recently completed an international project of remembrance called Vigile 1914-19118 Vigil.   You can learn more about his recent work on rhthomson.ca.

Felix King

Mischievous and always getting into trouble, Felix is the eldest son of Alec and Janet King. He is quite ambitious and is always trying to find ways to make money. In spite of that, he ultimately chooses to enlist and fights bravely in the trenches during WWI.

Zachary Bennett

Zachary Bennett is best known for playing mischievous Felix King on Road to Avonlea, but the series was actually one of four Sullivan Entertainment films that Bennett acted in. He acted opposite Greg Spottiswood as adorable Sullivan Delaney in the TV adaptation of A.E. Hotchner’s Looking for Miracles; alongside Gema Zamprogna in the epic miniseries By Way of the Stars; and with Sarah Polley in L.M. Montgomery’s Lantern Hill, along with his brother Gareth. Bennett maintained a busy schedule even as a very young performer, having also acted in several other television series during Avonlea’s run, including Manic Mansion, The Hidden Room and Free Willy. He appeared in the Hollywood films Dog Park, Blind Faith, and Strike! (alongside Kirsten Dunst), before reprising the role of Felix for An Avonlea Christmas. Most recently, Bennett has appeared in TV movies and series including:
  • Everest
  • The Border
  • Flashpoint
  • Lost Girl
  • Wild Kratts
  • Covert Affairs
  • Rookie Blue
  • Detentionaire
Bennett’s creativity is not limited to drama—in 2004, he founded the band Yonder (later renamed Tin Star Orphans), a 5-piece rock group currently recording and playing shows in Toronto. Most recently, Bennett can be seen in the television movie Jack, as Brad Lavigne. The movie tells the life story of Jack Layton, the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, released March, 2013. There is no doubt that audiences will continue to see Bennett in the Canadian television and film landscape.
 
Road to Avonlea Cecily King

Cecily King

Mrs. Harris is the mother of Morgan Harris and the grandmother of Emmeline Harris. A crusty aristocrat who lives in seclusion and has lost touch with reality, Mrs. Harris ultimately melts in the palm of Anne’s hand when she begins to improve many of the difficulties in her family life.

Harmony Cramp & Molly Atkinson

Dame Wendy Hiller was primarily a stage actress, appearing only sporadically in films with stage credits that include Twelfth Night, Cradle Song, The First Gentleman, The Heiress and Flowering Cherry. Her film credits began with her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in the first movie adaptation of Shaw’s Pygmalion and went on to include Major Barbara, The Elephant Man, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne and The Coutess Alice. She won an Academy Award for her role in Separate Tables and gave stirring performance as Alice Moore opposite Paul Scofield in A Man for All Seasons. Hiller passed away on May 14, 2003. She was 90 years old.
Road to Avonlea Alec King

Alec King

Alec is eldest son in the King Family, which often puts him at odds with his head-strong older sister Hetty. He is a devoted husband, father and friend who often puts the needs of others ahead of his own. Alec is proud to be a farmer, but sometimes wonders what his life would be like if he had chosen a different path.

Cedric Smith

Best known as the kind-but-firm father figure from Road to Avonlea, Cedric Smith is a recognizable face to Canadian audiences—but his voice may be equally well known, as he has narrated and voiced characters in many programs. Smith will be familiar to many Sullivan fans, first appearing as Reverend Allan in 1985’s Anne of Green Gables. He was also featured in the Sullivan programs Sleeping Dogs Lie, Butterbox Babies, Anne: Journey to Green Gables, as well as seven seasons of Road to Avonlea and the Avonlea Christmas Special. Smith won a Gemini award for his work on the series in 1993. Interestingly, Smith had previously played the role of a family patriarch in a period program, before being cast in Road to Avonlea. He acted in four seasons of the Canadian series, The Campbells, and also contributed as a writer. writer. Born in England, Smith moved to Canada at the age of ten, and began his career in the Entertainment industry when he formed the “Perth Country Conspiracy”, an avant-garde, experimental folk group, in 1969. This vocal training gave him ideal experience to work as a narrator and voice actor, and led to roles in X-Men, Tales from the Cryptkeeper, Spider Man, The Silver Surfer, Totally Spies!, Friends and Heroes, narration for several documentaries, and several of the Canadian advertisements,“Historical Minutes”. Since filming of RTA wrapped up, Smith has continued acting and appeared in several TV movies, series, and feature films. Most notably, he played a recurring role in the series Living in Your Car, appeared in Murdoch Mysteries, and had a role in the highly popular miniseries, The Kennedy’s (alongside Katie Holmes, Greg Kinnear, and Tom Wilkinson).