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Kenneth Welsh, CM (born March 30, 1942) is a Canadianmarker film and television actor (sometimes credited as Ken Welsh). He is known to Twin Peaks fans as the multi-faced villain Windom Earle, and has more recently played the father of Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator.

In 1984 he was nominated for a Geni Award as Best Actor for his portrayal of Reno Colt in the film "Reno and the Doc", written and directed by Charles Dennis. In 1997 Welsh directed Dennis in the latter's play "SoHo Duo" at the West Bank Theatre in New York City.

Welsh was born in Edmonton, Albertamarker to a father who worked for the Canadian National Railway. He grew up in Albertamarker and studied drama at school. He later moved to Montrealmarker and attended the National Theatre School. Following graduation, he auditioned for the Stratford Festival in Ontariomarker and then spent the first seven years of his career on stage.

Welsh has portrayed historical figures including Thomas E. Dewey, Colin Thatcher, Harry S. Truman (twice), Thomas Edison, James "Scotty" Reston, General Harry Crerar and James Baker.

He has made guest appearances on the acclaimed TV series Due South and Slings and Arrows.

In 2003, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

His role as the Vice-President of the United States in the 2004 environmental disaster film The Day After Tomorrow sparked some controversy due to his physical resemblance to Dick Cheney, who at the time was the real Vice President. Director Roland Emmerich later confirmed that he deliberately chose Welsh for that very reason. Emmerich stated that the character of the Vice-President in the film was intended to be a not-so-subtle criticism of the environmental policies of the Presidency of George W. Bush.


Year Film Role Notes
1965 The Overfamiliar Subordinate
1980 F.D.R.: The Last Year (TV) Thomas E. Dewey
Phobia Sgt Wheeler
1983 Hot Money Parker
Tell Me That You Love Me David
Of Unknown Origin James Hall
1984 Reno and the Doc (TV) Reno
Covergirl Harrison
Falling in Love Doctor
1985 The War Boy Stephan Berecky
The Cuckoo Bird (TV) Harry
The Ray Bradbury Theater (Season 1, episode 1 Marionettes, Inc.) Crane
Empire, Inc. (mini TV series) Sir James Munroe
Love & Larceny (TV)
1986 Lost! Jim
Murder Sees the Light (TV) The Evangelist
1987 And Then You Die
Radio Days Radio Voice voice only
1988 The Murder of Mary Phagan (TV) Luther Rosser
The House on Carroll Street Hackett
"Crocodile" Dundee II Brannigan
Liberace: Behind the Music
The Twilight Zone Acts of Terror Jack Simonson
Another Woman
1989 Love and Hate: The Story of Colin and Joanne Thatcher (TV) Colin Thatcher
Physical Evidence Harry Norton
Dick Francis: Blood Sport Harry Teller
1990 The Ray Bradbury Theater (Season 4, Episode 7, And the Moon Be Still as Bright) (TV) Captain Wilder
The Widowmaker (TV) Atkinson
Twin Peaks (TV) Windom Earle
Murder Times Seven (TV) Nick Ruggieri
1992 Eli's Lesson Uncle Yakub
Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster (TV) Sam Skinner
The Good Fight (TV) Dick Chandler
1993 Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story (TV) Don Eisenberg
Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story (TV) Judge Norton
1994 Boozecan Tim
Death Wish V: The Face of Death Lt. Mickey King
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues: episode Temple (TV) Vance Cavanaugh
Timecop Senator Utley
Legends of the Fall Sheriff Tynert
1995 Hiroshima (TV) President Harry S. Truman
Kissinger and Nixon (TV) James 'Scotty' Reston
The X Files - episode Revelations (TV) Simon Gates


  1. Kenneth Welsh Biography ((?)-)
  2. 'The Day After Tomorrow' heats up a political debate by Scott Bowles, USA Today, May 26, 2004. (retrieved on January 12, 2009).

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