Pat John, who starred in The Beachcombers, has passed away. He was 69 years old. John, a member of Shíshálh First Nation, starred as Jesse Jim in most of the series’ runs. The 19-season The Beachcombers is one of the longest-running drama series ever produced in Canada. John died in his relatives’ home in his hometown of Sechelt, British Columbia, Coast Reporter reports.
His co-star, Jackson Davis, told The Canadian Press that John has been suffering from health in recent years. Davis praised John for his natural acting ability, which helped John play one of the first roles of indigenous characters in the modern setting of Canadian television.
I don’t think I’ve ever thought, “Oh, I’m making a statement here.” Or maybe I was too naive, “Davis said last week. “It was a show about this boy who happened to be an aboriginal, and he ended up dating this Greek immigrant … and became a sawmill.”
Beachcombers debuted on CBC TV in October 1972 and ended in December 1990 after 19 seasons and over 380 episodes. The show focused on the relationship between Greek-Canadian lumber craftsman Nick Adonidas (Bruno Gerussi) and Jesse Jim (Paul), who was traveling on a timber carrier along Vancouver’s coast.
Beachcombers aired on PBS nationwide and around the world, making Paul and Gerussi international stars. Gerussi died in 1995.
After the beach comber was over, Paul began fishing and harvesting lajonkairia lajon. His only acting role was a cameo appearance at The New Beachcombers in 2002. However, Paul was in contact with his colleague. 0 comment “We talked to each other most of the week,” Davis told the coast reporter. “We are very happy to have always finished the conversation with’I love you, PJ’and’I love you, Jackson’.
We have been approaching for years. The road wasn’t always smooth for Pat, but he didn’t complain. And finally, he had incredible peace.” Davis, who played the RCMP Officer’s Constable John Constable at the Beachcommers, told Coast Reporter that he wanted Paul to have a better idea of the impact on the toddler watching the show.
“I don’t think I’ve noticed the impact Pat has had on the generation of children,” Davis said. “I’m not just talking about indigenous children. There are children all over the world who admire him.
He probably didn’t realize his importance. For many non-indigenous peoples, it was the first time they saw indigenous people living in a community. He was not one of the “bad guys” outside.