Callum Keith Rennie
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Callum Keith Rennie was born in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear in the North-east of England in 1960. However, he was raised and educated in Canada after his family emigrated to Edmonton, Alberta when he was four years old. Graduating from Strathcona High School, he had intended to go to college, but instead took his student loan (some $5,000) and purchased a truck and went fishing.
Following this, he sought work as a mountaineer, supporting this goal by taking on a wide range of manual labour ranging from cooking through to laying railway track. His initial adult brush with acting came when he took a job doing voice work at CJSR, the University of Alberta's campus radio station. This led to 12 months of steady work writing and producing, including producing a play at a local theatre, which in turn led to him appearing on stage in American Buffalo.
Following this, he tried his luck as an actor in Vancouver, without success; problems with drug dealing followed and he was reduced to a string of low-paying jobs before he moved to Toronto and enrolled in the Bruhanski Theatre Studio. While studying, he appeared on stage in Lost Souls and Missing Persons, and as a result was offered work at the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Again, things did not work out. After a season at the festival, he returned to Vancouver where he started work on another play, but never completed it. There then followed a 10-year relationship with alcohol which only ended in 1993, when his left eye was damaged in a barroom brawl.
Following this incident, Rennie put his house in order, stopped drinking and concentrated on his film career. A host of critically-acclaimed films followed. These included the "mockumentary" Hard Core Logo about a rock band on the road to ruin. Despite his apprehension in taking on the role of Billy Tallant in the film, Rennie came away from it not only with critical plaudits, but also with a love of rock music fused with his upbringing on punk rock. He remains friendly with the lead singer of "The Headstones", Hugh Dillon, who played the lead singer of the punk rock band in Hard Core Logo.
He also had a string of guest-starring roles in the major genre television series of the 1990s: The X-Files, Highlander, The Commish, Outer Limits, Forever Night, as well as a starring role in the children's television series, My Life and a Dog.
However, it was 1997 that brought Rennie to the attention of the international television audience, when he took over from David Marciano in the hit comedy / drama series Due South. The role came about after Marciano declined to continue in the role of Detective Ray Vecchio, and Rennie was given a unique one-year contract as Detective Stanley Kowalski, who was "covering" for the Vecchio character, who was supposedly deep undercover. The one-year contract meant Rennie could avoid being tied-into a long-running television series, something that he preferred not to do, having already turned down the semi-regular role of Alex Krychek in The X-Files.
Following the end of Due South, Rennie returned to theatrical films, taking supporting roles in a wide range of films, as well as guest-starring in TV series such as Da Vinci's Inquest (recurring role as "Bob Marlowe" over 7 episodes), Mutant X, Dark Angel and Tru Calling.
Rennie is currently single, and lives with his dog, Alberta and cat, Cleek. He enjoys playing golf and also paints (and has sold a number of his works).