SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, July 9 (UPI) -- A funeral was held in Canada for movie, TV and stage actor Gordon Tootoosis, who died of complications from pneumonia, his family said. He was 69.

Tootoosis, a member of the Poundmaker Creek Nation in Saskatchewan, died at a hospital Tuesday and a funeral held for him on the reserve Friday attracted hundreds of people, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

"He was not just the actor, but he was a man. He was a father. A great husband," a nephew, Dion Tootoosis, told the CBC. "It was always great to be around him. There was always jokes. There was always stories."

Tootoosis appeared in more than 80 productions, including 1973's "Alien Thunder" with Donald Sutherland and Chief Dan George to 1996's "Legends of the Fall" with Brad Pitt.

He also was in the CBC television series "North of 60."

Tootoosis was awarded the Order of Canada in 2004 and was a founding member of the board of directors of the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company.

Assembly of First Nations national Chief Shawn Atleo called Tootoosis "a Cree and Canadian cultural icon."

"He survived the tragedy of the residential schools and used that experience in a positive way to help his people, serving as a social worker for youth and young offenders," Atleo said. [Source: upi.com]


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