Yesterday, the world learned that you had passed away. My husband sent me a text message of the news. Honestly, when I read it, I couldn't respond.
As Anne would have said, I was in the depths of despair.
I know you were an actor for most of your life, but the only role I know you for is that of Gilbert Blythe.
I first saw Anne of Green Gables when I was in fourth grade. I remember watching it thanks to my third grade teacher loaning my mom her VHS, saying that she thought I would like it.
Like doesn't begin to express my feelings for the movie. For Anne. For Marilla. For Matthew. For you.
I sat close to the television, knees to my chest, captivated.
I would go on to watch the Anne movies hundreds, if not thousands of times. One summer I think I watched it every morning. My parents would go to work and I would be transported to Avonlea.
I took my VHS sets of Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea with me to college.
And you, Gilbert Blythe Jonathan Crombie, were the first boy to steal my heart.
The way your eyes twinkled at Anne when you pulled her hair and called her carrots.
The way you stole her dance card.
The way you clapped over her performance at the White Sands hotel.
The way you loved her, through it all.
Thank you for the way you brought to life the Gilbert I read of in Lucy Maud Montgomery's books. You embodied him like no one else could.
Jonathan, you and your Gilbert, will always be a part of my childhood story. Honestly, you'll always be a part of my life story.
And, in a few years, I can't wait to introduce my little girl to Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe.
Susan Noble says
Beautiful such a sad day yesterday. Huge loss to the acting world. I lived in Britain with until I was 5 watched the original Ann of Green Gables one of my favorite childhood memories.
I would like to say that I knew him as a child, but I didn’t. I only met him once but it was memorable. We had theater tickets, Mayor David Crombie and family sat in the seats right in front of us. I was probably in my late teens, but I was there under protest so I was anxious in my seat. I remember my dad pointing out to little Jonathon, and saying. “If he can sit quiet in his seat, then you can too.” This impressed the little boy, I could see him peering at me through the crack between the seats. We would make faces at each other and quietly smile at each other because we had to be good.
What a fun story! Thanks so much for sharing.
I have watched and loved Gilbert for years. I have the series in VHS and I need to get a vcr fast so I can watch them again. What an awesome man. I will miss you Gil
Ugh I am so heartbroken and didn’t even know until I read your post. As a Canadian girl, I grew up watching Anne – and like you, probably watched the movies hundreds of times. What was there not to love about Gilbert. What a loss.
Kelly S says
I didn’t know he had died! This is a sweet letter.
We are big Green Gables fans at our house. My daughter, just a little older than your Ezra, is named Avonlea. 🙂
Whitney Wingerd says
This is such a sweet letter! I haven’t watched the movie since I was a little girl and don’t even remember most – will have to watch again soon!
I have watched them hundreds of times as well and was saddened to hear of his passing. He was so young. And I only know him as Gilbert too.
Oh, it was so devastating to hear the news! Gilbert Blythe was my first love. Really. I loved him and Anne, and watched my VHS until it was nothing but snowy static. When I went to Green Gables on PEI when I was 16 it was like making a pilgrimage home…When I was dating my husband, he surprised me with the DVD box set to replace the old VHS…clearly he knew the way to my heart!
Katie Mae @ Nourishing Simplicity says
I loved this! I can relate to everything you shared. I was crushed to hear that he had passed away. I’ll be sharing this sweet letter with my readers.
Anne with an E … (I spell every Anne I know that way) . Three generations of kindred spirits have cherished the hours spent in Avonlea. My mother (now 96), my daughter (then about 9) and I watched the series on television; my daughter listened to the audio cassette series as she went to sleep; we bought the vhs series; and now have it on dvd … For my 30th wedding anniversary, my husband took me to Prince Edward Island and it is indeed a place of enchantment. Thank goodness Green Gables remains and Jonathan Crombie will always be our Gilbert, Megan Follows will always be our Anne. Lovely.
I cried when I found out. He was one of my first celebrity crushes. It’s so sad! I’m not sure if you read the books, I can imagine you have though. I had a hard time watching the movies after I had read the whole Anne series. I think sometimes there is no good way to make great books like that into only a few movies. If you haven’t read the books, read the originals, not the abridged ones, and cherish Anne. As a mother I think it adds a new twist too.