I, along with legions of other thirty- and forty-something women, am mourning the death of actor Jonathan Crombie, best remembered for his role as Gilbert Blythe in the film adaptation of Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea. The Anne of Green Gables series was the most formative fiction of my adolescence. I was a bookish, overweight, frumpy, smart, Christian teen (who didn’t always even fit in with the other Christians in my school). I had dreams, but I did a good job of muffling them. Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe helped me in two ways: he helped me believe that I, a girl who often had her nose in a book and her head in the clouds, could be loved some day; and he helped me keep my ideals. About a decade after I fell hard for Gil Blythe (and everything about Anne), I fell hard for a fellow who reminds me of him in a lot of ways. I think I owe a tiny bit of thanks to Gil Blythe for keeping that dream alive. (My own Gil Blythe even agreed to a honeymoon on PEI. Yes, he’s a keeper.)
I found this lovely compilation via a USA Today article. It’s worth watching just because it puts together all the important Gil and Anne scenes.
Speaking of movie scenes, my favorites (I think–so hard to choose!) are two, both from Anne of Avonlea: the scene after Diana’s wedding when Anne and Gilbert dance in the meadow (at 1:03 above) and the scene when Anne runs into Gil on the bridge and they take shelter in the gazebo (at 1:17). Which Anne and Gilbert scene is your favorite?
Goodbye, Gil. (Y’all are hearing the emotion-laden and hesitant voice Anne uses to utter that phrase when you read that, aren’t you?)
May you long live in our hearts.