Nerene Virgin, an actress who is best known for her role in Today’s Special, has reportedly passed away at the age of 77.
According to her obituary, Virgin passed away on Jan. 15 at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, Ontario. The cause of death was not revealed.
“Nerene was courageous, vibrant, multi-talented, beautiful, trailblazing, Canadian with an incredible smile,” Virgin’s obituary further reads. “Her spirit graced the realms of teaching, acting, journalism, storytelling, and social justice. She lit up the spaces she entered and left an indelible mark on the hearts and souls of many. Nerene led by example. Her strength serves as a source of inspiration to future generations.”
Along with her accomplishments in education, acting, and journalism, Virgin was also described as a storyteller. “Her messages primarily centered around leadership lessons rooted in her remarkable ancestry. Her brilliance reflected a keen understanding of the human experience and a passion for storytelling that transcended genres.”
Along with Today’s Special, Nerene Virgin also appeared in other TV shows such as Night Heat, Police Surgeon, and Perry Mason. She was named one of Canada’s 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women in 2016 and was honored for Professional Achievement in 2012. Virgin also received a Rev. John C. Holland Award, which is an award named after her great uncle John Christie Holland.
Nerene Virgin’s Husband Says He Is ‘Filled With Joy’ That He Even Knew Her
While speaking to CBC Hamilton, Nerene Virgin’s husband, Alan Smith, spoke about the actress and their life together.
“I’m filled with joy that I even knew her,” Smtih stated about Virgin. “Her whole purpose was to hold her as a role model and act accordingly. To fight racism and to make Black people in Canada proud.”
The nephew of Nerene Virgin, Amani Smith, also said that she broke so many barriers consistently throughout her life. “She was rewriting the script on how a Black person can move through the world.”
Amani then said he was sad and felt selfish to want more time with her aunt. “I couldn’t ask for anything… She helped guide me. We would talk for hours… I just loved her to bits.”
Former TV producer, Robert Lawlor, who worked with Virgin on Eye on Toronto, said they also remained close friends over the years. “I had a front-row seat to see how a true professional worked in front and behind the camera,” he further added. “In all my years in the TV business, I have never worked with anyone that could hold a candle to Nerene and her talents.”