SPEED - SP Mode -
1 HR -
QUALITY - Excellent -
GENERATION - Original Copy - (Repeat Of The Original Broadcast) -
BROADCAST DATE -
CBC Newsworld - Friday June 7, 2002 -
TAPE NUMBER - ** TAPE # 69 ** -
FROM - Toller Cranston, Toller's Mother, Toller's Brother, Ellen Burka, Brian Orser
Cranston is widely acclaimed as the most influential figure skater of this century, and is also an internationally renowned
painter and illustrator. The biography chronicles a tumultuous life of great highs and terrible lows, revealing a man whose
lavish lifestyle and outrageous behaviour have alienated family and friends. "Over the years, he hurt so many people," says
his mother in a candid interview in which she discusses their estrangement.
The documentary traces Cranston's roots as one of four children growing up in the Ontario town of Swastika. At the tender
age of six, he donned his first pair of skates and, as fate would have it, he found his metier. He was a natural. But from
the beginning, he felt alienated and misunderstood - feelings that would haunt him throughout his life.
After he performed poorly at the Canadian Championships, Ellen Burka, then coach of some of Canada's greatest
figure skaters, encouraged him not to give up. This was to be the beginning of an alliance that would change figure skating
forever. Together, they carved a new path for many male skaters. As Brian Orser explains, the next
generation had permission to be more expressive and free in their movement.
Cranston and Burka also discovered a shared passion for painting. For seven years, he lived in her basement, painted
and sold his art. As the biography points out, she was one of several women to take on the role of mother and mentor. But
as Burka confesses, their relationship - like so many in Cranston's life - was tempestuous.
Cranston transformed male figure skating, he never won an international gold medal. After turning professional at age 27,
Cranston would continue in his career for more than 20 years, headlining every major skating show around the world. Today,
home is San Miguel de Allende, high in the mountains of Central Mexico, where he lives, paints and dreams every night that
he is once again on skates.
"It was like going on
an emotional and material rollercoaster. But oh my God, I had a good ride." - Toller Cranston -
Clips - Marcoux/Marcotte in a practise rink skating a program that Ellen choreographed to demonstrate her and Toller's erratic