We have today another actress whose career makes me wonder about the missing middle. You get this a lot, primarily with actresses—decades-long gaps that don’t get filled in for you by IMDb or Wikipedia. Were they onstage? Were they doing commercials? Were they taking time off to raise a family? We don’t know, and they aren’t telling. Sometimes, you can eliminate one of them; if the actress has no children, well, that solves that. Beth Amos had five, and maybe she was raising them—including daughter Janet Amos, herself a minor light in the field of Canadian drama. But there’s a lot of gap there, and no one wants to fill it. Which isn’t helped by how common a name “Beth” is; even with a relatively uncommon last name, she’s still hard to trace.
The first gap in her career is defined for us quite nicely in her (short) Wikipedia page. She started acting just about the time World War II started. So that wasn’t a good time to try having a career in Canadian drama; Canada was busy. She didn’t start in film until the ‘50s, however. She’s got steady work from the late ‘50s until the mid ‘60s, and then there’s another gap, a spattering of work in the mid-to-late ‘70s, and then consistent work from the ‘80s until her death, including a total of three episodes of Due South.
She even worked for Disney. So sure, The Edison Twins was one of the CBC imports on The Disney Channel, like Road to Avonlea—which her daughter appeared on. But she was in the original Incredible Journey and Young Again, with fellow Canadian Keanu Reeves. (Well, Keanu’s from several places, but Canada is one of them.) Less arguably Canadian is one-time costar Dan Aykroyd, and she was also on an episode of the drama Almost Home.
It’s also entirely possible that there are a lot of missing appearances. Her Wikipedia page is incomplete relative to her IMDb page, so you know there are things that could have fallen through the cracks. Almost Home is a Canadian drama I’ve never heard of, so is it unreasonable to suspect that she might have appeared on more of those that didn’t make it to IMDb? There’s a considerably larger gap between Canada and the US than you might imagine, all things considered. If you make a career playing one-shot characters for the CBC, your IMDb page probably has holes.
It’s fun to note that her Wikipedia page, at least as I’m writing now, mentions her death above her personal life. This is because her death is the most theatrical death short of actually dying onstage—she was in the audience instead. At the age of eighty, she went to watch a matinee of Ibsen’s The Master Builder. She died there. I don’t know if Ibsen would be my choice, exactly, but there are worse deaths. For one thing, it could’ve been Mamet.