Jonathan Crombie, the Canadian actor who as Gilbert Blythe tugged Anne Shirley's braids—and the hearts of many who watched Anne of Green Gables—died on Wednesday, reports CBC News. He was 48. The movie ran on CBC TV in 1984, with two sequels following, and Crombie beat out actors including Jason Priestly for the role. Sister Carrie Crombie tells CBC News the actor suffered a brain hemorrhage in New York City, and that he would have been proud to know his organs have been donated.
That jibes with what Green Gables producer Kevin Sullivan had to say about him: "Jonathan was as generous, as kind, as sensitive and as ambitious, in some ways, as the character he came to be identified with." A tender detail from Carrie: "I think he was really proud of being Gilbert Blythe," and gladly responded to people who addressed him as "Gil" on the street.