1949-04-20

TOLLER CRANSTON, Canadian figure skater and artist was born on this date (d: 2015); Cranston is credited by many with bringing a new level of artistry to men’s figure skating. He was called “the Nureyev of ice skating.” He was the Canadian National Figure Skating champion from 1971 to 1976. Although he never won a world level competition, he scored the highest marks in the free skate at four world championships. He won bronze medals at the 1974 World Figure Skating Championship and the 1976 Winter Olympics. He was the 1988 World Professional Champion.

He lived in San Miquel de Allende, Mexico, where his main artistic outlet was his painting, which often incorporated themes related to skating. He co-wrote the autobiographical Zero Tollerance (1997) with Martha Lowder Kimball. In his second autobiography, Cranston details a sexual tryst between himself and Ondrej Nepela, a Slovak figure skater who competed for Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s an early 1970s. He died in Mexico City in January 2015 of a heart attack.