Karen Waterman and Daniel Wood of Waterwood Theatre Projects, Toronto are credited with creating Dudley the Dragon for The Conserving Kingdom.
But the man who brought the lovable character to life was Alex Galatis. In 1983 budding young actor had graduated from the theater program at York University. The following year, he embodied the 8-foot-dragon suit and delighted young audiences across Ontario province. Ten years later, he reprised the role on television for another five years.*
“It was scary how easily I got into it then,” he told the Toronto Star. “Now, it’s like Yul Brynner: He didn’t realize he’d be playing The King and I forever.”
Galatis gave the dragon a personality, and a voice, and charm. Dudley was innocent, naïve, stupid, skittish and a little selfish, but he was fun-loving, friendly, and funny. Who could resist such appeal?
Did I say “stupid”? Here’s Dudley waiting at a bogus traffic light in the middle of a forest.
© Breakthrough Entertainment.
Sources: Judy Nyman, Toronto Star, “Play on Energy Conservation a Big Hit,” October 21, 1984, p. E19; Kathy Kastner, Toronto Star, October 2, 1993, “He’s No Dud,” Section C, pg. SW4; Toronto Star, May 13, 1995, “Waterman, Wood created Dudley,” p. C2.
*Kirk Dunn wore the costume in the final three seasons, while Galatis did the voice. That’s Dunn as Dudley in the photo, above.