Jonathan Crombie has died at the age of 48, and as Anne Shirley would say, I am in the depths of despair.
Crombie brought Glibert Blythe, my first fictional love, to devilishly handsome life in the 1985 Canadian mini-series, a show that my mother recorded onto VHS so that I could dream along with Anne over and over again. She and I were certainly kindred spirits, but when it came to Gilbert, I wanted to punch her in the face for being SUCH an idiot. The way he winked at her! The way he stared longingly at her! The way he straight-talked to her about that lameass Percival character!
Crombie was (and is, and always will be) Gilbert Blythe. From his tousled curls to the playful twinkle in his eye, he was Anne's equal, even when she didn't realize it. His lips were meant for whispering, "Carrots," and his head was destined for that classroom slate. Whether he was teasing Anne or wooing her (which usually happened at the same time), Crombie perfectly embodied the spirit of Gilbert, so much so that I began building a collection of dance cards, because I couldn't imagine anything more romantic than a boy stealing one from me at a ball.
I still maintain that collection, and today, I'd like to dedicate it to Jonathan Crombie. Sure, that's a little melodramatic, but I know Anne Shirley would approve.
Gilbert Blythe: It'll be three years before I finish medical school. Even then there won't be any diamond sunbursts or marble halls.
Anne Shirley: I don't want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls. I just want you.
Jonathan Crombie, you brought a living, breathing Gilbert Blythe into our lives, which is a thousand times better than diamond sunbursts or marble halls.