Peter Thomas Donaldson was a Canadian actor.
Donaldson was the son of Betty and Norman Donaldson, and was born and raised in Midland, Ontario. While attending Midland Secondary School, he performed in Brigadoon and an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet; his drama teacher did not spot Donaldson's acting potential at the time. He attended plays at the Stratford Festival during his youth, which fired his enthusiasm for acting.
Donaldson attended Trent University and graduated from the University of Guelph. He also later studied with Uta Hagen, Stella Adler and Olympia Dukakis in New York. He began his acting career in 1975 with a summer stock company formed with fellow Guelph students that played Muskoka resorts. He subsequently worked as a stage carpenter and scene painter in Toronto.
Donaldson was known for his stage work in Shakespearean roles, particularly at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario. He auditioned for the festival without success in 1975, but was hired years later by artistic director Robin Phillips, making his debut in Romeo and Juliet in 1977. He subsequently spent 24 seasons at the festival. Highlights of his career included his 2004 performance in Timon of Athens, as well as roles in To Kill a Mockingbird, The Seagull, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. His performance of Jamie in Long Day's Journey Into Night at Stratford in 1995 was widely praised. Toronto critic Richard Ouzounian later noted that "Of all the fine actors I've ever seen in the part, only Donaldson gave us the charm as well as the pathos, the hope as well as the despair". He received a Genie award for this performance when it was filmed by David Wellington in 1996 for the film adaptation Long Day's Journey into Night. He also worked at the Shaw Festival, and in London as part of Robin Phillips' repertory company at the Grand Theatre.