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Joane Humphrey (1936-2008 )
Playwright, broadcaster, actor
JJ McColl
Joane Humphrey
(Photo courtesy of Menopositive.ca)

Joane Elizabeth Humphrey was a woman of many talents. Known professionally as J.J. McColl, she was a CBC producer, as well as an actor and writer. Though she had no musical background, Humphrey created and produced Menopositive! The Musical.

Joane Humphrey was born in Vancouver on December 24, 1936. From the time she attended Magee High School Joane was keen on being a writer and demonstrated a skill in acting. Joane's long and varied career included stints as the first female DJ in Vancouver, secretary to author James Clavell of Shogun fame, model, talk show host and actor in the film The Pledge (which featured Jack Nicholson). Joane worked in Canada and London as a freelancer for both radio and television, and developed CBC radio documentaries and radio dramas.

Inspired by a trip to Ireland, she created her show Menopositive! The Musical. This hilarious production depicts some menopausal women who create a show for their 35th school reunion. The successful musical opened in Vancouver in 1998 and made it to Broadway. The show still runs in Canada.


Creative in many fields, Joane also explored painting and sculpture. The award-winning writer and producer met soulmate Frank Howard later in life, and the pair married in 2002. As Joane reflected, "I'd never been married before. My life is proof that the most gloriously unexpected things can happen. Love can be a moment away." Her husband Frank served as MP for Skeena from 1957-1974, then as MLA for seven years.

Ms. Humphrey died soon after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.

JJ McColl
Joane Humphrey
(Photo from remembering.ca)


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