If you were a teenaged, female Christian homeschooler in the 90′s or early 2000′s, it’s pretty much inevitable that you had a crush on Gilbert Blythe at some point (right after Mr. Darcy).
I recently fell in love with Gil all over again as I introduced the films to my little sister. The stories were unusual enough to feature a strong heroine who didn’t really need a romance to make her life interesting. When romance was there, it was secondary to the story of Anne's many harebrained adventures. Gil - and Jonathan Crombie, by extension - was gracious enough to never chew the scenery, never try to show anyone up, never try and be the leading man. He was more than happy to play second fiddle to the extraordinary Megan Follows. But in this graciousness, his gentle influence on theatrical, fiery Anne resulted in one of my all-time favorite romances.
RIP Jonathan Crombie (1966-2015).