Wayne Ballantyne was born in Salem and was a graduate of North Salem High School. He attended what was then Western Oregon State College in Monmouth. He went on to gain his B.A. at the University of Oregon. He also studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and Mankato State Teacher's College in Minnesota.
Wayne Ballantyne, was considered one of the most noted actors to come from Salem. He got his start at the Pentacle Theatre in Salem, and went on to act in Oregon Shakespeare Festival productions and others around the country, including Cricket Theatre in Minneapolis, Denver Center Theatre Company, Hilberry Repertory Theatre, New Mexico Repertory Theatre, and Portland Repertory Theatre.
He was renowned for many of his performances at OSF, where he performed from 1981-1988, including Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night; Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet; Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He received a Drama Logue award for his 1982 portrayal of Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit The Wind. In 1989 he narrated Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible in the Oregon Symphony’s Classical Series, conducted by James DePreist. He later was a member of the Portland OSF Company from 1991-92, where he performed in The Tempest, The Guardsman, and King Lear.
Wayne Ballantyne was the recipient of The Rex Rabold Memorial Award, an award that is presented to an individual who received a substantial portion of his or her education in Oregon and has achieved professional status in acting, writing, directing, or other aspects of theatre arts. The recipient of the award should have had a portion of his or her career in direct contact with students or teachers of secondary school theatre.
Wayne Ballantyne died in December 2004 following a twenty-five year battle with leukemia.