Monique Mercure

1993 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Theatre)

An "autodidact", this splendid Canadian actress now finds herself at the head of our National Theatre School yet says she has learned all she knows from experience. Her acute curiosity and the guidance of those she "met along the way" have made her one of our most profound and talented performers.

She has acted the classics, but has also been a crucial ingredient in the development of many new works of the most brilliant writers and directors in contemporary Quebec. For them her honesty and genuineness as an artist have been invaluable foils. She has also starred in some of the most memorable films in Canadian cinema including Claude Jutra's Mon Oncle Antoine, and Jean Beaudin's J.A. Martin, photographe, for which she won the Palme d'or for best actress at the Cannes Film Festival. In her international film career she has been directed by Claude Chabrol and Robert Altman, among others.

In 1992 she won a Genie for Best Supporting Actress in David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch. "I am a worker" she says, "artists must become good citizens and be tools in creating this country's culture!" She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979.