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Geneviève Bujold

Geneviève Bujold

Canadian actress
Geneviève Bujold
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Canadian actress
Is Actor Stage actor Film actor
From Canada
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 1 July 1942, Montreal, Canada
Age 78 years
Star sign CancerCancer
Spouse: Paul Almond
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama 1969
The details


Geneviève Bujold ([ʒən.vjɛːv by.ʒo]; born July 1, 1942) is a Canadian actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Anne Boleyn in the film Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), for which she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Academy Award nomination. Subsequent film credits include The Trojan Women (1971), Earthquake (1974), Obsession (1976), Coma (1978), Murder by Decree (1979), Tightrope (1984), Dead Ringers (1988), The House of Yes (1997), and Still Mine (2012).

Life and career

Early life

Bujold was born in Montreal, Quebec, the daughter of Laurette (née Cavanagh), a maid, and Joseph Firmin Bujold, a bus driver. She is of French Canadian descent, with distant Irish ancestry.

Bujold received a strict convent education for twelve years, which she disliked. She was expelled from the convent for reportedly reading Fanny by Marcel Pagnol. She entered the Montreal Conservatory of Dramatic Art, where she was trained in the classics of French theatre.

Early career

Two months before she was to graduate she made her stage debut as Rosine in Le Barbier de Séville in 1961 with Theatre de Gesu. She quit the school and was rarely out of work, being in demand for radio, stage, TV and film. Bujold made her TV debut with Le square (1963), a 60-minute TV film based on a play by Maguerite Duras co-starring Georges Groulx. She was in episodes of Jeudi-théâtre ("Atout... Meurtre") and Les belles histoires des pays d'en haut ("La terre de Bidou") and guest starred on Ti-Jean caribou. Her Canadian feature film debut was in Amanita Pestilens (1963). She was then in an international co production La fleur de l'âge, ou Les adolescentes (1964) and had a lead role in La terre à boire (1964), the first Quebec feature to be privately financed. Bujold starred in two 30 minute shorts, La fin des étés (1964) and Geneviève (1964). She toured Canada performing plays also worked steadily in radio and was voted actress of the year in Montreal.

French Films

In 1965, she toured Russia and France with the company of the Théâtre du Rideau Vert. While in Paris, Bujold was in a play A House... and a Day when she was seen by renowned French director Alain Resnais. He selected her for a role in his film The War Is Over, opposite Yves Montand and Ingrid Thulin. She returned home briefly to appear in "Romeo and Jeannette" by Jean Anouilh alongside Michael Sarrazin, for a Canadian TV show Festival. Also for that show she did productions of The Murderer and A Doll's House.

She stayed in France to make two more films: Philippe de Broca's King of Hearts (1966), with Alan Bates, and Louis Malle's The Thief of Paris (1967), with Jean-Paul Belmondo. Bujold won the Prix Suzanne as the Discovery of the Year and Elle magazine called her The Girl of the Day. Despite having established herself in France, however, she returned to Canada.

Return to Canada

Upon her return to Canada, Bujold married film director Paul Almond in 1967. He directed her in "The Puppet Caravan" for Festival in 1967. She appeared in Michel Brault's film Between Salt and Sweet Water (1967), then went to New York to play the title role in a production of Saint Joan (1967) for Hallmark Hall of Fame on American TV. Although she said she preferred film most and television least out of all the mediums, she received great acclaim for this including an Emmy nomination.

In Canada she starred in Isabel (1968), written and directed by Almond. It was one of the first Canadian films to be picked up for distribution by a major Hollywood studio.

Anne of the Thousand Days and International Stardom

International recognition came in 1969, when she starred as Anne Boleyn in Charles Jarrott's film Anne of the Thousand Days, with Richard Burton. Producer Hal B. Wallis cast her after seeing her in Isabel.

For her performance, she received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. It was released by Universal who signed her to a three-picture contract.

Back in Canada, she did a second feature with her husband, The Act of the Heart (1970), co starring Donald Sutherland, which earned her a Best Actress at the Canadian Film Awards. She wrote and starred in a short film, Marie-Christine (1970), directed by Claude Jutra. Wallis and Universal wanted Bujold to star in Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) but she refused so they sued her for $450,000.

Instead she played the role of Cassandra, a Greek prophet, in Michael Cacoyannis's film version of The Trojan Women (1971), opposite Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, and Irene Papas. It was shot in Spain. In Canada, she made Journey (1972) with Almond and co-starring John Vernon. Bujold won another Canadian Film Award for Best Actress. She and Almond would divorce in 1973. She starred in Claude Jutra's Kamouraska (1973), based on a novel by Anne Hébert, for which she received her third Canadian Film Award for Best Actress. In the US, she appeared in an adaptation of Jean Anouilh's Antigone for PBS's Great Performances in 1974.


The lawsuit with Universal was settled and she agreed to sign a new three-picture film contract starting with Earthquake (1974), with Charlton Heston. By now her marriage ended and she was keen to leave Montreal so she relocated to Los Angeles. Bujold went to France to make Incorrigible (1975) with de Broca and Belmondo. For Hallmark Hall of Fame and the BBC she was in a production of Caesar and Cleopatra (1975) alongside Alec Guinness.

She was the female lead in a pirate film for Universal, Swashbuckler (1976) with Robert Shaw. She said later she did not regret making the film because "Robert Shaw is a man worth knowing." More successful was Obsession (1976) directed by Brian De Palma with Cliff Robertson (1976). Bujold made Alex & the Gypsy (1976) with Jack Lemmon and Another Man, Another Chance (1977), with James Caan (1977) for Claude Lelouch.

She had the lead role in a medical thriller directed by Michael Crichton, Coma (1978), with Michael Douglas, which was a big hit. Bujold returned to Canada to play a key role in the Sherlock Holmes film Murder by Decree (1979), which won her a Best Supporting Actress Award at the Canadian Film Awards. She then made the Walt Disney fantasy The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980), with Elliott Gould and Charles Jarrott, director of Anne of the Thousand Days. She was directed by Almond once more in the Canadian Final Assignment (1980). Bujold starred in a TV movie Mistress of Paradise (1981) then supported Christopher Reeve in Monsignor (1982) and Clint Eastwood in Tightrope (1984).

Alan Rudolph

Bujold starred in Choose Me (1984), directed and written by Alan Rudolph. She promptly made two more films for Rudolph:Trouble in Mind (1985) and The Moderns (1988).

Bujold starred in David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers (1988) opposite Jeremy Irons, then made a TV movie Red Earth, White Earth (1989). She did False Identity (1990) with Stacy Keach.


After a long absence from Quebec, she returned to appear in two more films by Michel Brault: The Paper Wedding (1989), and My Friend Max (1994). In between she went to France to make Rue du Bac (1991), and did another film with Almond, The Dance Goes On (1991), the latter featuring their son, Matthew (born in 1968). She had support roles in Oh, What a Night (1993), and An Ambush of Ghosts (1993).

Star Trek

In 1994, Bujold was chosen to play Captain Elizabeth Janeway (subsequently renamed Kathryn Janeway), lead character in the ensemble cast of the American television series Star Trek: Voyager. However, she left the project after just two days of filming, with producers of the show citing the "demanding" work schedule as the reason. Kate Mulgrew was subsequently cast in the role.

She had support roles in The Adventures of Pinocchio (1995), The House of Yes (1997), Last Night (1998), You Can Thank Me Later (1998), Eye of the Beholder (1999), The Bookfair Murders (2000), Children of My Heart (2001) and Alex in Wonder (2001)

She was top billed in Dead Innocent (1997) and was in a short Matisse & Picasso: A Gentle Rivalry (2001).

She was back in Quebec to star in Chaos and Desire (2002), directed by Manon Briand. That year she said "I like doing studio films, independent films. I want to step up to the plate and do it. The role doesn't have to be long, but it has to be essential to the film. And it's got to be truthful to me. I defend my characters. They're like my babies."

Later career

Bujold's later appearances include Jericho Mansions (2003), Finding Home (2004), Downtown: A Street Tale (2004), By the Pricking of My Thumbs (2005), Disappearances (2006), and Deliver Me (2006).

She was also in The Trotsky (2009), For the Love of God (2011), and Northern Borders (2013).

In 2012, she received praise for her portrayal of a woman battling dementia in the acclaimed romantic drama Still Mine. Stephen Holden of The New York Times commented: "Ms. Bujold imbues Irene with a starchy tenacity and a sharp sense of humor", while The Washington Post called her performance "superb" and "remarkably detailed".

Her later films include Chorus (2015).


Year Association Category Work Result
1967 Prix Suzanne Bianchetti Most Promising Young Actress The Thief of Paris Won
1968 Emmy Awards Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama Saint Joan Nominated
1968 Canadian Film Awards Best Actress Isabel Won
1970 Academy Awards Best Actress Anne of the Thousand Days Nominated
1970 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Anne of the Thousand Days Won
1970 Canadian Film Awards Best Actress The Act of the Heart Won
1973 Canadian Film Awards Best Actress Kamouraska Won
1980 Genie Awards Best Supporting Actress Murder by Decree Won
1981 Genie Awards Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Final Assignment Nominated
1988 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Dead Ringers & The Moderns Won
1988 Prix Gémeaux Best Actress L'Emprise Nominated
1989 Genie Awards Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Dead Ringers Nominated
1990 Prix Gémeaux Best Actress The Paper Wedding Won
1994 Genie Awards Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role My Friend Max Nominated
1998 Genie Awards Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Last Night Nominated
2010 Canadian Comedy Awards Best Performance by a Female - Film The Trotsky Nominated
2013 Canadian Screen Awards Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Still Mine Nominated
2018 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (Film) Won
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 04 May 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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