Oct 2011 27

Vancouver’s Greatest Actors

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Yvonne De Carlo by Wikimedia Commons
Yvonne De Carlo
by Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver gave birth to many internationally well known actors. The city has been supporting talented artists since it was established, creating many opportunities to raise strong generations of actors for theatre, film, and TV. Here are some of the greatest and most recognized actors and actresses from Vancouver. Feel free to share your preferences and opinions along with this article.

Yvonne De Carlo
(September 1, 1922-January 8, 2007)

This famous Vancouver-born actress was a true legend. Her work in film, opera, musical theatre, and television was awarded a Fantafestival Award in 1987. The peak of her career came in the 1940s and ’50s. This fabulous actress was honoured with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 124 Hollywood Blvd., and a second star at 6715 Hollywood Blvd. for her contribution to television. She had two children. Yvonne divorced her husband, Bob Morgan, after nearly twenty years of marriage.

After attending a dance high school in Hollywood, and after her return in Vancouver, she attended the BC School of Dancing. The break in her career came with a job at Paramount Studios, and consequently Universal Studios, where she was given a serious acting job for the first time. She is best known for her leading female role in the TV series The Munsters, and many film roles. These include:

  • Anna Marie in Salome Where She Danced (1945)
  • Anna in Criss Cross (1949)
  • Sephora the wife of Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956), starring Charlton Heston
  • Amantha Starr in Band of Angels (1957) with Clark Gable

…and many other film and TV roles.

Hayden Christensen
(born April 19, 1981)

Hayden Christensen by Josh Jensen Hayden Christensen by Josh Jensen

Christensen’s career started with minor acting roles in various Canadian television programs, and later also in American TV series. He was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine. His popularity among the audience is enormous, especially thanks to his role of Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars films. He also appeared in these roles:

  • Johnny in New York, I Love You (2009)
  • Billy Quinn (also credited as Musician) in Factory Girl (2006)
  • Joe Hill Conley in the Virgin suicides (1999)
  • Zane in Night of the Living Dummy III (1997)

Christensen was awarded the Best Actor trophy at the Las Palmas Film Festival in 2004 for his performance in Shattered Glass, Chopard Trophy — Male Revelation at Cannes Film Festival in 2002, One to Watch — Male at Young Hollywood Awards in 2001 and Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor at the National Board of Review Awards, also in 2001.

Cobie Smulders
(born April 3, 1982)

Cobie Smulders by Alacoolb Cobie Smulders by Alacoolb

This former model, now film and TV actress, is famous for her rooting for the Canucks. She was discovered by a modelling agency in her teens and has been recruited internationally, working for multiple modelling magazines. However, she wasn’t very amused by her experience with modelling: “You know, you go into these rooms, and I’ve had the experience of people judging you physically for so long and I was over that. But then it was like, ‘Oh no, I have to actually perform. I have to do well, and I have to have a voice, and I have to have thoughts now.’”

Smulders is famous for her role as Robin Scherbatsky on the CBS television series How I Met Your Mother and in other series like Andromeda, Smallville, Tru Calling, and The L Word. These are films she starred and will star in:

  • Maria Hill in The Avengers (2012)
  • Clair in Grassroots (2011)
  • Anabella DeLorenzo in The Storm Awaits (2007)
  • Tara in The Slammin’ Salmon (2009)

Joshua Jackson
(born June 11, 1978)

Joshua Jackson by Wikimedia Commons
Joshua Jackson
by Gage Skidmore

Jackson started to be active in the film industry in 1990. Very soon after he started, Jackson began his acting career in The Mighty Ducks series in the role of Jackson. His next big acting role was as a Pacey Winter on Dawson’s Creek, the series that ran from 1998 to 2003. He played alongside such great actors as Dennis Hopper (Americano), Harvey Keitel (Shadows in the Sun), and Donald Sutherland (Aurora Borealis).

He made his stage debut on the London West End in United Kingdom, playing in A Life in the Theatre. He also plays Peter Bishop in the sci-fi series Fringe. He also starred and acted as executive producer in the Canadian independent film One Week, which opened on March 6, 2009. He was one of the actors nominated for a Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for the film One Week.

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