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Ewan McGregor


Ellen Burstyn

Genevieve Bujold Biography


Home > Actresses > B > Bujold, Genevieve > Biography


Birth Name: Genevieve Bujold
Born: 07/01/1942
Birth Place: Montreal, Quebec, CA


Geneviève Bujold was born on July 1, 1942 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to parents Laurette Cavanaugh and Joseph Firmin Bujold, a bus driver. The product of a strict convent education, Bujold left when she was 15 in order to prepare for an acting career. At age 16, she began to study her craft at the Montreal Conservatory of Drama before eventually joining the Le Rideau Vert repertory company where she made her stage debut in "The Barber of Seville" and went on to star as "St. Joan." At 22, Bujold made her screen debut in the small film "The Adolescents" (1964) before heading across the ocean to France, where director Alain Resnais had the good fortune to see her play Puck in a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Thoroughly impressed, the filmmaker quickly signed her to co-star opposite the legendary Yves Montand in "La Guerre est finie (The War is Over)" (1965). Bujold made two more films in France, playing Alan Bates' love interest in the cult hit "King of Hearts" (1966) before appearing in Louis Malle's "The Thief of Paris" (1967). For her performance in the latter, Bujold was proclaimed the French film industry's "Discovery of the Year," winning the Prix Suzanne Bianchetti.

Following a two-year relationship, Bujold married Canadian film director Paul Almond in 1967, with whom she had a son. The young actress also caught the eye of U.S. producers and was signed to embody "St. Joan" (NBC, 1967) in a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" rendition of the Shaw play then returned to Canada to star in "Isabel" (1967), the first of five films for then-husband Almond. Bujold earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her work as Anne Boleyn opposite an imposing Richard Burton as King Henry the VIII in "Anne of a Thousand Days" (1969). As a classically trained actress, she later delivered an appropriately stirring performance as the defiant Greek princess "Antigone" (PBS, 1972). After years of appearing in the works of Sophocles and Shakespeare, Bujold's first foray into major Hollywood filmmaking found her playing Charlton Heston's mistress in the Irwin Allen disaster movie "Earthquake" (1974).

Returning with a pair of period pieces, Bujold crossed swords with Robert Shaw in the pirate adventure "Swashbuckler" (1976) then portrayed Cleopatra in a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" rendition of George Bernard Shaw's "Caesar and Cleopatra" (NBC, 1976). In more contemporary fare, she was seen as the spitting image of Cliff Robertson's dead wife in director Brian De Palma's Hitchcockian thriller "Obsession" (1976) and played an inquisitive doctor who stumbles upon a black market organ harvesting conspiracy in the Michael Crichton medical thriller "Coma" (1978), co-starring Michael Douglas. The feisty Bujold next matched wits with Christopher Plummer's Sherlock Holmes in the mystery-thriller "Murder by Decree" (1979) and exchanged witty rejoinders with down-on-his-luck pilot Elliott Gould in the Disney family adventure "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark" (1981).

Still enjoying a robust feature film career as she entered the 1980s, Bujold played a young nun embroiled in an illicit affair with Christopher Reeve's corrupted priest in the papal melodrama "Monsignor" (1982). On the other end of the character spectrum, she played a rape prevention counselor surprised by police detective Clint Eastwood's rather intense sexual issues in the grim thriller "Tightrope" (1984). At about this time she became a de facto member of Alan Rudolph's informal stock company, giving suitably cryptic performances opposite Keith Carradine in the films "Choose Me" (1984), "Trouble in Mind" (1985) and "The Moderns" (1988). Daring as always, Bujold was memorable as Claire, the troubled, conception-challenged actress opposite emotionally dependent twin gynecologists (Jeremy Irons) in David Cronenberg's psycho-sexual thriller "Dead Ringers" (1988).

By the turn of the decade, Bujold increasingly appeared in made-for-TV projects like the contemporary Native-American themed drama "Red Earth, White Earth" (CBS, 1989) and the Corey Haim direct-to-video period drama "Oh, What a Night" (1992). Briefly considering taking on a regular role on a television series, Bujold had initially signed on to play Captain Janeway on the "Star Trek" spin-off "Star Trek: Voyager" (UPN, 1995-2001). However, after filming only a handful of scenes, the actress decided that the long hours and open-ended commitment of a weekly show was more than she had bargained for and promptly quit. Her role was quickly filled by veteran actress Kate Mulgrew. Later, she appeared in "The Adventures of Pinocchio" (1996), a live-action feature starring Martin Landau as the kindly Geppetto and Jonathan Taylor Thomas as the puppet who becomes a real live boy. Finding a more satisfying creative outlet in smaller independent films, Bujold was in her element as the mother of an unstable Jackie-O obsessed Parker Posey in writer-director Mark Waters' dark comedy "The House of Yes" (1997).

Two years later, Bujold joined a cast of fellow Canadians, including her former "Dead Ringers" director David Cronenberg, for the acclaimed apocalyptic drama, "Last Night" (1999), starring Sandra Oh and writer-director-star Don McKellar. In one of her less likable roles, she played the owner of an old apartment building who becomes just one of many suspects after a tenant is murdered in the thriller "Jericho Mansions" (2003), co-starring James Caan and Jennifer Tilly. Amidst her other Canadian film work of the time was a supporting turn in the Montreal-set comedy "The Trotsky" (2009), starring up-and-comer Jay Baruchel as an eccentric high school student convinced he is the reincarnation of the eponymous Soviet era icon. Continuing to work with regularity, the 70-year-old actress later starred alongside James Cromwell as a wife and her husband at odds with the local authorities as they attempt to construct their retirement dream home in the low key drama "Still" (2012).

By Bryce Coleman