Geneviève Bujold

Active - 1964 - 2004  |   Born - Jul 1, 1942   |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Romance

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Biography by Jason Ankeny

With her warm, intelligent performances and piercing almond eyes, the French-Canadian actress Genevieve Bujold cut a striking figure throughout the international film community during the 1960s and beyond. Born July 1, 1942, in Montréal, Quebec, Bujold studied acting at the Montréal Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique but exited prior to graduation in order to join a touring company's production of The Barber of Seville. She subsequently enlisted with another performing company, Rideau Vert, and also began appearing on television. Her film debut was in 1962's Amanita Pestilens, followed in 1964 by La Fleur de l'Age. In 1965, the Rideau Vert troupe traveled to Moscow and Paris, where Bujold came to the attention of filmmaker Alain Resnais. He cast her in 1966's La Guerre est Finie, where her turn as a pro-Spanish activist earned international attention. She remained in France to star in Philippe de Broca's cult hit Le Roi de Coeur, then appeared opposite Jean-Paul Belmondo in Louis Malle's 1967 effort Le Voleur. Upon returning to Canada, Bujold appeared in 1967's Entre la Mer et L'eau Douce. The following year, she starred in Isabel, winning Best Actress honors at the Toronto Film Festival as well as marrying the picture's director, Paul Almond.

Bujold then traveled to Britain to star as Anne Boleyn in Anne of the Thousand Days, a performance which won her an Academy Award nomination and made her a star. A three-picture deal with Universal followed, but she first detoured back to Canada to star in Almond's 1970 film Act of the Heart. Universal then cast her as the titular Mary Queen of Scots, but, fearing typecasting, Bujold refused the role, resulting in a lawsuit from the studio. Instead of paying damages, she returned to Europe to co-star in The Trojan Women, which failed to measure up to box-office expectations. Almond's Journey and Claud Jutra's 1973 feature Kamouraska further derailed her career, and after appearing opposite Alec Guinness in Caesar and Anthony for British television she journeyed to Hollywood, where as part of her Universal pact the studio pointed her to 1974's disaster epic Earthquake. After again starring with Belmondo in de Broca's L'Incorrigible, Bujold made 1976's Swashbuckler to appease Universal. Brian DePalma's Vertigo homage Obsession resuscitated her career, although the follow-up, John Korty's Alex and the Gypsy, was a disappointment.

In 1978, Bujold starred in Michael Crichton's Coma, one of her biggest hits to date. After starring alongside Clint Eastwood in 1984's Tightrope, Bujold teamed with director Alan Rudolph on the superb romantic comedy Choose Me. In Rudolph, she found a director unusually sympathetic to her style of performing, and she subsequently appeared under him in 1985's Trouble in Mind and 1988's The Moderns, delivering some of her strongest work to date. David Cronenberg's stunning Dead Ringers followed, but the 1990s proved a disappointment as Bujold appeared in a series of lackluster Canadian productions which rarely appeared anywhere outside of their land of origin. She also made headlines for exiting a starring role in the TV series Star Trek: Voyager just prior to production. In 1997, after a long absence, Bujold finally returned to American cinema in the independent hit The House of Yes.

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