Alberta Watson

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Alberta Watson
BornFaith Susan Alberta Watson
(1955-03-06) March 6, 1955 (age 58)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active1975–present
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Alberta Watson
BornFaith Susan Alberta Watson
(1955-03-06) March 6, 1955 (age 58)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active1975–present

Alberta Watson (born March 6, 1955) is a Canadian film and television actress.[1]

Early life[edit]

She was born in Toronto, Ontario, christened Faith Susan Alberta Watson.[2] She grew up in Toronto with her mother Grace, a factory worker, and her brother. She began performing with a local Toronto theater group, T.H.O.G. (Theater House of God),[3] of the Bathurst Street United Church at age 15.[4] She took a workshop for the Hair musical.[5] While doing this workshop she did Hamlet, which was directed by René Bonnière[6] who later directed her in La Femme Nikita.[7]

Acting career[edit]

Watson got her first role at age 19 in a CBC movie called Honor Thy Father.[3][8] Early in her career she portrayed the role of Mitzi in George Kaczender's[9] In Praise of Older Women (1978), for which she received a Genie nomination. A year later she received the Best Actress award at the Yorkton Film Festival for "Exposure".[4] She then moved Los Angeles, California and later to New York City.[10]

Watson lived in New Jersey for eight years[11] with her husband until they divorced.[7] She then returned to Toronto and focused on finding roles in independent films. She worked with director Colleen Murphy on the film Shoemaker (1996), for which she received a second Genie nomination for Best Actress.[4]

Among her well-known film roles are the bed-ridden mother Susan Aibelli in the 1994 American independent film Spanking the Monkey, Lauren Murphy (the mother of Jonny Lee Miller's character Dade, aka "Crash Override"/"Zero Cool") in the 1995 cult film Hackers, and Risa in the 1997 Academy Award nominated Canadian film The Sweet Hereafter, directed by Atom Egoyan.

In Spanking the Monkey, Watson plays her favorite character,[12] a mother who has an incestuous relationship with her son. The role was turned down by several actresses such as Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange and others.[2] Watson has said:[7]

I took it because it was a heck of a challenge. And I'm not a name with an image to protect. The subject was incest. It didn't scare me at all. I seized the character and made her something. She was a deeply disturbed woman with a roller coaster of emotions. Her son visits for the summer and she's laid up in a cast with a broken leg and things get out of hand.

Watson played the major role of Madeline in the TV series La Femme Nikita for four seasons from 1997–2001 (with guest appearances in the short fifth season). During the show's second season (in 1998), Watson was diagnosed with lymphoma, for which she had to undergo chemotherapy treatment which caused her to lose her hair.[12][13] Producers at La Femme Nikita worked around her treatment and limited her appearances.[13] Watson wore wigs in the show when she lost her hair.[13] When her hair started to grow, she sported the short haircut in her role as Madeline in the show's third season.[13]

Watson's first name inspired the character Alberta Green in the first season of 24.[citation needed] In 2005, Watson joined the cast of 24, playing CTU Director Erin Driscoll for 12 episodes of the show's fourth season.

During 2007 and 2008, Watson played a supporting role in the Canadian television series The Border as the Minister of Public Safety.

In 2010, Watson guest-starred in Heartland, a series on CBC Television, and she won a 2011 Gemini Award for her portrayal of Sarah Craven.

In the first season of Nikita, the 2010 CW series based on the Luc Besson film rather than 1997 series, she played the role of the Senator, one of the many public figures to privately fund the secret anti-terrorist organization known as Division. During Season 2, she guest-stars playing this character, whose name is Madeline Pierce (a nod from the Nikita producers to her iconic character "Madeline" in the 1997 series).



1978Power PlayDonna
1978In Praise of Older WomenMitzi
1979ExposureBarbaraShort film
1979Stone Cold DeadOlivia Page
1980VirusLithaAKA, Day of Resurrection
1981Dirty TricksTony
1981Black MirrorTina
1982Soldier, TheThe SoldierSusan Goodman
1983Keep, TheThe KeepEva Cuza
1984Best RevengeDinah
1987White of the EyeAnn Mason
1989Destiny to OrderThalia / Marla / Nicole
1991Hitman, TheThe HitmanChristine De Vera
1994Spanking the MonkeySusan Aibelli
1995What's His FaceWomanShort film
1995HackersLauren Murphy
1996Sweet Angel MineMegan
1997Sweet Hereafter, TheThe Sweet HereafterRisa
1998Seeds of DoubtJennifer Kingsley
1999Life Before This, TheThe Life Before ThisNita
2001Hedwig and the Angry InchHansel's Mom
2001Chasing CainDenise McGoogan
2001TartLily Storm
2001Art of Woo, TheThe Art of WooCaterin
2002Wild Dogs, TheThe Wild DogsNatalie
2004Prince and Me, TheThe Prince and MeAmy Morgan
2004My Brother's KeeperHelen Woods
2004Vendetta: No Conscience, No MercyAnne Phelan
2004Some Things That StayLiz Anderson
2006Citizen DuaneBonnie Balfour
2006Away from HerDr. Fischer
2006Lobster Tale, AA Lobster TaleMartha Brewer
2007Lookout, TheThe LookoutBarbara Pratt
2008Growing OpMarilla
2009HelenDr. Sherman
2009Spine, TheThe SpineMary RutherfordShort film


1980King of KensingtonMitziEpisode: "War and Peace"
1980War BridesNormaTV film
1983I Am a HotelSuzanneTV short
1984Hill Street BluesProstituteEpisode: "Fuched Again"
1984Deadly NightmaresJill FriedlanderEpisode: "Remembering Melody"
1985Murder in SpaceDominica MastrelliTV film
1985Equalizer, TheThe EqualizerCarla HoldenEpisode: "The Distant Fire"
1985Kane & AbelZofia RosnovskiTV miniseries
1986Fortune DaneAmy SteinerTV series
1986Women of ValorLt. Helen PrescottTV film
1987Street LegalMercedes PuentesEpisode: "Tango Bellarosa"
1987-1988Buck JamesDr. Rebecca MeyerMain role (19 episodes)
1989Equalizer, TheThe EqualizerTaffy GouldEpisode: "The Caper"
1989Shannon's DealTerry LomaxTV film
1989Street LegalMaria LopezEpisode: "Partners and Other Strangers"
1990Island SonNina DelaneyEpisode: "Separations"
1990GrandAndreaEpisode: "The Return of Yale Pinhaus"
1991Law & OrderMiss HanleyEpisode: "His Hour Upon the Stage"
1992Law & OrderAngela BrandtEpisode: "Skin Deep"
1993Relentless: Mind of a KillerEllen GiancolaTV film
1993MatrixMarie SandsEpisode: "Conviction of His Courage"
1994Jonathan Stone: Threat of InnocenceDeborah Walsh BradfordTV film
1995Outer Limits, TheThe Outer LimitsLynda TillmanEpisode: "If These Walls Could Talk"
1995Child Is Missing, AA Child Is MissingAgent Lynette GrahamTV film
1996Giant MinePeggy WitteTV film
1996GottiVictoria GottiTV film
1997-2001La Femme NikitaMadelineMain role (89 episodes)
1998Girl Next Door, TheThe Girl Next DoorMary BradleyTV film
2000Soul FoodJudge Olivia DelaneyEpisode: "The More Things Stay the Same"
2001After the HarvestAmelia GareTV film
2002Guilt by AssociationAngieTV film
2002Chasing Cain: FaceDet. Denise McGooganTV film
2003Risen, TheThe RisenAmanda KnowlesTV film
2003Penguins Behind BarsBabs (voice)TV film
2003MissingMrs. MastrianiEpisode: "Pilot"
2003Choice: The Henry Morgentaler StoryChava Rosenfarb-MorgentalerTV film
2004Puppets Who KillJudgeEpisode: "Bill Sues"
2004Newsroom, TheThe NewsroomSusanRecurring role (4 episodes)
2004Show Me YoursToni BaneRecurring role (8 episodes)
2004-200524Erin DriscollRegular role (13 episodes)
2005Million Dollar MurderTed's LawyerTV film
2006At the HotelCamilleRecurring role (4 episodes)
2006Angela's EyesLydia AndersonRecurring role (6 episodes)
2008Border, TheThe BorderMinister Suzanne FleischerRecurring role (10 episodes)
2010HeartlandSarah CravenEpisode: "Where the Truth Lies"
2011-2012NikitaSenator Madeline PierceRecurring role (9 episodes)



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