Saturday, July 18, 2009

Canada Calling: Stars of stage, screen, and television

Sharon Wildwind

You've probably seen more Canadian actors and actresses than you think. Raymond Burr, he of Perry Mason fame, was Canadian. So is the impressionist Rich Little. Here's a summer quiz on exactly who came from the great white north. Answers can be found at the end of the posting.

1. This Toronto-born actress was instrumental in the establishment of the United Artists studio and the founding of the Academy Awards. She and her American-born husband’s hollywood home was known as Pickfair. Name the actress.

2. This actress starred in vaudeville and, in 1914, had top movie billing over her co-star Charles Chaplain. She’s best remembered as the salty captain of a tug boat. Name the actress and her most famous role.

3. This actor was wounded in World War I and World War II. He played both a crusty doctor and an American president. His younger brother was the first Canadian-born Governor General of Canada. His family used their fortune to support cultural venues, such as Massey Hall in Toronto. Name the actor, his two most famous roles, and the product responsible for his family’s fortune.

4. Speaking of brothers, this actor grew up in the Northwest Territories, where his father was an RCMP officer. His brother became deputy prime minister of Canada. He’s known for his screw-ball comedy, including guest appearances in a television series as Sergeant Buck Frobisher, an RCMP officer. Name the actor and the TV series in which Sgt. Frobisher appeared.

5. Originally trained at Stratford, this actor is remembered for one role, though he has almost 200 movie and TV credits. In 1988 he played Bill in a cult-movie with a pun for a title. Bill’s greatest ambition was to produce a rap version of Shakespear’s Julius Caesar. Name the actor and the 1988 movie.

6. This actor could assume many dialects, but he is most famous for a pseudo-Scottish voice. He worked with the actor in the question above. Name his most-famous role.

7. These two actors, also trained at Stratford were best friends, but they ended up playing on opposite sides with one playing the hero and one the villain in a 1978 TV space opera. Name the two actors. Who was the good guy and who was the bad guy?

8. Primarily a singer, he played U.S. Marshal Morrie Nathan in Harry Tracey, Desperado (1982). Name this singer/actor.

9. This Metis actress has played many First Nations women, including a role in Dancing with Wolves. Name her.

10. Born in England to Canadian parents. She played Aunt Lil Trotter in Dallas and Dr. Ruth Levitt in The Andromeda Strain. Name the actress and tell why Dr. Levitt didn’t like flashing red lights.

1. Mary Pickford
2. Marie Dressler/Tugboat Annie
3. Raymond Massey/Dr. Gillespie (in the TV series Dr. Kildare) and Abraham Lincoln/farm equipment
4. Leslie Neilsen/Due South
5. William Shatner/Free Enterprise
6. Commander Montgomery Scott of the USS Enterprise. The actor was, of course, James Doohan.
7. John Colicos played the bad guy and Lorne Green played the good guy in the original television version of Battlestar Galactia.
8. Gordon Lightfoot
9. Tantoo Cardinal
10. Kate Reid/Dr. Levitt said that red lights reminded her of her time in a bordello. In fact, the character was hiding that she suffered from epilepsy, and that flashing red lights triggered seizures.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm always surprised by the number of people that I think are American performers that are Canadian. Sometimes pronunciations will give them away, but usually I just have no idea.

I think I've scored 50% on your quiz! I need to brush up on my star knowledge!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Auntie Knickers said...

I'm afraid I only got less than 40%, but I'm seeing lots of Canadian actors as I continue my ongoing Paul Gross film festival!

Sandra Parshall said...

My two answers to all questions about Canadian performers are: (A) Michael J. Fox, and (B) Wlliam Shatner -- but I have no idea whether either of those names answers any of your questions. Your quiz has me totally stumped. I'm very curious about the answers!