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Alberta Watson (1955)

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  Summary  

Faith Susan Alberta Watson , known professionally as Alberta Watson, is a Canadian movie and television series actress.

  Biography  

 Early life
Alberta Watson was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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. , of the Bathurst Street United Church at age 15. She took a workshop for the Hair musical. While doing this workshop she did Hamlet, which was directed by René Bonnière who later directed her in La Femme Nikita.

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

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

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, 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. Watson has said:

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 . During the show's second season , Watson was diagnosed with lymphoma, for which she had to undergo chemotherapy treatment which caused her to lose her hair. Producers at Nikita worked around her treatment and limited her appearances. Watson wore wigs in the show when she lost her hair. But, when her hair started to grow, she sported the short haircut in her role as Madeline in the show's third season.. In the season finale of Nikita, the 2010 CW series based on the Luc Besson film rather than 1997 series, she played the role of the 'Senator' who is among the many public figures to privately fund the secret anti-terrorist organization known as Division.

Alberta Watson's first name inspired the character Alberta Green in the first season of 24. 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.

She is now cancer-free.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Alberta Watson", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.