Actress Sandra Oh was born in Ottawa in 1971. She is best known for playing Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy for which she won a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. She left the role in 2014, after ten seasons. In 2015, she won the People's Choice Award for “Favorite TV Character We Miss Most”. Vote for Sandra Oh as your favourite Canadian actor here.. Or, if your favourite is not on our list, leave us a comment here. Sandra Oh began her acting career at the age of ten, when she appeared in a school play. She trained as both an actor and as a ballet dancer throughout high school, then chose to attend the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal, promising her parents she would go to university if it didn’t work out. It did. Her first big role was as Chinese-Canadian author Evelyn Lau in The Diary of Evelyn Lau, an award-winning special television presentation in 1997. She’s gone on to appear in more than fifty films, including Academy Award-winning Sideways, Under the Tuscan Sun and Blindness. In addition to Grey’s Anatomy, Oh’s television credits include Arliss and American Crime. She’s won two Genie Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award outside of accolades for Grey’s Anatomy.
Actor Christopher Plummer was born in 1929 in Toronto. His mother raised him and her family— descendants of Prime Minister Sir John Abbott — near Montreal after his parents divorced in 1930. He acted in plays throughout high school and university, then made his debut on Broadway in 1953. That show lasted for one night. He has performed in stage productions around the world, including his iconic portrayals of King Lear and Macbeth. He’s won two Tony awards and a London Evening Standard Award. Vote for Christopher Plummer as your favourite Canadian actor Plummer’s first film role was as a writer in Stage Struck, in 1958. His most famous film role remains Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, the highest-grossing film of 1965 and the fifth most commercially successful film in history. His filmography includes more than 70 films. He became the oldest actor to win an Oscar in 2012 for the movie Beginners. He has more than 100 television credits and has won two Emmy Awards. He won Canada’s Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2001 and recently received a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Screen Awards.
Actor Adam Beach was born in 1972 and raised on the Dog Creek Reserve. In 2012, he founded the Adam Beach Film Institute to help aboriginal youth hone technical skills and pursue careers in the film industry. After his own difficult childhood, Beach was fortunate enough to find a place at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People in Winnipeg when he was 16. He went on to appear in supporting roles in television and in film, until a breakthrough role in the award-winning movie Smoke Signals earned him attention from Hollywood heavyweights. Clint Eastwood tapped him for a role in his war film Flags of our Fathers, which was nominated for two Oscars. Adam Beach has appeared in high-profile productions like Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination, Big Love, Cowboys and Aliens and Four Brothers. His most recent role, as Slipknot in Suicide Squad, has cemented his place in blockbuster history as part of the DC comic universe. He is now arguably the most well-known First Nations actor working in Hollywood. Despite his success on screen, he plans to continue working to help aboriginal youth and to lead his Lake Manitoba First Nation one day.
Michael J. Fox was born in Edmonton in 1961. When he was 18, Fox was cast as Alex P. Keaton on the ‘80s sitcom Family Ties. He won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for that role, but the biggest prize was probably his wife Tracy Pollan, whom he met on set when she played his onscreen girlfriend for two seasons. After Family Ties, he went on to star in another long-running, award-winning show, Spin City, and made many other guest appearances, including on The Good Wife and Rescue Me. In 1985, he achieved international fame as Marty McFly in Back to the Future, which was the top-grossing film of the year and earned multiple nominations. He starred in two more Back to the Future movies, Teen Wolf and more dramatic films like Casualties of War, Bright Lights, Big City and The Frighteners. In 1992, Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a progressive disorder that impacts the central nervous system and decreases mobility and movement. He shared the news publicly in 1998 and has worked tirelessly with The Michael J. Fox Foundation to raise money for research and treatment. His contributions to the cause have earned him honorary doctorates and have helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars. He’s written three books about his journey and won a Grammy for the spoken word version of one. He continues to act in small roles—to the delight of fans worldwide—and has earned many awards for his efforts. In 2000, he was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Actor Kim Coates may best be known for his role as unhinged biker Tig in the television series Sons of Anarchy, but he’s also an accomplished stage actor. His roots in theatre go back to university in Saskatchewan, where he saw his first play. In 1986, he became the youngest actor to play the role of Macbeth on stage at the Stratford Festival. He starred on Broadway in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire in 1988. Kim Coates has appeared in more than 60 films since 1986, including Black Hawk Down and Goon, for which he was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. His television credits include an appearance on Miami Vice in 1987, CSI, Entourage and, of course, his role on Sons of Anarchy. Coates became an American citizen in 2010. He lives in Los Angeles with his family.
Comedy fans know actress Catherine O’Hara from her leading roles in classics like Beetlejuice, Home Alone and A Mighty Wind. Some of her dramatic roles include the movie Heartburn, with Meryl Streep, Temple Grandin with Claire Danes and appearances on Six Feet Under and The Outer Limits. She was born in Toronto in 1954. At the age of 20, she joined the Second City comedy troupe as Gilda Radner’s understudy, then became a regular on the televised spin-off, SCTV. She won an Emmy Award for her writing contributions on that show. She has earned more than 40 television credits, including the lead on Schitt’s Creek, on which she stars with its father-and-son creators Eugene and Daniel Levy. That role has earned her two Canadian Screen Awards. O’Hara and the senior Lev
The Redpath Waterfront Festival, June 19-21 is an entire weekend celebration of Toronto’s revitalized waterfront. Free admission.