Alberta Watson, well known to television audiences for her Gemini award-nominated role as Madeline on the cable hit "La Femme Nikita," enjoys a long and diverse career in television and film. She received a Genie nomination for best supporting actress for one of her first movie roles, Mitzi in George Kaczender's "In Praise of Older Women." After moving to the U.S., she guest-starred on primetime hits "The Equalizer" and "Law & Order" and appeared in movies including the cult horror classic "The Keep" and the TV movie "Women of Valor" with Susan Sarandon. Watson received dozens of rave reviews for her performance in the film "Spanking the Monkey" as a depressed, addicted mother who has an affair with her own son, played by "Saving Private Ryan" star Jeremy Davies. Returning to Toronto, she received a second Genie nomination, in the Lead Actress category, for her role in "Shoemaker" and followed that up with "The Sweet Hereafter", a film which received multiple Academy Award and Genie nominations.
Meanwhile, Watson had begun filming the TV series "La Femme Nikita" (1997), which ran for four years, where she played a character that has become iconic, the tough anti-terrorist strategist Madeline. The cult series earned her a 1998 Gemini nomination and marked the start of an ever-growing fan base, with its main online presence at an unofficial site dedicated to her.
She earned a second Gemini nomination for the TV movie "After the Harvest", with Sam Shepard, and entertained audiences as the dramatic German mother of transsexual Hedwig in the cult hit "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Her TV movie with Mercedes Ruehl, "Guilt by Association," scored high ratings for Court TV in early 2002.
Although she has appeared in numerous major commercial releases and hit television shows, during the last ten years Watson has preferred independent (and especially Canadian) productions.
Watson starred in The Wild Dogs (2002) with director Thom Fitzgerald, which took home top honors at the Atlantic Film Festival. She also appeared as Dr. Fischer in Sarah Polley's feature film directorial debut, the prize-winning Away from Her (2006), with Julie Christie. In addition, she starred opposite Colm Meaney in the feature film A Lobster Tale (2006), a quiet, low-key story which also won several awards.
Meanwhile, in television, the second installment of Chasing Cain: Face (2002) (TV)garnered her another Gemini nomination as Best Actress in a Leading Role (2003). After that, Watson filmed Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story (2003) (TV), the story of controversial Canadian physician Dr. Henry Morgentaler, for which she was nominated for yet another Gemini Award in 2005.
While she had recurring roles in numerous television shows ("The Newsroom" (2004), "Show Me Yours" (2004), "At the Hotel" (2006), "Angela's Eyes" (2006)), she reached again more international TV audiences when she starred in the fourth season (2004-2005) of the hit Fox series "24" (2001), opposite Kiefer Sutherland and William Devane, playing the role of Erin Driscoll, the head of a counter-terrorist unit. She had the chance to play a different boss-woman (a Minister, and recovering alcoholic) when she joined the cast of other popular prime-time drama, CBC's "The Border" (2008), as a recurring guest star.
Most recently Watson was cast as the voice of 350-pound Mary Rutherford in the animated film The Spine (2009) (produced and directed by Academy Award-winning animator Chris Landreth), which took home the Best Film Award at the 2009 Melbourne International Animation Festival. In 2008, Alberta Watson received a Career Achievement Award from the Boston-based Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film.
When she is not on location, Watson lives in Toronto.