Michael Sarrazin was born Jacques Michel Andr√â Sarrazin on May 22, 1940, in Quebec City, Quebec. A keen actor at school, he got his first professional role aged 17. Working mostly in Canadian television, he eventually signed a contract with Universal Studios in the early 1960s. The part for which he received most acclaim was his starring role opposite Jane Fonda in 1969 Depression-era drama film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, as a man caught up in a sinister dance competition. Following this, he starred in other successful films such as crime comedy Harry in Your Pocket (1973) and screwball comedy For Pete's Sake (1974). His final leading role was as Michael Bannon in The Gumball Rally (1976). From 1968 he was in a fourteen-year relationship with British actor Jacqueline Bisset, with whom he had two daughters. He was also originally cast to play Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy (1969), but contractual obligations meant the role went to Jon Voight. He died on April 17, 2011, after a short battle with cancer.