A gifted, vibrant star both onscreen and off, Béatrice Picard built one of the most enduring Québec acting careers of all time. Born July 3, 1928 in Montréal, Québec, Canada, Béatrice Picard grew up training in singing, acting, dancing and elocution. After starring in several radio dramas and theatrical productions, the actress made her screen debut in "Ave Maria" (1953). She went on to become a fixture on multiple soap operas, including "Le survenant" (Radio-Canada, 1954-1960), "Marie-Didace" (Radio-Canada, 1958-59), "Symphorien" (Télé-Métropole, 1970-77) and, perhaps most notably, "Rue de l'anse" (Radio-Canada, 1963-65). So popular was her next project, the pioneering Québec sitcom "Cré Basile" (Télé-Métropole, 1965-1970) - an adaptation of the American sitcom "The Honeymooners" (CBS, 1955-56) - that it was turned into a touring stage show, and Picard traveled the province reprising her role as the wry housewife Alice Lebrun. Demonstrating amazing career longevity, the actress won over a new generation of fans with such performances as the stepmother from hell on "Un gars, une fille" (Radio-Canada, 1997-2003) and voiced Marge Simpson for French Canadian audiences on the international smash sitcom "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ), reprising the role for the 2007 feature film. Awarded l'Ordre du Canada as well as l'Ordre national du Québec, Picard earned a Best Actress Genie Award nomination for her first starring film role in the comedy "Ma tante Aline" ("My Aunt Aline") (2007), playing a free-spirited relative who shakes up her workaholic niece's humdrum life.
By Jonathan Riggs