Geneviève Bujold (French pronunciation: [ʒən.vjɛːv by.ʒɔld]; or French pronunciation: [by.ʒo], born July 1, 1942) is a Canadian actress best known for her portrayal of Anne Boleyn in the 1969 film Anne of the Thousand Days. She won a Golden Globe Award for best actress and was nominated for an Academy Award. Other films she has appeared in include Obsession (1976), Coma (1978), Dead Ringers (1988) and Still Mine (2012).
Life and career
Bujold was born in Montreal, Quebec, the daughter of Laurette (née Cavanagh) and Joseph Firmin Bujold, a bus driver. She is of mostly French Canadian descent, with more distant Irish ancestry. Bujold received a strict convent education for 12 years before entering the Montreal Conservatory of Dramatic Art, where she was trained in the classics of French theatre. She made her stage debut as Rosine in Le Barbier de Séville in 1962.
She got her first major break in 1965, while on tour with the company of the Théâtre du Rideau Vert in Paris, when French director Alain Resnais selected her for a role with Yves Montand in his film The War Is Over. She stayed in France to make two more films: Philippe de Broca's Le Roi de cœur, with Alan Bates, and Louis Malle's Le Voleur, with Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Upon her return to Canada, she married film director Paul Almond in 1967. She starred in three of his films: Isabel (1968), The Act of the Heart (1970) and Journey (1972), winning the Canadian Film Award for best actress for the first two. The couple divorced in 1973, but worked together again in Final Assignment (1980) and The Dance Goes On (1991), the latter featuring their son Matthew Almond (born in 1968).
She also appeared in Michel Brault's film Entre la mer et l'eau douce (1967) and Claude Jutra's film Kamouraska (1973), based on a novel by Anne Hébert, for which she won her third Canadian Film Award for Best Actress.
Bujold appeared in a variety of roles for Canadian and U.S. television, notably for NBC's Hallmark Hall of Fame in George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan in 1967, which earned her an Emmy Award nomination, and Caesar and Cleopatra in 1976, with Alec Guinness. She also appeared in Jean Anouilh's Antigone for PBS's Great Performances in 1974.
International recognition came in 1969, when she starred as Anne Boleyn in Charles Jarrott's film Anne of the Thousand Days, with Richard Burton. For her performance, she won a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Leading Role, and earned an Academy Award nomination in the same category. The following year, she played the role of the visionary Cassandra in Michael Cacoyannis's film version of The Trojan Women (1970), with Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, and Irene Papas.
Bujold was touted to become a star, but she walked away from her contract with Universal Studios. The resulting lawsuit was settled when she agreed to appear in the 1974 disaster film Earthquake, with Charlton Heston, and the 1976 adventure film Swashbuckler, with Robert Shaw. In the ensuing years, she appeared in Obsession, with Cliff Robertson (1976); Another Man, Another Chance, with James Caan (1977); Coma, with Michael Douglas (1978); Monsignor, with Christopher Reeve (1982); and Tightrope, with Clint Eastwood (1984). In addition, Bujold also appeared in the 1980 Walt Disney film The Last Flight of Noah's Ark with Elliott Gould and Ricky Schroder.
She formed a professional friendship with director Alan Rudolph, and appeared in three of his films: Choose Me (1984), Trouble in Mind (1985), and The Moderns (1988). Rudolph worked with a kind of repertory cast for these, with Keith Carradine and others also appearing in more than one of these films.
Bujold also appeared in David Cronenberg's psychological horror film Dead Ringers (1988), with Jeremy Irons. After a long absence from Quebec, she returned to appear in two films directed by Michel Brault: Les Noces de papier (1989) and My Friend Max (Mon amie Max) (1994). A few years later, she was back in Quebec to play the role of Madame Lasalle in Chaos and Desire (La Turbulence des fluides) (2002), directed by Manon Briand.
In 1994, Bujold was chosen to play Captain Nicole Janeway (subsequently renamed to Captain Kathryn Janeway), lead character in the ensemble cast of the American television series Star Trek: Voyager. However, she dropped out after filming just a few scenes of the first episode, citing the lengthy work schedule for a TV series and her unwillingness to do news interviews. The producers subsequently hired TV veteran Kate Mulgrew for the role.
Bujold continues to work, primarily in small-budget films with independent production companies.