Geneviève Bujold (French pronunciation: [ʒən.vjɛːv by.ʒɔld]; born July 1, 1942) is a Canadian actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Anne Boleyn in the 1969 film Anne of the Thousand Days, for which she received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Subsequent film credits include The Trojan Women (1971), Earthquake (1974), Obsession (1976), Coma (1978), Murder by Decree (1979), Tightrope (1984), Dead Ringers (1988), The House of Yes (1997), and Still Mine (2012).
Life and career
Bujold was born in Montreal, Quebec, the daughter of Laurette (née Cavanagh), a maid, and Joseph Firmin Bujold, a bus driver. She is of French Canadian descent, with distant Irish ancestry. Bujold received a strict convent education 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.
In 1965, while on tour with the company of the Théâtre du Rideau Vert in Paris, renowned French director Alain Resnais selected her for a role in his film The War Is Over, opposite Yves Montand. She stayed in France to make two more films: Philippe de Broca's King of Hearts, with Alan Bates (1966), and Louis Malle's The Thief of Paris, with Jean-Paul Belmondo (1967).
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 (born in 1968).
She also appeared in Michel Brault's film Between Salt and Sweet Water (1967), and in Claude Jutra's Kamouraska (1973), based on a novel by Anne Hébert, for which she received her third Canadian Film Award for Best Actress.
Bujold appeared in a variety of roles for Canadian and U.S. television, including two adaptations of the work of playwright George Bernard Shaw: Saint Joan (1967), for which she received an Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Joan of Arc, and Caesar and Cleopatra, with Alec Guinness (1976). She also appeared in an adaptation of 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 received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The following year, she played the role of Cassandra, a Greek prophet, in Michael Cacoyannis's film version of The Trojan Women (1970), opposite Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, and Irene Papas.
Wishing to preserve her artistic integrity, Bujold walked away from her contract with Universal Studios in the early 1970s. The resulting lawsuit was settled when she agreed to appear in the 1974 disaster film Earthquake, with Charlton Heston, and the 1976 adventure Swashbuckler, with Robert Shaw. In the ensuing years, she had leading roles in Brian De Palma's acclaimed Hitchcockian thriller, Obsession, with Cliff Robertson (1976); Another Man, Another Chance, with James Caan (1977); box office hit Coma, with Michael Douglas (1978); Walt Disney fantasy The Last Flight of Noah's Ark, with Elliott Gould (1980); Monsignor, with Christopher Reeve (1982); and Tightrope, with Clint Eastwood (1984).
Bujold received strong reviews for her portrayal of a drug-dependent movie star in David Cronenberg's psychological horror, Dead Ringers (1988), opposite Jeremy Irons. After a long absence from Quebec, she returned to appear in two more films by Michel Brault: The Paper Wedding (1989), and My Friend Max (1994). A few years later, she was back in Quebec to star in Chaos and Desire (2002), directed by Manon Briand.
In 1994, Bujold was chosen to play Captain Nicole Janeway (subsequently renamed Kathryn Janeway), lead character in the ensemble cast of the American television series Star Trek: Voyager. However, she left the project after just two days of filming, with producers of the show citing the "demanding" work schedule as the reason. Kate Mulgrew was subsequently cast in the role.
Bujold continues to work, primarily in independent films. In 2012, she received praise for her portrayal of a woman battling dementia in the acclaimed romantic drama, Still Mine. Stephen Holden of The New York Times commented: "Ms. Bujold imbues Irene with a starchy tenacity and a sharp sense of humor", while The Washington Post called her performance "superb" and "remarkably detailed".