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Many of Your TV and Movie Favorites are Actually Canadian Actors

By Edited May 21, 2016 3 5

Canadian Actors Are Getting Top Acting Roles on the Best TV Shows in Prime Time

The best TV shows feature excellent writing, interesting storylines and a cast of actors that must exhibit real acting talent. Otherwise, TV shows get cancelled and acting careers stall.  Good actors get the leading roles on TV, are offered consistent acting work and these are the actors most associated with the best TV shows selected for broadcast. Many Canadian actors are getting more acting jobs on prime-time Television and more leading roles on TV.

Nathan Fillion, Emily VanCamp, Gregory Smith, Enuka Okuma, Will Arnett, Meghan Ory and Leslie Hope are all Canadians and these particular Canadian actors are just a few of the many talented Canadians with key or leading roles in current prime-time TV shows.  The above short list of Canadian actors are each appearing on top-rated TV shows, such as Castle, Rookie Blue, Once Upone a Time, Revenge and The Office to name just a few of this TV season's highest-profile and most-watched TV programs.
You may not know it but some of your favorite actors and actresses may be Canadian actors. If you like watching TV and watch a lot of top TV series, then you will probably already know that many of today’s TV stars and older beloved television actors are actually Canadian and not American.

Here is a list of just a few popular actors that are Canadian actors: Megan Follows, Matt Frewer, Victor Garber, Lorne Greene, Evangeline Lilly, Christopher Plummer, Donald and Keifer Sutherland, Michal J. Fox and Mike Myers. Were you surprised that some of these actors are Canadian and not American? If you have watched TV over the last decade you have seen these Canadian actors in TV shows such as Lost, Alias and the TV series 24.

A lot of great television is produced outside the U.S., particularly in Canada as there are generous tax incentives for film and TV producers to base their TV shows there.

Popular TV shows such as Smallville, Supernatural, USA Network’s Covert Affairs and new shows such as the TV show Heartland are all filmed or were all filmed in Canada. Of these highlighted shows, only Smallville is no longer in production. Each of these TV shows include both American and Canadian Actors.
A new show to the US audience is the Canadian TV series Heartland. It is one the top TV series in Canada, and in Canada, Heartland is just beginning its 5th season and the DVDs are finally being released for the U.S. DVD market. Here, in the U.S., the TV show is called Heartland Ranch. Heartland Ranch began airing its second season across the U.S. on September 17th, 2011. Heartland is a rare Canadian television show that has been acquired by an American TV distribution company. It is an import. It is not a U.S.-based or American TV series. There are more American television programs broadcast around the world than there are foreign TV series available for U.S. and worldwide distribution.

Heartland features an outstanding cast of Canadian actors. The television show centers around Amy Fleming and her family and it is one of the best TV shows and most-watched series airing in Canada. The TV show depicts the Fleming family's hard-but-good life on their horse ranch. It is a family drama that features excellent acting and storytelling, great writing, engaging and appealing characters and the spectacular scenery of Calgary, Canada. The ensemble cast is terrific. Another plus to this top-rated program is that it is also appropriate for the whole family to watch. Few TV shows these days are written with family viewing in mind, as can be seen by the high number of violent crime and forensic dramas that are now on TV. You have only to look at the TV show spin-offs like NCIS: Los Angeles and all the CSI and Law and Order incarnations and any other television franchises, like these, to see this pattern, towards more and more graphic and adult-oriented television programming.

When you are next watching TV, you may find that your newest favorite TV actor or newest favorite television show stars Canadian actors.

Another excellent program on television featuring U.S. and Canadian actors is Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye.  Unfortunately,  this exciting and touching ensemble drama show is no longer on the air with any new episodes but the TV series, which aired for three years, has been released on DVD and airs (in syndication) on cable TV in the U.S., Canada and in the U.K.

Sue Thomas F.B. Eye is based on the true story of Sue Thomas, a deaf woman, who worked at the FBI in Washington DC. American actress Deanne Bray, who starred as the female lead in Sue Thomas F.B.Eye  is deaf in real life. She reads lips and does speak to communicate. This program dramatized Sue’s experiences as a deaf woman and her work with a team of FBI agents. Sue helped with undercover surveillance by reading lips. The characters in Sue Thomas F.B. Eye, like they are in Heartland, are also well-written and engaging. Likewise, the acting and entire cast of Sue Thomas F.B. Eye is superlative. Canadian actors featured in the Sue Thomas F.B.Eye series include Yannick Bisson, Ted Atherton and Enuka Okuma.

Two of these mentioned Canadian actors and former co-stars have each since moved on to other acting work and appear on current prime-time television programs. Yannick presently stars on The Murdoch Mysteries, now filming its 5th season, and Enuka can currently be seen on TV in Rookie Blue, which just recently concluded its second season this year on ABC Television in the U.S.  Both The Murdoch Mysteries and Rookie Blue are also film in Canada.

The next time you are watching TV or see one of the new shows on television, do not be surprised if you tune in and recognize or discover new acting talent including many excellent Canadian actors acting alongside your U.S. TV favorites.



Jan 26, 2012 6:28pm
Those Canucks are a talented bunch. Both of my kids were born in Canada, and they love to hear which singers and actors are from their homeland, much as I do with the Scots.
Jan 26, 2012 6:30pm
I agree. Happy that some of them are getting more good roles and notice. Thanks for your comment.
Jan 27, 2012 3:07am
I'd never given much thought to the lands of origin of actors and actresses. This was interesting reading.
Apr 5, 2012 1:25am
You know this is an evil plot started by Canada in the early 1900s to take over America, right? Many of the earliest of Hollyowood's great actors, actresses, and director/producers were Canadian. Good overview.
Apr 5, 2012 3:53pm
Thanks vicdillinger for the compliment and for your comments. Am sure we are benefiting from their great talent on display-evil plot or not!
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