Great Canadians

Really great people.
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1.
Lorne Greene
Actor, Bonanza
Lorne Greene was born Lyon Himan "Chaim" Greene on February 12, 1915 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He began acting while attending Canada's Queen's University, and after graduation got a job in radio broadcasting. His rich, deep, authoritarian voice quickly propelled him to prominence as Canada's top newscaster...
 
2.
Rich Little
Born in Canada, Rich Little got his start just like almost every other comic of his time - night clubs. he was a very popular comic in these clubs, but if there was one thing Rich was best known for, it was impersonations. He studied the voices of many stars his whole life, stars like James Stewart...
 
3.
Monty Hall
Monty Hall was born Maurice Halperin on August 25, 1921 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Manitoba in 1945. He's the father of Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason, television writer/director Sharon Hall, and Emmy Award winner television writer/director Richard Hall...
 
4.
Mack Sennett
Mack Sennett was born Michael Sinnott on January 17, 1880 in Danville, Quebec, Canada, to Irish immigrant farmers. When he was 17, his parents moved the family to East Berlin, Connecticut, and he became a laborer at American Iron Works, a job he continued when they moved to Northampton, Massachusetts...
 
5.
John Candy
Actor, SCTV
Candy was one of Canada's greatest and funniest character actors. His well-known role as the big hearted buffoon earned him classics in Uncle Buck and Planes, Trains & Automobiles. His career has handed him some dry spells but Candy always rebounded. Born in Newmarket, Ontario, in the year 1950, Candy was the son of Evangeline (Aker) and Sidney James Candy...
 
6.
Margot Kidder
Actress, Superman
Margot Kidder was born Margaret Ruth Kidder in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, to Jocelyn Mary "Jill" (Wilson), a history teacher from British Columbia, and Kendall Kidder, a New Mexico-born mining engineer and explosives expert. Margot was a delightful child who took pride in everything she did...
 
7.
Anne Murray
Anne Murray is a major recording star. She has won numerous Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, as well as a number of Juno Awards in her native Canada. Anne lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and two children. She has sold over 24 million records. She is known for such hits as "Snowbird", "Danny's Song", "You Won"t See Me", "You Needed Me", "What Would It Take" etc...
 
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10.
William Shatner
Actor, Star Trek
William Shatner has notched up an impressive 50-plus years in front of the camera, most recently displaying comedic talent, and being instantly recognizable to several generations of cult television fans as the square-jawed Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise. Shatner was born in Côte Saint-Luc...
 
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13.
Leslie Nielsen
Leslie William Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and raised in Tulita (formerly Fort Norman), Northwest Territories. His mother, Mabel Elizabeth (Davies), was Welsh. His father, Ingvard Eversen Nielsen, was a Danish-born Mountie and a strict disciplinarian. Leslie studied at the Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto before moving on to New York's Neighborhood Playhouse...
 
14.
Dave Thomas
Actor, SCTV
Dave Thomas is a founding partner and President of Animax Entertainment, an animation company based in Van Nuys with an office in Toronto. Animax does a lot of work for Disney and won a broadband animation Emmy for "Off Mikes" (ESPN) in 2006. Animax animated a show called "Slacker Cats" for ABC Family and is currently working on the animated series "Bob & Doug" for Global TV...
 
15.
Fay Wray
Actress, King Kong
She was born Vina Fay Wray near Cardston, Alberta, Canada, on September 15, 1907. Fay was from a large family that included five siblings. She moved to Arizona when she was still small in order for her father to find better work than what was offered in Alberta. After moving again to California, her parents divorced...
 
16.
Jack L. Warner
Producer, Casablanca
With his brothers Harry M. Warner, Albert Warner, and Sam Warner, he founded Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. in 1923. They released the first motion picture with synchronized sound, The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson. In the 1930s they gave employment to a parade of stars, including Bette Davis...
 
17.
Donald Sutherland
The towering presence of Canadian actor Donald Sutherland is often noticed, as are his legendary contributions to cinema. He has appeared in almost 200 different shows and films. He is also the father of renowned actor Kiefer Sutherland, among others. Donald McNichol Sutherland was born in Saint John...
 
18.
David Steinberg
Director, Mad About You
Comedian David Steinberg, born in 1942, grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. He left home to attend the University of Chicago. The family moved to Chicago when he was a teen. It was there that he saw a performance by the Second City Chicago Troupe and it changed the course of his life. With another student at the university...
 
19.
Norma Shearer
Actress, The Women
She won a beauty contest at age fourteen. In 1920 her mother, Edith Shearer, took Norma and her sister Athole Shearer (Mrs. Howard Hawks) to New York. Ziegfeld rejected her for his "Follies," but she got work as an extra in several movies. She spent much money on eye doctor's services trying to correct her cross-eyed stare caused by a muscle weakness...
 
20.
Helen Shaver
This Canadian actress started acting as a late teen in theatre, receiving critical acclaim in her homeland over the years. Hollywood has not been as generous. Although she has worked alongside some of Hollywood's biggest stars, including Dudley Moore and Eddie Murphy in Best Defense, Tom Cruise and Paul Newman in The Color of Money...
 
22.
Ivan Reitman
Producer, Ghostbusters
Ivan Reitman, as a producer and director, has created many of American cinema's most successful and best loved feature film comedies and has worked with Hollywood's acting elite. Reitman has produced such hits as the ground-breaking sensation National Lampoon's Animal House, which introduced John Belushi to American filmgoers...
 
23.
Sarah Polley
Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her sensitive portraits of wounded and conflicted young women in independent films...
 
24.
Mary Pickford
Actress, Coquette
Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Elsie Charlotte (Hennessy) and John Charles Smith. She was of English and Irish descent. Pickford began in the theater at age seven. Then known as "Baby Gladys Smith", she toured with her family in a number of theater companies...
 
25.
Howie Mandel
Producer, Deal or No Deal
The story goes that huggable stand-up comedian Howie Mandel, who ran a carpet business once upon a time, began his show biz career by chance while catching amateur night at the Comedy Store on the L.A. Sunset Strip during a vacation. Goaded on by friends to try out, a producer spotted him, hired him for an appearance on the comedy game show "Make Me Laugh," and the rest is history...
 
26.
Susan Clark
Actress, Webster
Award-winning Canadian actress Susan Clark, born on March 8, 1940, took up acting at an early age (12) in her hometown of Sarnia, Ontario. Her family moved to Toronto around that period of time and she joined the Toronto Children's Players Theatre. Her first professional curtain call took place on the...
 
27.
Morley Safer
Morley Safer was born on November 8, 1931 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was an News Anchor known for 60 Minutes (1968). He played himself in Morning Glory (2010) and A Man Without a Country (2012). He was married to Jane Fearer. He died on May 19, 2016 in New York City, New York, USA.
 
28.
Eugene Levy
Eugene Levy has appeared in over fifty motion pictures, seven of which having topped the one hundred million dollar mark. His box office success in films, like Bringing Down the House, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Father of the Bride Part II and Over the Hedge, has helped establish him as one of Hollywood's most popular comedic character actors...
 
30.
Marie Dressler
Once you saw her, you would not forget her. Despite her age and weight, she became one of the top box office draws of the sound era. She was 14 when she joined a theater group and she went on to work on stage and in light opera. By 1892, she was on Broadway and she later became a star comedienne on the vaudeville circuit...
 
31.
Raymond Massey
Educated at the University of Toronto & Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the Canadian Field Artillery in World War I, served in France & was wounded. His first appearance was in a stage production in Siberia, during its occupation by American Forces in 1918. Raymond returned to Canada & the farm implement business after the war...
 
32.
Walter Pidgeon
Walter Pidgeon, a handsome, tall and dark-haired man, began his career studying voice at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He then did theater, mainly stage musicals. He went to Hollywood in the early 1920s, where he made silent films, including Mannequin and Sumuru. When talkies arrived...
 
33.
Glenn Ford
Actor, Superman
Legendary actor Glenn Ford was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Quebec, Canada, to Hannah Wood (Mitchell) and Newton Ford, a railroad executive. His family moved to Santa Monica, California when he was eight years old. His acting career began with plays at high school, followed by acting in West Coast, a traveling theater company...
 
34.
Raymond Burr
Born Raymond William Stacy Burr on 21 May 1917 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Burr spent most of his early life traveling. As a youngster, his father moved his family to China, where the elder Burr worked as a trade agent. When the family returned to Canada, Raymond's parents separated. He and his mother moved to Vallejo...
 
35.
Yvonne De Carlo
Actress, The Munsters
Yvonne De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was three when her father abandoned the family. Her mother turned to waitressing in a restaurant to make ends meet--a rough beginning for an actress who would, one day, be one of Hollywood's elite...
 
36.
Alan Young
Actor, Mister Ed
Alan Young was born in Northern England in 1919, but his Scots father moved the family to Edinburgh, Scotland, when Young was a toddler and then to Canada when Young was about 6 years old. As a boy, he suffered from severe asthma, which kept him bedridden for long periods of time but encouraged his love of radio...
 
37.
Dan Aykroyd
Writer, Ghostbusters
Daniel Edward Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to Lorraine Hélène (Gougeon), a secretary from a French-Canadian family, and Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd, a civil engineer who advised prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Aykroyd attended Carleton University in 1969, where he majored in Criminology and Sociology...
 
38.
Norman Jewison
Producer, The Hurricane
Norman Frederick Jewison was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Dorothy Irene (Weaver) and Percy Joseph Jewison, who managed a post office and a convenience store. His mother was an English immigrant, and his father was of English and Ulster-Scots descent. Jewison got his BA at Victoria College, University of Toronto...
 
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40.
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox on June 9, 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to Phyllis Fox (née Piper), a payroll clerk, and William Fox. His parents moved their ten-year-old son, his three sisters, Kelli Fox, Karen, and Jacki, and his brother, Steven, to Vancouver, British Columbia...
 
42.
Bryan Adams
Canadian Bryan Adams rose to popularity in 1983 with the release of his third album, "Cuts Like a Knife". The album made him popular throughout the United States. However, it was his fourth album "Reckless", which is referred to as one of the best albums of the 1980s that made him an international superstar and gave him his first Grammy nomination...
 
43.
Pamela Anderson
Actress, V.I.P.
Pamela Denise Anderson was born to young newlyweds Barry and Carol Anderson in Ladysmith (Vancouver Island), BC, Canada - They are still together after 48yrs. Madly in love. One younger brother Gerry, born 1971. (Niece Kylie Rose) A modest beginning. An acrobat and gymnast ages 7-12. An athlete throughout school...
 
44.
Oliver Platt
Oliver Platt was born in Windsor, Ontario, to American parents, Sheila Maynard, a social worker, and Nicholas Platt, a career diplomat. His parents were both from upper-class families, and his maternal great-grandmother, Cynthia Roche, was the sister of Princess Diana's maternal grandfather, Maurice Roche...
 
45.
Rick Moranis
Rick began his career as a radio DJ while he was still at high school which led to him writing, producing and being on air in his own show. He joined the Canadian TV series SCTV winning an Emmy for writing and portraying the character Bob McKenzie which became the basis for the film _Strange Brew_ which he co-wrote...
 
46.
Leonard Cohen
Soundtrack, Watchmen
 
51.
Paul Anka
Soundtrack, Jaws
Canadian-born Paul Anka first achieved success in the 1950s as a teenage singing star (and, for the times, an unusual one in that he wrote many of his own songs). Although he appeared in several films, and was quite believable as a nervous, hyper young soldier in The Longest Day (for which he also composed the theme music)...
 
52.
Joni Mitchell
Soundtrack, Love Actually
Joni Mitchell is one of the most highly regarded and influential songwriters of the 20th century. Her melodious tunes support her poetic and often very personal lyrics to make her one of the most authentic artists of her time. As a performer she is widely hailed for her unique style of playing guitar...
 
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54.
Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot is perhaps the most accomplished and well-known singer/songwriter to ever come out of Canada. He is internationally known for such monumental folk/pop/rock hits as "Sundown", "If You Could Read My Mind", "Early Mornin' Rain", "Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald" and many more. His songs have been covered by such music giants as Elvis Presley...
 
55.
Neil Young
Soundtrack, Philadelphia
Neil Young is one of the most respected and prolific rock/folk guitarists of the late 20th century. Raised in Canada, he first became well-known as a guitarist and occasional vocalist for the band Buffalo Springfield. After the band's breakup, Young became a solo performer. However, he also has spent more than 30 years performing with the super-group Crosby Stills Nash & Young...
 
56.
Oscar Peterson
Soundtrack, American Hustle
Oscar Peterson, the famous jazz musician, started his recording career in the mid 40s with records for RCA. As member of the group "Jazz at the Philharmonic" he started touring in the 50s and continued until late in the 60s. During this time he made also numerous recordings for various labels. He has recorded with the great jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong...
 
57.
Percy Faith
Music Department, Love Me or Leave Me
Percy Faith was a child piano prodigy, but his hands were burned in a fire at age 18. Switching to conducting and arranging, his unique orchestral 'sound', with strong emphasis on creative string work, soon became familiar to listeners everywhere. He recorded 85 albums for Columbia Records, and three hit singles: "Delicado" (1952)...
 
59.
Michael Ironside
Michael Ironside has made a strong and indelible impression with his often incredibly intense and explosive portrayals of fearsome villains throughout the years. He was born as Frederick Reginald Ironside on February 12, 1950 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ironside was a successful arm wrestler in his teenage years...