Jackie Burroughs performs the poem "The Wreck of Hesperus" in this segment from the television miniseries Anne of Green Gables.
Burroughs spent many years as a stage actor, performing at Toronto's CREST THEATRE, TARRAGON THEATRE, and at STRATFORD, SHAW, and the NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE, while at the same time forging a stellar reputation as a film actor of remarkable energy, integrity, and bravery. It was in The Grey Fox (1982), directed by Philip Borsos, that she turned in a breakthrough performance as Kate Flynn, winning a GENIE AWARD for work that, in the late movie critic Pauline Kael's opinion, gave the film "some artifice and some musk."
Burroughs won another Genie the following year for her role in The Wars (1983).
Work with Cronenberg in the film adaptation of Stephen King's The Dead Zone (1983) and with Gordon PINSENT in John and the Missus (1987) followed. In the mid-80s Burroughs starred in the television series Anne of Green Gables, and went on to play the character Hetty King in the series Road to Avonlea, for which she won three GEMINI AWARDS.
It was in the film A Winter Tan (1987) that Burroughs made her most personal and unforgettable mark as a movie actress. The film had its beginnings in Burroughs' performance, at an anti-censorship event, of excerpts from Maryse Holder's posthumously published collection of letters Give Sorrow Words, a record of Holder's self-exploration through sexual tourism. Burroughs worked with several collaborators to turn the letters into a screenplay, and to co-direct herself in the leading role as the self-destructive but brutally honest Holder. While reviewers commented that the harrowing story of the heroine's sexual degradation, alcoholism, and eventual murder was painfully difficult to witness, Burroughs was lauded for her ferocious, consuming performance. A more stark contrast to the role of Hetty King cannot be imagined, and Burroughs herself was most proud of her work associated with bringing A Winter Tan to the screen.
Burroughs continued her work on both the big and the small screen in films such as Careful (1992), Last Night (1998), Lost and Delirious (2001), The Republic of Love (2004) and Small Town Murder Songs (2010), and in television shows ranging from Further Tales of the City to Dudley the Dragon, Sophie and Slings and Arrows.
Author BRENDA AUSTIN-SMITH
Links to Other Sites
The Dance Current
The website for "The Dance Current," a magazine that takes the reader inside the art and culture of Canadian dance.
Jackie Burroughs, best known as Aunt Hetty on Road to Avonlea, dies at 71
An obituary for British-born Canadian actress Jackie Burroughs, best remembered for her role as Hetty King on the TV series Road to Avonlea. From the National Post.
Anne of Green Gables: Jackie Burroughs
Jackie Burroughs performs the poem "The Wreck of Hesperus" in this segment from the television miniseries "Anne of Green Gables."
Road to Avonlea- Behind the Scenes 3
Watch a revealing behind the scenes look at the popular CBC Television series "Road to Avonlea." Features interviews with cast and crew. From YouTube.
Lucy Maud Montgomery's long road to fame
This clip from CBC Television's "Life & Times" reviews the two decades of struggles and triumphs that led to the breakthrough success of Anne of Green Gables. Narrated by Jackie Burroughs and Mike Jones.
Jackie Burroughs of Road to Avonlea dies
A CBC News obituary for award-winning actor Jackie Burroughs.
Actress Jackie Burroughs dies at age 71
A CTV News story about the paasing of acclaimed actress Jackie Burroughs.
The Cast: Then And Now
Profiles of leading actors in the television series "Road To Avonlea." From Sullivan Entertainment.