Louison Danis

Louison Danis, actor, director, translator (b at Ottawa 9 Dec 1951). Louison Danis's role as Maman Bougon in the successful Radio-Canada TV series les Bougon... c'est aussi ça la vie thrust her into media stardom. After an extensive 35-year career in theatre, she portrayed a coarse housewife, dirty and foul-mouthed, but big- hearted and ready to do everything for her children. Danis played the role with the spirit, generosity and attention to detail that generally distinguish her performances.

Louison Danis wanted to be an actor from the age of 4, when she saw the Ed Sullivan Show. She took her first classes in theatre at 11 in English, and made her stage debut at 13 with the Ottawa company Lake Side Theatre Productions. Two years later, she toured in 2 shows with this troupe, and then left school at 16 to dedicate herself to theatre. After workshops with Jacques Zouvi, she worked in French at the theatre L'Atelier (not to be confused with The Atelier), which she co-directed with Pierre Collin for several years. She worked in directing, production and stage management, and costume design. Based in Montréal in the early 1980s, she remained true to her Franco-Ontarian roots and returned to work in her province of origin, where she ran the Théâtre de la Grande Chapelle.

In theatre she played nearly 170 characters in more than 150 plays, among them: Andorra by Max Frisch, Corneille's le Cid, Suzanne Aubry's la Nuit des petits couteaux, Aurore, l'enfant martyre (Aurora the Child Martyr) by Petitjean and Rollin, directed by René Richard Cyr (Théâtre de Quat'Sous, 1984) and l'Hôtel des horizons by Reynald Robinson (Théâtre Les Gens d'en bas/Théâtre PàP, 2000). In March 2006, she played the 150th performance of Michel TREMBLAY's Encore une fois, si vous permettez (Théâtre Les Gens d'en bas, 2003, directed by Louise Laprade), brilliantly portraying the playwright's mother.

Among the many works Louison Danis directed over more than 20 years, the production, Lâche pas, Falardeau (CNA, 1983) stands out, having launched the careers of several young Franco-Ontarian actors. She has translated from English to French 5 children's stories and some 20 plays including Agnes of God, produced by the Compagnie Jean Duceppe and the Théâtre La Bordée, in Québec. Her translation from French to English of Normand Canac-Marquis' Syndrome de Cézanne was performed in New York, London and Toronto. Her film debut was in Dan Bigras' la Rage de l'ange (2006).

Louison Danis's outstanding performance of Marianne Houde, "the cruel stepmother" in la Nuit des petits couteaux, Aurore, l'enfant martyre, earned the 1984 prix de l'Association québécoise des critiques de theatre. The 2004 GEMINI AWARD for best female performance in a comedy was awarded to Danis for her role in les Bougon... c'est aussi ça la vie.