Hélène Loiselle

Hélène Loiselle, actor (b at Montréal 17 Mar 1928) An outstanding figure on the Québec stage and screen, Hélène Loiselle shone in major roles in the international repertoire as well as in works by local authors. Her career spanned six decades to include television plays, radio-dramas, children's programs, television miniseries and major films. Taught in the 1940s by masters Charlotte Boisjoli, François Rozet, Jean Valcourt and Lucie de Vienne, Loiselle joined the Compagnons de Saint Laurent for her 1945 debut as Rosette in Alfred de Musset's On ne badine pas avec l'amour; with the company she would also perform Giraudoux, Racine, Rostand and Shakespeare. In the early 1950s she went to Paris for two years to improve her technique. Subsequently, she appeared in Égrégore, Vitrac-Anouilh's Victor ou les Enfants au pouvoir, Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, and on nearly every Montréal stage as Antigone or Lady Macbeth in the Sophocles and Shakespeare tragedies, as Olga in Chekhov's The Three Sisters, as well as in new works.

Hélène Loiselle took part in the historic premiere of Michel TREMBLAY's The Three Sisters at the THÉÂTRE DU RIDEAU VERT in 1968, portraying the snobbish and "damned uppity" Lisette de Courval. The next year at the Théâtre de Quat'Sous she portrayed the unforgettable Robertine, a resigned mother overwhelmed by criticism from her children in En pièces détachées by the same author. She gave one of her most moving interpretations as Marie-Louise in Tremblay's À toi, pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou at its premiere at the Quat'Sous in 1971. There she shared the stage with her real-life spouse, actor Lionel Villeneuve, as Léopold, forming a tragic and tattered couple. Notable among Loiselle's major premieres are Les Voisins by Louis Saïa and Claude Meunier (Compagnie Jean-Duceppe, 1980) and Larry Tremblay's La Leçon d'anatomie (Quat'Sous, 1992).

A distinguished character actor, Hélène Loiselle skillfully covers roles as varied as the ethereal Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams Streetcar Named Desire (Duceppe, 1974), the title role in Yerma by Federico García Lorca, and Mrs. Smith in Eugene Ionesco's La Cantatrice chauve ( Rideau Vert, 1993 and 1996). She was also a hit in Les Chaises at the Quat'Sous in 1991 by the same author. In 1990, she shared the stage with singer Pauline Julien in the poetic review Voix parallèles at the Café de la Place.

Hélène Loiselle appeared in the medium-length film Françoise Durocher, Waitress (André BRASSARD, 1972), in the classics MON ONCLE ANTOINE (Claude JUTRA, 1971) and Les Ordres (Michel BRAULT, 1974), and in Post Mortem (Louis Bélanger, 1999). On television, among other shows, she played several witches in the celebrated children's show Fanfreluche.