Tributes pour in for award-winning Quebec actress Monique Mercure

A versatile actress, Mercure was known for her work in film, television and theatre

Actress Monique Mercure, whose performances helped elevate Quebec cinema to the international silver screen, has died at 89.

Simon Brault, director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, said on social media that his friend of 30 years died Saturday night after a battle with throat cancer.

A versatile actress, Mercure was known for her work in film, television and theatre, with a repertoire spanning everything from Greek tragedies to contemporary classics.

In 1977, her performance in “J.A. Martin Photographer” earned her best actress awards at both the Cannes Film Festival and Canadian Film Awards.

But it was Mercure’s devotion to theatre that set her apart, according to Lorraine Pintal, the artistic director of the Theatre du Nouveau Monde in Montreal.

Fittingly, Mercure spent the night of her best actress award at Cannes on the Montreal stage instead of collecting her trophy in person, Pintal said.

“The place I needed to be tonight is here, before you,” Mercure told the audience, who responded with a massive ovation.

Brault said Mercure left “a distinctive and indelible” mark on every screen and stage she graced.

“Fiery, brave and determined, she had verve and outspokenness that many feared,” wrote Brault, who succeeded her as the head of the National Theatre School of Canada.

“She also had a sense of humour and self-deprecation far too rare in a world that takes itself so seriously.”

Mercure was born Monique Emond in Montreal on November 14, 1930.

She initially studied music and aspired to become a cellist. In 1949, she married composer Pierre Mercure, and they had three children before separating in 1958.

By the 1950s, she turned her attention to acting, taking roles in both film and theatre. She eventually gained widespread attention for her performance in Claude Fournier’s “Deux Femmes en Or.”

A string of successful films followed, including Claude Jutra’s ”Mon oncle Antoine,” as well as ”Naked Lunch,” “The Red Violin” and “Conquest.”

She continued to log numerous film and TV appearances in more recent years, including the role of Edith Beauchamp in “Providence.”

Her death has prompted an outpouring of tributes, including from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who described her as “a great Canadian actress.”

“Monique Mercure has had a profound impact on generations of Canadians,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

“She helped promote Quebec cinema beyond our borders and her legacy will live on through her work.”

Quebec Premier Francois Legault also extended his condolences to Mercure’s family on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta RCMP conducts long weekend enforcement operations

Alberta RCMP Traffic Services issued over 1,700 speeding tickets and over 50 distracted driving tickets

Wm E Hay Stettler Secondary Campus staff continue ‘virtual’ connections with students

Plans for celebrating this year’s graduates are also taking shape

One name that cannot go uncredited when it comes to the area’s early construction days is John Backstrom

In 1904, the Backstrom clan came to what would soon be considered the Stettler area

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Wetaskiwin RCMP arrest impaired driver following police car ramming

The suspect vehicle purposefully crashed into a parked police vehicle, pushing it into the ditch.

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Most Read