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Henry Czerny

(b. February 1, 1959 Toronto, Ontario)

One of Canada’s most respected dramatic actors, Henry Czerny (pronounced CHAIR-nee) was born to Polish parents in Toronto and got his start acting in musicals at Humberside Collegiate before going on to study at the National Theatre School in Montreal. After graduating in 1982, he went on to perform in Shakespearean and classical theatre at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre and Ontario’s Stratford Festival, where he was a cast member in 1987 and 1988.

A seasoned theatre veteran by the late eighties, Czerny began landing small roles in such Canadian television series as “Night Heat” and “Street Legal.” His breakthrough came with his brilliantly disturbing performance as the sadistic Brother Lavin, a pedophiliac priest overseeing a boy’s orphanage in The Boys of St. Vincent (1992). The NFB-CBC co-production garnered massive praise and accolades both in Canada and abroad, due in no small part to Czerny’s mesmerizing and chilling lead performance, which netted him a Gemini Award.

Shortly thereafter, he signed to the William Morris Agency and was cast in almost identical roles as white-collar weasels opposite Harrison Ford in Clear and Present Danger (1994) and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible (1996). Czerny admits to having accepted the latter “grudgingly” and, after his agents “kept throwing scripts at me with these third- or fourth-tier nasty characters,” he switched agents to focus on roles that “feed me financially and creatively.” He continued to appear in distinctive Canadian auteur films – such as David Wellington’s I Love a Man in Uniform (1993), Patricia Rozema’s When Night Is Falling (1995) and John Pozer’s The Michelle Apts. (1995) – while also delivering a memorable performance in Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm (1997) and working extensively in television. He currently lives in Santa Monica but regularly commutes to Canada for film work.

Film and video work includes

Wildfire: The Story of Tom Longboat, 1983 (actor; TV)
Night Heat series, 1986 (actor; TV, one episode)
The Taming of the Shrew, 1988 (actor; TV)
Friday the 13th series, 1989 (actor; TV, one episode)
Street Legal series, 1990 (actor; TV, one episode)
Katts and Dog series, 1991 (actor; TV)
The Boys of St. Vincent: 15 Years Later, 1992 (actor; TV)
Buried on Sunday, 1992 (actor)
Deadly Matrimony, 1992 (actor; TV)
Secret Service series, 1992 (actor; TV, one episode)
The Sound and the Silence, 1992 (actor; TV)
Street Legal series, 1992 (actor; TV, one episode)
Top Cops series, 1992 (actor; TV, one episode)
A Town Torn Apart, 1992 (actor; TV)
Cold Sweat, 1993 (actor)
Counterstrike series, 1993 (actor; TV, one episode)
The Hidden Room series, 1993 (actor; TV, one episode)
Johnston... Johnston, 1993 (actor)
Lifeline to Victory, 1993 (actor; TV)
Anchor Zone, 1994 (actor)
Clear and Present Danger, 1994 (actor)
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues series, 1994 (actor; TV, one episode)
Trial at Fortitude Bay, 1994 (actor; TV)
Ultimate Betrayal, 1994 (actor; TV)
Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story, 1995 (actor; TV)
Jenipapo, 1995 (actor)
The Michelle Apts., 1995 (actor)
Notes from Underground, 1995 (actor)
For Hope, 1996 (actor; TV)
Mission: Impossible, 1996 (actor)
The Ice Storm, 1997 (actor)
Promise the Moon, 1997 (actor; TV)
Glory & Honor, 1998 (actor; TV)
Kayla, 1998 (actor)
Mentors series, 1998 (actor; TV, one episode)
My Father's Shadow: The Sam Sheppard Story, 1998 (actor; TV)
After Alice, 1999 (actor)
Cement, 1999 (actor)
External Affairs, 1999 (actor; TV)
The Girl Next Door, 1999 (actor; TV)
P.T. Barnum, 1999 (actor; TV)
Possessed, 2000 (actor; TV)
Range of Motion, 2000 (actor; TV)
Come l'America, 2001 (actor; TV)
Further Tales of the City, 2001 (actor; TV)
Haven, 2001 (actor; TV)
The Pact, 2002 (actor; TV)
Salem Witch Trials, 2002 (actor; TV)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 2003 (actor; TV, one episode)
The Failures, 2003 (actor)
Klepto, 2003 (actor)
The Limit, 2003 (actor)
The Eleventh Hour series, 2005 (actor; TV, one episode)
Kojak series, 2005 (actor; TV, one episode)
The Circle, 2005 (actor)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose, 2005 (actor)
Chaos, 2006 (actor)
Conversations with God, 2006 (actor)
Fido, 2006 (actor)
Ghost Whisperer series, 2006 (actor; TV, one episode)
The Pink Panther, 2006 (actor)